Jane Campion to head Cannes film fest jury

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 07 2014 01:25 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2014 09:25 PM

CANNES -- New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion, the only woman to win the coveted Palme d'Or, will head the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival, the organizers announced Tuesday.

"It's a great honor for me to be chosen as the president of the jury," the 59-year-old director said in a statement.

"To tell the truth I can't wait," added Campion who succeeds last year's jury head Steven Spielberg.

The 67th Cannes film festival will run from May 14-25 in the southern France resort town.

Campion who won the Palme d'Or for "The Piano" in 1993 also holds the distinction as the only double winner, her short "Peel" having picked up the Palme d'or in that category in 1986.

"The Piano" was also a big winner at the 1993 Academy wards across the Atlantic, with Campion winning an Oscar for Best Screenplay while Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively.

"A major filmmaker and a tireless pioneer," was how the Cannes organizers described Campion.

She is not the first woman to head the Cannes festival jury. Actresses Isabelle Huppert did so in 2009 and Isabelle Adjani in 1997, with Ingmar Bergman's cinematic muse Liv Ullmann also heading the jury in 2001 -- the Norwegian actress has herself directed a handful of films.

Cannes "is a mythical place and surprising place where actors reveal themselves, films find their producers and careers are made. I know, it happened to me," said Campion.

Born into an artistic family, Campion studied anthropology then painting before turning her attentions to cinema.

Last year she came to Cannes as head of the short-film jury.

She has also won critical and popular acclaim for writing the 2013 television mini-series "Top of the Lake" which was shot in New Zealand.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse