Bollywood actress Vidya Balan and ‘Life of Pi’ director Ang Lee are part of the prestigious 66th Cannes Film Festival’s nine-member jury, headed by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg.
Vidya Balan, one of the most respected and talented performers in India, is best known for her ground-breaking roles in films like ‘The Dirty Picture’, ‘Kahaani’ and ‘Parineeta’.
The other big names joining Spielberg are Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, Oscar-winner Christophe Waltz, Japanese director Naomi Kawase, Scottish director Lynne Ramsay, French actor-director Daniel Auteuil and Romanian director Cristian Mungiu.
The jury will award the coveted Palme d’Or prize to one of the 19 films in competition at this year’s festival, which runs from May 15 to 26.
“Vidya Balan on cannes jury… awesome…,” director Anurag Kashyap commented through twitter.
Director Shekhar Kapur and actress Sharmila Tagore have previously been a part of the respected Cannes jury.
Cannes has invited India this year to celebrate 100 years of country’s cinema.
Apart from Vidya Balan, actress Nandita Das, a recipient of ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’, a very prestigious civil award is also a part of a separate jury for short films.
The festival commences on May 15 with ‘The Great Gatsby’, starring Leonardo Di Caprio which also has megastar Amitabh Bachchan in a cameo. The actor will be attending the opening ceremony while the festival has extended a special invite to his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, a regular at Cannes’ red carpet. This year, four Indian films have been selected in different non-competition categories at Cannes.
‘Bombay Talkies’, an anthology film by four directors –Kashyap, Dibakar Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar — will have a gala screening at the festival.
Anurag Kashyap will also be screening his film ‘Ugly’ in festival’s Directors’ Fortnight sidebar where he earlier showcased his two-part revenge drama ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’.
Dabba’ (Lunchbox) and ‘Monsoon Shootout’, co-produced by Kashyap, have been selected for Cannes Critics Week and Midnight Screening sections respectively.