The Cannes Film Festival has announced its jury for the upcoming July edition, with American director Spike Lee to serve as president of the jury of the main competition.
Along with Lee, there will be five women and three men of seven nationalities who will have the privilege to discover the 24 films of the 2021 international Competition. The members of the jury are as follows:
Mati Diop – Director – France/Senegal
Diop lives and works between Paris and Dakar. Her first feature Atlantics (2019) was selected in the official Competition at the Festival de Cannes, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. The film was later shortlisted as one of the 10 best international films at the Oscars.
She has also directed several short-films and medium-length films: Atlantics (2009), Snow Canon (2011), Big in Vietnam (2012), A Thousand Suns (2013), and In My Room (2020), which were also nominated and awarded in many international festivals.
In 2016, Diop received the Lincoln Center of New York’s Martin E. Segal – Emerging Artist Award. As an actress, she has appeared in: 35 Shots of Rum (2008) directed by Claire Denis; Simon Killer (2012) by Antonio Campos; Fort Buchanan (2014) by Benjamin Crotty; Hermia & Helena (2016) by Matias Piñeiro; and In My Room, her latest short film.
Mylène Farmer – Singer/Songwriter – Canada/France
Singer, songwriter, and performing artist Mylène Farmer has become a true icon. She managed to create a unique connection with her audience, which has been following her for over 35 years.
She sold 35 million records and had 2.7 million spectators attend her gigantic performances across Europe and Russia. The visual aesthetics and cinematographic quality of her work testify to her love of cinema.
Farmer has worked with the greatest, including: Jean-Baptiste Mondino; Peter Lindbergh; Herb Ritts; Abel Ferrara; Luc Besson; Dominique Issermann; Olivier Dahan; Ching Siu-tung; Darius Khondji; Agusti Villaronga.
Her music videos such as “Libertine”, “Sans contrefaçon”, “California”, “L’Âme-Stram-Gram”, “Pourvu qu’elles soient douces”, can be seen as authentic short films. In 2018, she joined the cast of Pascal Laugier’s film Ghostland.
Maggie Gyllenhaal – Actress/Producer/Screenwriter/Director – US
Academy Award-nominated actress, producer, screenwriter, and director Maggie Gyllenhaal began her career appearing in the cult favourite Donnie Darko (2001). Her breakout roles came soon after in Secretary (2002) and Sherrybaby (2006), with both performances earning her a Golden Globe nomination.
She went on to star in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center (2006) and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008). In 2009, Gyllenhaal received great acclaim for her role in Crazy Heart, which earned the actress her first Oscar nomination. She went on to win a Golden Globe for her work in the miniseries The Honourable Woman (2014), and she produced and starred in the critically praised series The Deuce (2017) for HBO over three seasons.
In 2018, she produced, starred and garnered rave reviews in the thriller The Kindergarten Teacher. She recently adapted and directed her first feature film, The Lost Daughter.
Jessica Hausner – Director/Producer/Screenwriter – Austria
Born in Vienna, Jessica Hausner studied directing at the Film Academy of Vienna where she made her first short films, Flora (1996) and Inter-View (1999), both awarded. She then directed two feature films, Lovely Rita (2001) and Hotel (2004), that premiered at the Festival de Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.
In 2009, Lourdes was selected at the Venice Film Festival where it was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize, followed by other prizes, such as the European Film Award for Best Actress for Sylvie Testud. She returned in the Un Certain Regard Competition with Amour Fou in 2014. Her fifth feature film and the first in English, Little Joe, was selected in Competition at the Festival de Cannes 2019, where Emily Beecham received the Best Actress award. Having achieved great Festival success, the film sold in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Mélanie Laurent – Actress/Screenwriter/Director – France
Actress, screenwriter, director, and environmental activist, Mélanie Laurent is the recipient of two César awards, and has established herself in the film industry, starring in over 40 films. She made her Hollywood debut in Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino, which was selected in Competition at Festival de Cannes (2009).
She has since gone on to work with the greatest filmmakers including Mike Mills, Denis Villeneuve, or Angelina Jolie. She made her feature directorial debut with The Adopted (2011), following up with the critically acclaimed Breathe, which premiered at La Semaine de la Critique in 2014. Laurent’s environmental-focused documentary Tomorrow became the biggest French documentary release of 2015. In 2021, she will soon direct and star in Le Bal des folles adapted from Victoria Mas’ short story.
Kleber Mendonça Filho – Director/Producer/Screenwriter – Brazil
Born in Recife, Brazil, Kleber Mendonça Filho became a film programmer and critic while making award-winning short films. Mendonça’s first feature film, Neighbouring Sounds, had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in 2012, and was Brazil’s entry in the race for the Oscars.
The New York Times listed it among the ten best films of the year. His second feature film Aquarius, starring Sonia Braga, was in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival, in 2016. It was then nominated for a César Award, and at the Independent Spirit Award.
In 2019, Bacurau, co-directed by Juliano Dornelles, screened in competition in Cannes was awarded the Jury Prize. Mendonça is also a film programmer for Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and the artistic director of Janela Internacional de Cinema do Recife.
Tahar Rahim – Actor – France
After his breakthrough performance in A Prophet by Jacques Audiard, which received nine César Awards and the Festival de Cannes Grand Prix, Rahim won the César for Best Male Newcomer and for Best Actor. He returned to Cannes in Competition with The Past by Asghar Farhadi and Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski (2013).
Following this, he went on to play numerous leading roles both in France and worldwide, including in: The Price of Success by Teddy Lussi-Modeste; Samba by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache; Mary Magdalene by Garth Davis; as well as in the series The Looming Tower alongside Jeff Daniels.
In 2021, he achieved international success with The Serpent and The Mauritanian by Kevin Macdonald, for which he received multiple nominations, including Best Actor at the Golden Globes and at the BAFTAs. He will soon be starring in Don Juan by Serge Bozon, and She Came to Me by Rebecca Miller.
Song Kang-Ho – Actor – South Korea
Since his debut 26 years ago, Song has appeared in more than 40 films, including Joint Security Area (2000), Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006), Secret Sunshine (2007), Thirst (2009), The Attorney (2013), Snowpiercer (2013), The Age of Shadows (2016), A Taxi Driver (2017), and in the worldwide success Parasite (2019).
As a lead role in Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece, the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Festival de Cannes and to earn four Oscars wins, Song played a key part in writing a remarkable page in Korean cinema’s history. Awarded in 2019 at the Locarno Film Festival, he was among the New York Times “25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century”, in 2020. He has recently finished filming Emergency Declaration by director Han Jae-rim, and Broker by Hirokazu Kore-eda