FILE - In this Monday, May 17, 2010 file photo, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu poses during a photo call for "Biutiful", at the 63rd international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. Award-winning Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu will preside over the jury at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May 2019, announced by the festival president Pierre Lescure on Wednesday Feb. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)

Inarritu picked to head Cannes jury, first Mexican in post

February 27, 2019 - 5:15 am

PARIS (AP) — Award-winning Mexican director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu will preside over the jury at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May.

Festival president Pierre Lescure, announcing the choice on Wednesday, praised Inarritu — the first Mexican to be given the honor — as a "daring filmmaker ... full of surprises" and an "artist of his time."

Inarritu said in the statement that "this is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion."

The Cannes festival, he said, is the heart of world cinema.

Inarritu won best director Oscar for "The Revenant" in 2016 and "Birdman" in 2015, among numerous awards.

Cate Blanchett served as jury president last year when the Palme d'Or, the top prize, was awarded to "Shoplifters" by Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu.

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