Cannes Film Festival president Gilles Jacob, who has presided over the fest for 36 years, will be leaving his position as president when his term expires in 2015, Cannes told TheWrap on Wednesday.
Jacob revealed his intention to leave the job in an interview with the French newspaper Nice Matin, saying that he promised his wife “several times” that he would retire. His remarks (in French) appeared in a one-paragraph note on the paper’s website on Wednesday.
"Mr. Jacob confirmed he will not be a candidate to renew his position as the President of the Festival de Cannes," a Cannes spokeswoman told TheWrap in an email.
She added that the Festial de Cannes Administration Board will meet in December 2014 to choose a successor.
The 83-year-old president is contracted to head Cannes for another three festivals, including the one that begins next week. He has been at Cannes since 1977, and in that time has been responsible for the introduction of the Un Certain Regard and Cinefondation sidebars in 1978 and 1998, respectively. In 1978 he also introduced the Camera d’Or award, which goes to the festival’s best first-time director.
He has also been credited with bringing film-industry professions and celebrities onto the Cannes jury, which initially had been comprised of academics.