Jury president Pedro Almodovar posed with jury members Jessica Chastain and Will Smith for photographers during the photo call for the Jury at the 70th international Cannes Film Festival.


Last year’s jury president George Miller described the job during the festival-opening press conference. “Leading the jury is like a parent taking children on a film holiday,” he started. “It’s a real pleasure because we have nothing else to do. Our job is to watch films which we know nothing about and then think about them.”

At the end of the festival, he had changed his tune to a degree: “I called it the nine-headed beast. It was a collective experience, a hard one over many hours. It was incredibly vigorous and rigorous.”

This year, Almodovar is honored to be named president of the jury to deliberate the festival winners. “I am very happy to be able to celebrate Cannes Film Festival 70th anniversary from such a privileged position. I am grateful, honored and a bit overwhelmed,” the filmmaker said in a statement. “I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure.”

Smith has already been stirring up controversy when he applauded that Netflix originals are now being added to the festival competition. “In my home, and I don’t know other people’s homes, but in my home, Netflix has absolutely no effect on what [my kids] go to a movie theater to watch. They go to a movie theater to be humbled in front of certain images, and there’s other films that they prefer to watch at home,” the actor said. “There’s this whole underground world of artists that gets born from that kind of connectivity. It’s done nothing but broaden my children’s cinematic, global comprehension.”

The Cannes Film Festival is currently taking place, between May 17 to May 28. The jury will decide which film gets awarded the coveted Palme d’Or, the festival’s top prize.

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