LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Oscar-winning Spanish director Pedro Almodovar has been named president of the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
The announcement was made Tuesday by the festival via social media and on its own website.
"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 in a statement.
Almodovar, who succeeds George Miller as Cannes jury president, attended Cannes last year with Julieta, which wold-premiered in competition.
"A long and loyal friendship binds Pedro Almodovar to the festival, where he was a member of the jury under the presidency of Gerard Depardieu," added Pierre Lescure, president of the festival, and Thierry Fremaux, delegate-general.
Five of Almodovar's films have played in competition in Cannes: All About my Mother ("Todo Sobre Mi Madre"), Volver, Broken Embraces ("Los Abrazos Rotos"), The Skin I Live In, and Julieta. His Bad Education ("La Mala Educacion") opened the festival in 2004.
Watch 'The Skin I Live In' at SBS On Demand
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Jan Cornet
What's it about?
An eminent plastic surgeon is obsessed with the idea of creating a new type of skin, in the aftermath of a deeply personal loss. After over a decade of research, he manages to cultivate a skin that acts as a highly sophisticated protective barrier, but at what cost? And who is the strange woman he keeps upstairs, upon whom he tests his experiments?
"I am grateful, honoured 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 tell that I'll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure," Almodovar said in a prepared statement.
In recent years, Cannes jury presidents have mostly been non-Europeans, including Miller, Joel and Ethan Coen, Steven Spielberg, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Jane Campion. Almodovar joins Nanni Moretti and Isabelle Huppert as Europeans who have presided over the jury within the last decade.
The festival runs May 17-28. The official selection and members of the jury will be announced in mid-April.