Director Greta Gerwig, known for ‘Barbie,’ will head the jury at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

Thursday’s announcement from the Cannes Film Festival revealed that Greta Gerwig, the director behind the summer blockbuster “Barbie,” will chair the jury for the 77th edition scheduled for May.

At 40 years old, Gerwig, who is also an actor and screenwriter, succeeds Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund, whose jury honored the courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall” with the 2023 Palme d’Or.

The festival emphasized that Gerwig will be the first American female filmmaker to assume this position. Her presence promises to infuse a youthful energy into Cannes, marking the first time since 1966, led by a then-31-year-old Sophia Loren, that such a young president will preside over the event.

Gerwig’s appointment also signifies a break in tradition, with the last woman in this esteemed role being actor Cate Blanchett in 2018, given the predominant representation of men.

Expressing her enthusiasm, Gerwig stated, “I love films — I love making them, I love going to them, I love talking about them.” She regards Cannes as the epitome of the universal language of cinema.

Apart from her work on “Barbie,” a vibrant feminist satire centered around a line of influential plastic dolls, Gerwig has directed acclaimed films like “Lady Bird” (2017) and “Dr. March’s Daughters” (2020).

Currently engaged in adapting “The Chronicles of Narnia” for Netflix, Gerwig, described by the festival as a modern-day heroine disrupting the status quo, has appeared in over twenty films.

Cannes bosses Iris Knobloch and festival delegate Thierry Fremaux hailed Gerwig’s selection, stating, “This is an obvious choice, since Greta Gerwig so audaciously embodies the renewal of world cinema.” They emphasized her significance as a representative of an era breaking barriers and blending genres while promoting values of intelligence and humanism.

The announcement not only showcased a high-profile female director but also allowed the Cannes Film Festival to reclaim the spotlight from its recent competitor, February’s Berlinale.

Moreover, by selecting Gerwig, Cannes emphasized its enduring connections with the influential American film industry. However, details about the remaining jury members and the films in the official selection for the festival are yet to be unveiled.

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