After a mildly disappointing award season this year, it looks like Steven Spielberg will be back on top form – as president of the Cannes Film Festival jury.

It comes as no surprise that the legendary director has been offered the honour this year. If anything, one wonders why hasn’t this happened sooner, with Spielberg having such close ties to the event. According to festival president Gilles Jacob, via the LA Times, the director has actually been asked to preside over the festival numerous times since his first smash success E.T., which first screened at the festival, but the problem was that he was never available – usually being tied down by his filming schedule. "Ever since, I’ve often asked Steven to be jury president, but he’s always been shooting a film," Jacob said in a statement. "So when this year I was told 'E.T., phone home,' I understood and immediately replied: 'At last!'” 

It looks like a match made in heaven for both the director and the festival. Spielberg himself did not hesitate to express his excitement over the news: “The memory of my first Cannes Film Festival, nearly 31 years ago with the debut of 'E.T.', is still one of the most vibrant memories of my career. For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first time. It is an honor and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world.”

Steven Spielberg Writers Guild Awards

Steven Spielberg will head the Cannes Film Festival Jury