Days after his compadre Alfonso Cuarón won the Best Director Oscar for “Roma,” Oscar-winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“Birdman,” “The Revenant”) has revealed that he will serve as the first Mexican filmmaker chair of the Competition jury for the 72nd Cannes Film Festival (May 14 to 25).
“Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career,” stated Iñárritu. “I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the jury…Cinema runs through the veins of the planet, and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion.”
Festival president Pierre Lescure and artistic director Thierry Frémaux called Iñárritu “a daring filmmaker and a director who is full of surprises,” and stated that “Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of ‘Babel’s’ director, it is Mexican cinema that the festival will be celebrating.”
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Iñárritu debuted his first feature “Amores Perros” in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2000, which won the Grand Prize and scored both foreign-language Globe and Oscar nominations. “Babel” won Best Director in 2006, followed by seven Oscar nominations. The filmmaker returned to the Competition in 2010 with “Biutiful,” for which Javier Bardem was nominated for an Oscar.
Most recently, the filmmaker showcased his VR museum piece “Carne y Arena,” a collaboration with long-time cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, at Cannes in the Official Selection; it won a special Academy Award in 2017.