Paris, France: US actor-director Jodie Foster will be guest of honor at the Cannes Film Festival in July where she will be given an honorary Palme d’Or, the organizers said Wednesday.
“Cannes is a festival to which I owe so much, it has completely changed my life,” said Foster in the statement.
The two-time Oscar winner first walked the red carpet on the Cote d’Azur aged just 13 when she appeared in the Palme-winning “Taxi Driver” in 1976.
Seven of her films have played at the festival, including two that she directed: “The Beaver” in 2011 and “Money Monster” in 2016.
“Although I had directed before, my first time on the Croisette was a defining moment for me,” she said.
“Showcasing one of my films here has always been a dream… Cannes is a festival by auteur filmmakers who honor artists.”
Festival president Pierre Lescure said: “Her aura is unparalleled: she embodies modernity, the radiant intelligence of independence and the need for freedom.”
Past winners of the honorary Palme include Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Agnes Varda and Jane Fonda.
This year’s festival has been postponed from its usual slot in May to July 6-17, and its jury is headed by US director Spike Lee.
Foster reluctantly turned down the jury presidency herself in 2001 because she was shooting a thriller with David Fincher, “Panic Room”.
“I am flattered that Cannes thought of me and I am very honored to be able to share a few words of wisdom or tell an adventure or two with a new generation of filmmakers,” she said in the statement.
Foster, a French-speaker and Francophile, has appeared in several films in the birthplace of cinema, including Claude Chabrol’s “Le sang des Autres” in 1984 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 2004 film “Un long Dimanche de fiancailles”.
She is best known internationally for her Oscar-winning turn as Clarice Starling in 1991’s “Silence of the Lambs”.
The festival is due to announce its official selection for the competition on Thursday.
COVER IMAGE COURTESY OF INDIE WIRE, VIA TWITTER