Since 1976, Foster has starred in about 50 pieces of work, directed 4 feature films
The Cannes Film Festival has announced that legendary US actress Jodie Foster will be the guest of honour at the Opening Ceremony, which will take place at the Palais des festivals on 6 July.
The director, actress, and producer will kick-off the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which will draw to a close on 17 July, with the awards’ list given by the President of the Jury, Spike Lee.
Foster will also receive the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’Or, in recognition of her brilliant artistic journey, as well as her unique personality with a modest yet strong commitment to some of the major issues of our time.
Her receiving the award follows in the footsteps of other actors and actresses, including Jeanne Moreau, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Manoel de Oliveira, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Agnès Varda, and Alain Delon.
“Cannes is a festival to which I owe so much. It has completely changed my life,” states Jodie Foster several weeks before the event,”
She continued, “Although I had already directed before, my first time on the Croisette was a defining moment for me.”
She also said, “Showcasing one of my films here has always been a dream of mine. In fact, I have had several opportunities to fulfil my dream, details Foster, who told Andy Warhol that she had always wanted to become a filmmaker.”
Cannes is a film festival by auteur-filmmakers who honour artists, Foster noted.
In May 1976, aged only 13, she climbed the stairs at the Palais Croisette and presented Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese, and left with a Palme d’Or. Forty-five years later, Foster once again returns to receive a Palme d’Or, this time for herself.
Since 1976, her wide filmography has combined high standards with popularity, and she has split her time between acting in about 50 pieces of work and directing 4 feature films.
Foster has also received two Oscars, for The Accused in 1989 and The Silence of the Lambs in 1992. She has had one-on-ones with industry legends such as Robert de Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Mel Gibson, Kristen Stewart, and Denzel Washington, in the eyes of the camera of David Fincher, Robert Zemeckis, Spike Lee, Alan Parker, and even Claude Chabrol.
Her career also acted as a gateway between the Hollywood industry and auteur films, which she naturally and undoubtedly brings together.
“I am flattered that Cannes thought of me, and I am very honoured to be able to share a few words of wisdom or tell an adventure or two with a new generation of filmmakers,” she added.
A trusted friend of the Festival de Cannes for more than four decades, seven of her films, whether as an actress or a director, have been showcased here. Foster will join the 74th edition as of its opening.
President Pierre Lescure said, “Jodie Foster has provided us with an amazing gift by coming to celebrate the return of the Festival on the Croisette.”
“Her aura is unparalleled: she embodies modernity, the radiant intelligence of independence and the need for freedom,” he added.
“Jodie never ceases to reinvent herself,” adds General Delegate Thierry Frémaux, “She questions with her piercing gaze, learns from others, and is willing to step back from her beliefs in order to forge new morals.”
A globally recognised star with an asteroid that bears her name in homage to her role in Contact, Jodie Foster is also a sharp cinephile, knowledgeable and passionate. This can be seen in her active contribution to the restoration of the extremely personal work of Dorothy Arzner, one of the few directors at the heart of Hollywood studios who has filmed brave women exposed to the struggles surrounding class and gender.
This commitment matches Foster’s own. Regularly and for some time now, the Francophile artist has been expressing her views on parity in the film industry, for example at the 2016 Festival de Cannes during Women in Motion.
Her speeches are also a reference to Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, by Pamela B. Green, in which Jodie Foster is the ambassador and narrator. This documentary dedicated to the first ever and long-forgotten filmmaker in the history of cinema, cannot help but to resonate very strongly with Foster, a femme-cinema par excellence.