Steven Spielberg named 2013 Cannes Film Festival jury president

He certainly was snubbed at the Oscars for missing the Best Director award, but perhaps this will serve as some sort of constellation prize: Jewish director Steven Spielberg has been tapped to lead the jury for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival this May in France.

Spielberg called his selection an “honor and a privilege,” according to a statement released.

“My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none,” he said. “For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first.

This is Spielberg’s first time heading the festival’s jury, but he’s quite familiar with the event: his film, “Sugarland Express” screened there in 1974 and won the spot for best screenplay. In 1982, “E.T.” was named the festival’s closing-night selection, and four years later his 11-Oscar nominated film “The Color Purple” showed in 1986.

Tim Burton, Sean Penn, and Robert De Niro have been the festival’s previous jury presidents.

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