Los Angeles, Feb 28: Filmmaker Steven Spielberg will head the jury of 66th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival.
The director will oversee the panel at the French event, which will start May 15 and conclude May 26, reports guardian.co.uk.
Spielberg, whose "Sugarland Express" and "ET" premiered at the festival more than 30 years ago, writes: "My admiration for the steadfast mission of the festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none.
"The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium."
"...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 honour and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world."
Spielberg, who takes the reins from Italian writer-director-producer Nanni Moretti, most recently directed "Lincoln", which festival organisers noted is a box office hit in France.
Festival president Gilles Jacob said he has spent years trying to get Spielberg onboard, but the filmmaker has been too busy to accept the offer.
He said: "Steven Spielberg is a Cannes 'regular' - 'Sugarland Express', 'Color Purple'. But it was with 'ET' that I screened as a world premiere in 1982 that ties were made of the type you never forget.
"Ever since, I've often asked Steven to be jury president, but he's always been shooting a film. So when this year I was told 'ET, phone home', I understood and immediately replied: 'At last!'"