Steven Spielberg to head Cannes jury
Steven Spielberg (AAP)
Moviemaker Steven Spielberg has been unveiled as the jury president at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
The director will oversee the panel at the French event, which will run from May 15-26.
In a statement, Spielberg writes, "My admiration for the steadfast mission of the festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none. The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium."
Festival president Gilles Jacob admits he has spent years trying to get Spielberg onboard, but the movie mogul has always been too busy in the past.
Jacob adds, "He's always been shooting a film. So when this year I was told 'E.T., phone home,' I understood and immediately replied, 'At last!'"
Spielberg is no stranger to the Cannes Film Festival - his 1974 film Sugarland Express won Best Screenplay at the event and his classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had its world premiere there in 1982.