CANNES, France (Reuters) - Mexican director Guillermo del Toro said as he arrived in Cannes to serve on the main film festival jury on Tuesday that having gotten his start there with a debut film in 1993, he now wanted to give new generations of filmmakers a chance.
Del Toro, director of the dark fantasy “Pan’s Labyrinth”, had his first film “Chronos” screened in Cannes. He will sit on a jury headed by the filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen for the festival, which opens on the French Riviera on Wednesday.
“It feels like a responsibility that I take very seriously, because Cannes started my life filmically when ‘Chronos’ won the Critics Week,” del Toro told reporters.
Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan, whose film “Mommy” scooped the Jury Prize at last year’s festival, said that he was honored to be chosen as a judge at the tender age of 26 — and it would help for his next project.
“It feels great. It’s the other side of the mirror which is extremely exciting,” Dolan said.
“And I didn’t think it would come as early on in my life, so it’s very inspiring, we’ll see. I can’t think of a better preparation for the movie I’m about to embark on, to see like 25 films.”
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred in the 2014 film “Nightcrawler”, brings a touch of Hollywood to his place on the jury, alongside British actress Sienna Miller, French actress Sophie Marceau and Malian actress Rokia Traore.
Spanish cinema star Rossy de Palma expressed the great honor and excitement she felt at being on this year’s panel.
“I’m very honored, really very honored. Such a pleasure, I’m so happy, it’s like a dream,” she said.
The festival will open for the first time with a woman director’s film, “La Tete Haute” by Emmanuelle Bercot and starring French actress Catherine Deneuve. Hollywood is pitching in by holding the world premiere for “Mad Max: Fury Road” on Thursday.
Writing by Michael Roddy; Editing by Hugh Lawson