Swedish director Ruben Östlund has been appointed to serve as the Cannes Film Festival’s jury president for its upcoming 76th edition, which is scheduled to run from May 16 to 27, Deadline is reporting. The two-time Palme d’Or winner’s jury duty comes 50 years after his late compatriot, Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Ingrid Bergman, served in the role in 1973.
“I am happy, proud, and humbled to be trusted with the honor of jury president for this year’s Competition at the Festival de Cannes. Nowhere in the film world is the anticipation as strong as when the curtain rises on the films in Competition at the festival,” the Academy Award-nominated Östlund said.
“It is a privilege to be part of it, together with the Cannes audience of connoisseurs. I am sincere when I say that cinema culture is in its most important period ever. The cinema has a unique aspect – there, we watch together, and it demands more on what is shown and increases the intensity of the experience. It makes us reflect in a different way than when we dopamine scroll in front of individual screens,” the acclaimed writer-helmer added.
The news comes after five of Östlund’s six features had their world premiered at Cannes, beginning with Involuntary. The anthology movie, which explores the psychology of group behavior, debuted in Un Certain Regard in 2008.
The Golden Globe Award-nominated filmmaker’s next feature, Play played in the festival’s parallel section Directors’ Fortnight in 2011. The drama subsequently sparked controversy in his native country for its portrayal of a gang of Swedish-Somali teenage boys preying on weaker white boys.
Östlund returned to Cannes in 2014 with the French Alps-set, dark family comedy, Force Majeure. The movie had its world premiered in Un Certain Regard and won its jury prize.
The director then went on to win the Palme d’Or for the art world-set social satire The Square in 2017. He was also honored with the trophy for his devastating critique of the ultra-wealthy with last year’s Triangle of Sadness.
The latter satirical black comedy is now nominated for Best Picture, Original Screenplay and Achievement in Directing at this year’s Oscars. The ceremony is set to be broadcast live on Sunday, March 12 from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Östlund, who studied cinema in Gothenburg, penned and helmed his first feature film, the drama The Guitar Mongoloid, in 2004. Set in the fictional city of Jöteborg, which is modeled on Gothenburg, the movie revolved around a series of different people living outside the norms.
In between his early features, Östlund also won Berlin’s Golden Bear for best short for Incident by a Bank in 2010.
“By inviting Ruben Östlund to preside over the Jury, the Festival de Cannes wishes to pay a tribute to films that are uncompromising and forthright and which constantly demand that viewers challenge themselves and that art continue to invent itself,” Cannes said.
“Ruben Östlund has therefore become the third two-time winner of the Palme d’Or to be the President of the Jury, following Francis Ford Coppola and Emir Kusturica, and the very first to take on this role the year after his acclaim in Cannes,” the festival added.
Östlund said he would be emphasizing the social function of cinema as this year’s Cannes’ Jury President. He stated: “A good movie relates to the collective experience, stimulates us to think and makes us want to discuss what we have seen – so let’s watch together!”
The festival’s Official Selection is expected to be announced in mid-April.