Cannes darlings the Coen brothers to head festival jury

Frazer Harrison, AFP / Ethan (left) and Joel Coen attend the AFI FEST screening of "Inside Llewyn Davis" at TCL Chinese Theatre on November 14, 2013 in Hollywood, California
3 min

The Coen brothers, who won the 1991 Palme d’Or for “Barton Fink”, will jointly head this year's Cannes Film Festival jury, the organisers have announced.


The award-winning American directors of "No Country for Old Men", "Fargo" and "The Big Lebowski" will be the first duo to head the jury of cinema’s showcase event.

Joel and Ethan Coen will preside over the panel of filmmakers and actors who will judge the 20-or-so films in the main competition event of the festival, which will run May 13-24, according to a statement.

"We are very happy to be coming back to Cannes," the brothers were quoted as saying in the organisers' statement, which was in French.

"Presiding over the Jury is a special honour, since we have never been president of anything. We will issue further proclamations at the appropriate time,” the two directors added with characteristic humour.

The siblings are habitués of the Cannes festival, having presented seven of their 16 features on the French Riviera.

In addition to the top prize for "Barton Fink", they picked up the festival’s runner-up Grand Jury Prize for "Inside Llewyn Davis" in 2013, and its Best Director award for "Fargo" (1996) and "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001).

Homage to Lumière brothers

Known for their wry humour and outstanding cinematography, the Coen brothers have won a slew of awards in other competitions – including four Oscars for their 2007 film "No Country for Old Men".

"The Coens incarnate a certain 'auteur' filmmaking that is universal and with wide appeal, full of humour and totally original in their way of looking at the world," the director of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Fremaux, told AFP news agency.

Joel, 60, and Ethan, 57, take over running the Cannes jury from last year's president Jane Campion, the New Zealand director of "The Piano".

The other members of the jury have not been announced yet, but Cannes's organisers like to bring in filmmakers and actors of note from different regions around the world.

The Cannes Film Festival's official selection of movies competing for the Palme d'Or, which will be announced mid-April, is also usually an eclectic list ranging across themes and borders.

This year’s festival will celebrate 120 years since the invention of the Lumière cinematograph. In choosing the Coen brothers, the festival organizers said they intended to celebrate the work of brothers dating back to the French duo Auguste and Louis Lumière.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning