Australian movie star Cate Blanchett will head the jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera, its organizers said on Thursday.
Blanchett, 48, received international acclaim for her role as Elizabeth I of England in Shekhar Kapur’s 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’ and has won three Golden Globe awards.
Other jury members for the 71st edition of the festival, which will run from May 8-19, will be announced at a later date.
Blanchett, who recently took part with other Hollywood figures in a campaign to help fight sexual harassment following the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, will become the 11th woman to chair the event in the festival’s history.
She will take over from Spanish director Pedro Almodovar as jury head at Cannes, which last year awarded its “Palme d‘Or” to the Swedish satirical drama film ‘The Square’.
Blanchett will lead a panel, usually made up of actors and film-makers, who will choose the winner of the Palme d'Or - the influential Cannes award for best film.
They will also select the festival's other main prizes.
Blanchett has won two Oscars - for The Aviator and Blue Jasmine - and been nominated five more times.
Cannes president Pierre Lescure and delegate general Thierry Fremaux said: "Our conversations this autumn convince us she will be a committed president, and a passionate and generous spectator."
She's the third female jury president in the last 10 years - the others being director Jane Campion in 2014 and actress Isabelle Huppert in 2009.
Blanchett said: "I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years - as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in competition but never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbors.
"I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year's jury.
"This festival plays a pivotal role in bringing the world together to celebrate story: that strange and vital endeavor that all peoples share, understand and crave."