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Friday, 4 May, 2001, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Jurors put films to test
Liv Ullmann
Liv Ullmann presides over the festival's feature film jury
Having a movie selected to run in competition at the Cannes Film Festival is one of the film industry's greatest honours.

Being invited to judge those films and decide on festival winners is a mark of equal respect.

There are two panels of judges at the Cannes Film Festival. One is for full-length features and the other for shorts.

But it is the first that fills its members with the greatest pride, particularly since they choose the winner of Cannes' Holy Grail - the Palme d'Or.

Feature awards
Palme d'Or
Grand Prix
Best actor
Best actress
Best director
Best screenplay
Jury prize ( technician)

There are eight members of the main feature film jury, made up of foreign and French film personalities, including actors, actresses, directors and writers.

They are presided over by their president - a post carrying enormous prestige. In the past, the seat has been filled by movie heavyweights such as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

This year, the throne has gone to the Norwegian actress and director Liv Ullmann.


Ullmann, 62, was asked to replace Jodie Foster as jury president when she pulled out to take over from the injured Nicole Kidman in David Fincher's The Panic Room.

Ullmann said the new role would allow her to do what she enjoys most - "watching movies". She is best known as a screen star, particularly in her work with Swedish director Ingmar Bergmann.
Julia Ormond
British actress Julia Ormond represents the UK

Her films include Persona and Scenes from a Marriage. In recent years, she has ventured into directing, most notably with Faithless, a Bergmann-scripted examination of infidelity.

Ullmann is helped in the task of picking this year's winners by a range of stars, including British actress Julia Ormond.

Born in Epsom, Surrey, the 36-year-old Ormond first came to prominence in the Hollywood movie First Knight, playing Guinevere opposite Sean Connery's King Arthur.

It was followed by her lead in Sabrina - a remake of the Audrey Hepburn classic - directed by former jury president Sydney Pollack.

Her other notable films include Smilla's Sense of Snow. Ormond also has her own production company but prefers to stay in front of the camera.


Among the French jurors is Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of the late French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin.

Her pan-European upbringing makes her an ideal Cannes representative - as does her film career.
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Gainsbourg: Pan-European

Gainsbourg, 29, is a big star in France for films such as Merci La Vie and Amoureuse. But she has also ventured into English language cinema, including Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Further French representation comes from actress Sandrine Kiberlain, director Mathieu Kassovitz and writer Phillipe Labro.

Kiberlain, 33, is one France's hottest young talents, already appearing in 30 films. Originally an actor, Kassovitz, 33, turned his hand to directing in the 90s, and has since made seven films, including Parisien thriller Hatred.

Similarly, Labro has directed but is best known as a writer. His credits include The Inheritor with Jean Paul Belmondo.


The US is strongly represented at this year's festival, with five feature films in competition. Flying the stars and stripes among the judges is eccentric film director Terry Gilliam.

Gilliam is lauded for surreal works such as the satire Brazil. His other films include The Fisher King, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam has made his name as an eccentric

But Gilliam has also proved his talent in the UK in his work with the British comedy crew Monty Python.

Representing the growing film industry in the Far East is Taiwanese director Edward Yang.

Yang, 53, has emerged as one of international cinema's most distinctive film-makers.

A Brighter Summer Day - about teen gangs after the 1949 exodus of mainland Chinese to Taiwan - is one of his best known works.

In all of his films, Yang examines Taiwan's modernising society under a sceptical moral microscope.

Festival diary

Films in focus

The lowdown


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