Jane Campion to head Cannes jury

Piano director will succeed Steven Spielberg.

by Jennie Kermode

She's the only female director ever to have won the Palme d'Or - for The Piano in 1993 - and now it has been announced that Jane Campion will head the official jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

"Since I first went to Cannes with my short films in 1986, I have had the opportunity to see the festival from many sides and my admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger," said the director in a statement. "At the Cannes Film Festival they manage to combine and celebrate the glamour of the industry, the stars, the parties, the beaches, the business, while rigorously maintaining the festival’s seriousness about the art and excellence of new world cinema."

"We are immensely proud that Jane Campion has accepted our invitation," said the festival's director, Thierry Fremaux. "She is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public."

Although she hasn't released a film since Bright Star in 2009, Campion has recently received acclaim for the television series Top Of The Lake. Her appointment is likely to be seen by some as a response to last year's high profile complaints about the festival's neglect of female filmmakers.

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