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Ruben Östlund Named President of Cannes Film Festival Jury

The ”Triangle of Sadness“ director becomes the first Swedish president of the Cannes jury since Ingmar Bergman 50 years ago


Ruben Östlund has been named president of the jury at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, Cannes organizers announced Tuesday morning in Paris.

Östlund is a two-time winner of Cannes’ highest honor, the Palme d’Or, which he won in 2017 for “The Square” and last year for “Triangle of Sadness,” which is currently an Oscar nominee for Best Picture. He is one of only nine directors to have won the Palme twice, and one of only three to win the award for consecutive films. (The others were Michael Haneke for “The White Ribbon” and “Amour” and Bille August for “Pelle the Conqueror” and “The Best Intentions.”)

Two other two-time winners, Francis Ford Coppola and Emir Kusturica, have previously served as jury presidents, but Östlund is the first to do it the year after winning the Palme. He will become the first jury president from Sweden since Ingmar Bergman served in the position 50 years ago in 1973. Bergman is the only other Swede to head the jury.

“I am sincere when I say that cinema culture is in its most important period ever,” Östlund said in the Cannes press release announcing his appointment. “The cinema has a unique aspect – There, we watch together, and it demands more on what is shown and increases the intensity of the experience. It makes us reflect in a different way than when we dopamine scroll in front of the individual screens.”

In that release, the festival wrote, “Ruben Östlund repeatedly explores a provocative dialectic which has become his signature: an initial situation sets the stage for a sociological examination where the baser instincts of our humanity are painstakingly and uncompromisingly examined with corrosive humor … By inviting Ruben Östlund to preside over the Jury, the Festival de Cannes wishes to pay a tribute to films that are uncompromising and forthright and which constantly demand that viewers challenge themselves and that art continue to invent itself.”

Other recent jury presidents include directors Tim Burton, Nanni Moretti, Steven Spielberg, Jane Campion, Joel and Ethan Coen, George Miller, Pedro Almodóvar, Alejandro G. Iñárritu and Spike Lee. Actors who have headed the jury recently include Robert De Niro, Cate Blanchett and Vincent Lindon.

The 76th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 16 through May 27 in the South of France. The rest of the nine-person jury will be announced at a later date.