Filmmaker Jane Campion has found herself in the Palme d’Or mix three times at Cannes: for 1989’s “Sweetie,” 1993’s “The Piano” (which one the prize in a tie with Kaige Chen’s “Farewell My Concubine”) and 2009’s “Bright Star.” She also won a prize for her short film “An Exercise in Discipline – Peel” in 1982. Suffice it to say, she has a rich history with the fest, and now she adds one more notch on her Croisette belt: she’ll be heading up the 2014 edition’s jury.
“It’s a great honor for me to be chosen as the president of the jury,” Campion said in a statement. “To tell the truth I can’t wait. [Cannes] is a mythical place and surprising place where actors reveal themselves, films find their producers and careers are made.”
Added festival president Gilles Jacob (who will be stepping down next year), “Once upon a time there was an unknown young director from Down Under who was no doubt proud enough that the Festival de Cannes was going to present even one of the three short films she had just finished. But they were shot through with such courage and humanity and captured such a unique world that the Festival refused to choose and – in a masterstroke – screened all three, marking the advent of a true master. Jane Campion had arrived, and she brought a whole new style with her.”
To date, Campion is the only female director to have won the Palme d’Or at the festival. She is not, however, the first woman to head up the jury. Actresses Isabelle Huppert and Isabelle Adjani did so in 2009 and 1997 respectively, while Liv Ullmann headed it up in 2001, among others.
Campion’s most recent work, the mini-series “Top of the Lake,” played the Sundance Film Festival a year ago.
The 67th Cannes International Film Festival runs May 14 – 25.