Greta Gerwig, whose latest movie “Barbie” grossed $1.4 billion at the global box office this year and just picked up nine Golden Globe nominations, will preside over the jury of the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.
Gerwig has attended Cannes alongside her partner Noah Baumbach before, notably in 2017 when his “The Meyerowitz Stories” premiered, but she’s never presented a film there. There were early talks to bring “Barbie” to Cannes earlier this year but the timing didn’t work. The Warner Bros. movie was released on July 19 and became an instant classic and the highest-grossing worldwide movie of the year. On top of leading the Golden Globe nominations, “Barbie” is also expected to land numerous Oscar nominations, with Variety’s Clayton Davis saying the film is a rare blockbuster with a shot at winning best picture.
“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!”
Two-time Palme d’Or winner Ruben Ostlund (“Triangle of Sadness,” “The Square”) presided over the 2023 Cannes jury. Gerwig will be the first American female director to take on the role of jury president at the Cannes Film Festival. At the age of 40, she’s also the youngest person to take on the role since Sophia Loren, who was 31 when she presided over Cannes’ jury in 1966. Other notable female jury presidents include Jane Campion in 2014 and Olivia de Havilland, Cannes’ first female jury president, in 1965.
“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 Cannes’ president Iris Knobloch and general delegate Thierry Frémaux. “Beyond the seventh 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,” the pair continued.
Starting out as an actor, Greta Gerwig broke through as a solo director with “Lady Bird” in 2017. She became the fifth woman to be nominated for best director and the movie earned a total of five Oscar nominations. Her next film, “Little Women,” was also a critical hit and was nominated for five Oscars, winning best costume design. With “Barbie,” Gerwig became the most bankable female director in history.
The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place May 14-25.