LOS ANGELES — Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux has announced the jury for the 2012 film festival, which will include fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, actress Diane Kruger, actor Ewan McGregor and "The Descendants" director Alexander Payne, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The panel — which also features Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbass, British writer-director Andrea Arnold, French actress Emmanuelle Devos, and Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck — will join the jury president, Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti. The panel is responsible for selecting the Palme D'Or, Cannes' highest honor, as well as seven other festival awards, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The 2012 Cannes Film Festival opens May 16 and runs through May 27, according to the Los Angeles Times. The jury will watch the roughly two dozen competition films and debate them in closed meetings. The winners will be announced at the festival's closing day, according to the Times.
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Wes Anderson's coming-of-age comedy "Moonrise Kingdom" will open the festival, CBC News reported. Other notable films nominated for this year's Palme d'Or include Ken Loach's "The Angels' Share," Walter Salles' "On The Road," and "Cosmopolis," the latest from Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg, according to CBC News.
“This selection represents a sort of reincarnation of American cinema that reoccupies this space created over the past years between tiny independent films and Hollywood blockbusters," Fremaux said of the crop of competition films.
Jean Paul Gaultier is the first fashion designer to earn a spot on the panel, which Fremaux explained by citing his experience designing costumes for Pedro Almodovar's films, Agence France Presse reported.
"We have a tradition of inviting people who we know are cinephiles but who are not necessarily in cinema," Fremaux said of the 60-year-old designer, AFP reported.
The jury selection is often as much of a topic of speculation as the films they judge, the Los Angeles Times points out.
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"The Cannes competition jury represents not only an honor for those selected but often becomes the subject of much scrutiny and tea-leaf reading, as observers look for possible connections between jurors and competing films," wrote the Times' Steven Zeitchik.
British director Andrea Arnold has received two Palme d'Or nominations, one for 2006's "Red Road" and the other for 2009's "Fish Tank," BBC News reported. She won the Jury Prize both years, as well as an Oscar.
Arnold's fellow Oscar winner and the sole American on the Jury Alexander Payne was also nominated for a Palme d'Or in 2002, for his drama "About Schmidt," BBC News reported.
Last year's Palme d'Or was won by Terrence Malick for his film "The Tree of Life."