By Nicole Goesseringer Muj
Following a year in which she beat every record with her film Barbie, American director, screenwriter, and actress Greta Gerwig will preside over the feature film Competition Jury of the 77th Cannes Film Festival, which takes place May 14 – 25, 2024.
In less than fifteen years, Gerwig has gained recognition in American and global cinema. Gerwig manages to combine what was previously judged to be incompatible, delivering arthouse blockbusters, narrowing the gap between art and industry, exploring contemporary feminist issues with deft as well as depth, and declaring her demanding artistic ambition from within an economic model that she embraces in order to put to better use.
Starting out as an actress, Gerwig has transformed into a screenwriter working on a variety of projects. She co-wrote Hannah Takes the Stairs (2007) and Nights and Weekends (2008) which she also co-directed, then Frances Ha (2012), Mistress America (2015) and most recently, Barbie with Noah Baumbach, her accomplice in art. Her very first solo work, Lady Bird (2017), a tender and melancholic portrait of the torments of adolescence, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best director. For her second film, she ambitiously took hold of the American literature classic Little Women. Her most recent feature satire film Barbie was released in July 2023. In the film, Gerwig explores everyday sexism, and stereotypes, with joyful intent. An international cultural phenomenon, Barbie is the biggest success of the year and has made Gerwig the most bankable female film director in history and the first American female director to take on the role of Jury President at the Festival de Cannes.
Gerwig comments, “I love films – I love making them, I love going to them, I love talking about them. As a cinephile, Cannes has always been the pinnacle of what the universal language of movies can be. Being in the place of vulnerability, in a dark theatre filled with strangers, watching a brand-new film is my favorite place to be. I am stunned and thrilled and humbled to be serving as the president of the Cannes Film Festival Jury. I cannot wait to see what journeys are in store for all of us!”
“This is an obvious choice, since Greta Gerwig so audaciously embodies the renewal of world cinema, for which Cannes is each year both the forerunner and the sounding board,” says Iris Knobloch, festival president, and Thierry Frémaux, general delegate. “Beyond the 7th Art, she is also the representative of an era that is breaking down barriers and mixing genres, and thereby elevating the values of intelligence and humanism.”