“For its 70th edition, the Festival de Cannes is delighted to welcome a unique and hugely popular artist,” the president of the festival, Pierre Lescure, and its director, Thierry Frémaux, said in the announcement. “His works have already carved out an eternal niche in the history of film.”
Mr. Almodóvar served on the Cannes jury in 1992, and five of his films have been selected for competition at the festival: “All About my Mother” (1999), for which he won the prize for best director; “Volver” (2006), which won best screenplay and best actress — shared by several cast members; “Broken Embraces” (2009); “The Skin I Live In” (2011); and “Julieta” (2016). His movie “Bad Education” opened the festival in 2004.
“I am grateful, honored and a bit overwhelmed,” the director said in the statement. “I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury, and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure.”
Mr. Lescure and Mr. Frémaux praised Mr. Almodóvar’s 20 films as “an incandescent oeuvre, a legacy of his punk, protest-filled youth, and driven by an insatiable passion for female figures and the history of film itself.”
They added: “Ever surprising and eclectic but always coherent, the director from La Mancha can turn his hand to any genre – vaudeville, farce, tragedy, fantasy, musical or thriller — while never losing sight of his pet themes: passion, filiation, destiny, guilt and buried secrets.”
The festival will take place from May 17 to 28. The full jury and the list of selected films will be announced in April.