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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 13:08 GMT
Lynch heads Cannes judges
David Lynch
Lynch has four Oscar nominations to his name
Acclaimed American director David Lynch will head the panel of judges at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival.

Lynch, director of surreal movies such as Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, is known to be reluctant to pass judgement on the work of his contemporaries.

I will do my best to help continue the festival's great tradition of spotlighting and celebrating world cinema

David Lynch
Festival chief Gilles Jacob said Lynch had been chosen as the president of the panel because of "natural elegance and acuteness of vision".

Lynch, whose latest film Mulholland Drive has divided critics, said he was nervous about his appointment.

Joint winner

"I feel excited, and fully conscious of the responsibility I am taking on by accepting the honour of the presidency of the 55th Cannes Film Festival, the world's biggest film festival," Lynch said in a joint statement with Jacob.

Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive has divided critics
His film Wild at Heart, starring Nicholas Cage, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1990 while Mulholland Drive was joint winner of the festival's award for best script last year.

He added: "I will do my best to help continue the festival's great tradition of spotlighting and celebrating world cinema through friendly competition."

Lynch, 55, found fame on the art-house circuit with his 1977 film Eraserhead and won mainstream appeal with his next movie, The Elephant Man, which was nominated for a clutch of Oscars, including best director and best screenplay.

Previous heads of the judging panel in recent years include Liv Ullmann, David Cronenberg, Luc Besson, Martin Scorsese and Isabelle Adjani.

The jury hands out prizes for the Palme d'Or, best performance by an actress and by an actor, the prize for the best director and for the best screenplay.

The jury can also confer, at its own discretion, the Prix du Jury, or Grand Jury prize.

Last year, Nanni Moretti won the prestigious Palme d'Or for his film The Son's Room.

The festival's second-highest honour, The Grand Jury prize, went to The Piano Teacher, Austrian director Michael Haneke's tale of a music instructor seduced by a student.

Festival diary

Films in focus

The lowdown


See also:

04 Jan 02 | Reviews
Lynch's Mulholland Drive mystifies
16 May 01 | Film
Cannes supports Penn's Pledge
17 May 01 | Film
Monsters invade Cannes beaches
15 May 01 | Showbiz
Party People shock Cannes
10 May 01 | Film
Cannes jury seeking emotion
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