It has been a quarter of a century since Spanish icon Pedro Almodóvar first walked the festival’s red carpet as part of the feature film jury under Gérard Depardieu. 35 years have passed since his legendary film career began and it is double that for the history of the Festival International du Film de Cannes. In 2017, Almodóvar himself will preside over the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
“I am very happy to be able to celebrate the Festival de Cannes’ 70th anniversary from such a privileged position,” said Almodóvar, responding to the invitation to act as president of the jury by festival president Pierre Lescure. “I am grateful, honoured and a bit overwhelmed. 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 you that I’ll devote myself - body and soul - to this task that it is both a privilege and a pleasure.”
“For its 70th edition, the Festival de Cannes is delighted to welcome a unique and hugely popular artist,” said Lescure of Almodóvar. “His works have already carved out an eternal niche in the history of film.”
Over the years, the cult director has presented six films at the prestigious industry event. Five of his score of productions - All About my Mother (Todo Sobre mi Madre, Best Director), Volver (Best Screenplay, Best Collective Female Performance), Broken Embraces (Los Abrazos Rotos), The Skin I Live In, and Julieta – have been selected in competition at Cannes. In 2004, Bad Education (La Mala Educación) became the first Spanish film ever to open the festival. A few years later, Almodóvar was featured on the poster of the 60th event.
“With his dazzling and iconoclastic 35-year filmography career, this virtuoso storyteller has forged a strong bond with filmgoers the world over,” say organisers. “His 20 films form an incandescent œuvre; a legacy of his punk, protest-filled youth and driven by an insatiable passion for female figures and the history of film itself. Ever surprising and eclectic, but always coherent, the director from La Mancha can turn his hand to any genre – vaudeville, farce, tragedy, fantasy. musical or thriller – while never losing sight of his pet themes: passion, filiation, destiny, guilt and buried secrets.”
Cannes Film Festival will be taking place from 17th to 28th May. The official selection for the annual competition and further members of the jury will be announced in mid-April.