Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, venue for the Cannes Film Festival
“Grateful, honored and a bit overwhelmed”
By Jack Wright
These days the Spaniards are showing greater interest than usual in what’s going on on the Cote d’Azur. Their iconic movie producer, director and screenwriter, Pedro Almodovar, is President of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival (17-28 May 2017).
“For its 70th edition, the Festival de Cannes is delighted to welcome a unique and hugely popular artist. His works have already carved out an eternal niche in the history of film,” the Festival said.
To which Almodovar responded: “I am grateful and honored 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 say that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that is both a privilege and a pleasure.”
Almodovar is no stranger to the festival on the French Riviera. His Mala Educación (“Bad Education”) was the Festival’s inaugural movie in 2004. And five of his other films participated in the “In Competition” category which means that each, in the respective years they were competing, was one of the twenty films in the running for the Palme d’Or.
The Palme d’Or is the highest award in the Festival. It is awarded to the director of the Best Feature Film of the Official Competition.
In 1999 Almodovar won the Best Director award (which isn’t the same as winning the Palme d’Or) for All About My Mother (“Todo Sobre Mi Madre”).
In 2006 all six actresses in the cast of Volver – instead of just Penelpe Cruz who played the leading role – won the Best Actress award. The film was also winner of Best Screenplay.
The other Almodovar films that competed for the Palme d’Or were Los Abrazos Rotos (“Broken Embraces”), La Piel Que Habito (“The Skin I Live In”), and Julieta (“Julieta”).
Pedro Almodovar (b. 25 September 1949) is one of the two most important Spanish filmmakers of all time, the other being Luis Buñuel (Un Chien Andalou). Apart from his native Spain, Buñuel (1900 – 1983) worked in France, Mexico, and the United States. In 1955 Buñuel was Cannes’ Best director for Los Olvidados, a Mexican production.
The Cinéfondation category of the Festival de Cannes, which consists of some fifteen short and medium-length motion pictures from film schools around the world, is screened in the Salle Buñuel.
Featured image by Kim via Flickr, CC BY-SA2.0
Almodovar by Georges Biard, CC BY-SA3.0
“All About My Mother” poster, Fair use
“Los Olvidados” poster, Fair use
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