Steven Spielberg just landed one of the biggest roles of his career: he’s been named the president of the award jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, which takes place in France from May 15 to 26.
“My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none,” Spielberg said in a statement. “The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium.”
As it turns out, the festival’s president, Gilles Jacob, has been trying to land Spielberg as Jury President for years. The problem? Spielberg is “always shooting a film,” but not this time. “When this year I was told ‘E.T., phone home,’ I understood and immediately replied: ‘At last!'” Gillies says in a press release.
There have been a number of prestigious directors as Cannes Jury Presidents in the past, with everyone from Tim Burton to Clint Eastwood to Quentin Tarantino taking up the mantle. Spielberg has had a history with the festival, with his first film “Sugarland Express,” winning best screenplay back in 1974 and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” having its world premiere there in 1982.