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The Revenant director Alejandro Inarritu becomes first Mexican to head Cannes Film Festival jury

Alejandro Inarritu has been appointed at the jury head at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

world cinema Updated: Feb 27, 2019 19:25 IST
Alejandro Inarritu,Cannes Film Festival,Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
The five-time Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is to head the jury at this year's Cannes film festival, the organisers said on February 27, 2019.(AFP)

Birdman and 21 Grams director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will head the jury at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival in May, becoming the first Mexican to do so, organisers said on Wednesday. Inarritu, 55, won the best director award in Cannes in 2006 for Babel, a film with a web of narratives spanning three continents and exploring cultural prejudices.

He also won back-to-back best director Oscars in 2014 and 2015, for Birdman, a black comedy about a washed-up actor starring Michael Keaton, and The Revenant, which featured Leonardo DiCaprio as a bear trapper battling the elements in the American wilderness.

“Cannes embraces all types of cinema, and through the presence of... Babel’s director, it is Mexican cinema that the Festival will be celebrating,” organisers including Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes, said in a statement.

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They cited Carne y Arena (Flesh and Sand) - a virtual reality project showing life as an immigrant and presented by Inarritu at Cannes in 2017 - as a recent highlight of work he has launched in France. Other jury members for the 72nd edition of the festival, which runs from May 14 to 25, will be announced at a later date.

Inarritu succeeds Australian actress Cate Blanchett as jury head. Last year the top Palme d’Or award went to “Shoplifters”, by Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu.

Inarritu is among a trio of Mexican film directors who have risen to global prominence in recent years, alongside Alonso Cuaron, who won this year’s best director Oscar for Roma, and Guillermo del Toro, whose feature The Shape of Water won the best picture Oscar in 2018.

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First Published: Feb 27, 2019 19:24 IST