Greta Gerwig serving as jury president for 2024 Cannes Film Festival

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Greta Gerwig [Photo by Ben Rayner]

Following a year in which she beat most every box-office record with her film “Barbie,” American director, screenwriter and actor Greta Gerwig will preside over the feature film competition jury at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.

The 77th Festival de Cannes will take place from May 14-25 in France.

“I love films – I love making them, I love going to them, I love talking about them. As a cinephile, Cannes has always been the pinnacle of what the universal language of movies can be,” Gerwig said in a statement.

“Being in the place of vulnerability, in a dark theater filled with strangers, watching a brand-new film is my favorite place to be. I am stunned and thrilled and humbled to be serving as the president of the Cannes Film Festival Jury. I cannot wait to see what journeys are in store for all of us!”

In less than 15 years, Gerwig has gained recognition in American and worldwide cinema. Originally from Sacramento, California, but a New Yorker by adoption, she dreamed of being a playwright but has crafted her own path in film, according to a news release.

Gerwig has built a reputation for combining what was previously thought to be incompatible: delivering arthouse blockbusters, narrowing the gap between art and industry, exploring contemporary feminist issues with deft as well as depth and declaring her demanding artistic ambition from within an economic model that she embraces in order to put to better use.

Starting out as an actor, Gerwig transformed into a screenwriter working on a variety of projects. She co-wrote “Hannah Takes the Stairs” (2007) and “Nights and Weekends” (2008) which she also co-directed, then “Frances Ha” (2012), “Mistress America” (2015) and, of course, “Barbie” with Noah Baumbach, her accomplice in art and now husband.

Nominated for five Academy Awards, including best director, her first solo work, 2017’s “Lady Bird” is a striking, tender and melancholic portrait of the torments of adolescence.

For her second film, Gerwig ambitiously took hold of the American literature classic from 1868 by Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women,” again with the intention of taking a fresh look at all of the story’s female protagonists, so as to better examine their emancipation in a world dominated by men.

With her latest film, last year’s “Barbie,” the writer-director explores the same territory even more spectacular fashion, by facing up to that ambivalent idol of small girl. In a fierce satire about the human condition, Gerwig delves into the truth of everyday sexism and stereotypes with joyful intent.

“Barbie” made more than $1 billion at the global box office, making Gerwig the first solo female director to score a billion-dollar movie, according to CNN.

Although Gerwig was snubbed in the best director category, “Barbie” earned eight Oscar nominations, including best picture, best supporting actress for America Ferrera, best supporting actor for Ryan Gosling and best adapted screenplay for Gerwig and Baumbach. It won best original song for Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell for “What Was I Made For.”

The first American female director to take on the role of jury president at the Festival de Cannes, Gerwig, 40, adds another record to her considerable list of awards: that of becoming the youngest person to take on the task since then-31-year-old Sofia Loren in 1966, as well as the second female director since Jane Campion in 2014. She’s also the second American woman after Olivia de Haviland served in 1965 as the first female jury president.

“This is an obvious choice, since Greta Gerwig so audaciously embodies the renewal of world cinema, for which Cannes is each year both the forerunner and the sounding board,” said Iris Knobloch, festival president, and Thierry Frémaux, general delegate, in a statement.

“Beyond the 7th Art, she is also the representative of an era that is breaking down barriers and mixing genres, and thereby elevating the values of intelligence and humanism.”

For more information on the Cannes Film Festival, go to https://www.festival-cannes.com.

-BAM

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