Spielberg to head Cannes jury

Steven Spielberg (Photo: Roman Dubois)

Steven Spielberg (Photo: Roman Dubois)

He lost out to Ang Lee at the Oscars, but director Steven Spielberg is set to be the one awarding the prizes later this year at another of the film industry's most high profile events.

The Lincoln director has been named as the head of the jury for the Cannes Film Festival, following in the footsteps of such well known figures as Roman Polanski and Francis Ford Coppola.

The festival, which opens on May 15 in the French resort town, is now in its 66th year.

Mr Spielberg described the appointment as an "honour and a privilege.

"For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first time," he said. "The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium."

Cannes officials have been attempting to put the director on the panel for years. Thierry Frémaux, chief executive of the festival, said: "Because of his films, and the many causes he holds dear, he's year-in year-out the equal of the very greatest Hollywood filmmakers."

Last updated: 4:22pm, February 28 2013