PARIS: The Cannes Film Festival announced Thursday that Greta Gerwig, director of summer blockbuster ‘Barbie’, will preside over the jury at its 77th edition in May.

The 40-year-old Gerwig, also an actor and screenwriter, takes the baton from Sweden’s Ruben Ostlund, whose jury awarded the 2023 Palme d’Or to courtroom drama ‘Anatomy of a Fall’.

She is the first American woman filmmaker to take on the role, the festival said in a statement.

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Gerwig’s presence will provide a youthful flair to Cannes, which has not had such a young president since 1966 when it was led by then-31-year-old Sophia Loren.

She is also the first woman since actor Cate Blanchett in 2018 to assume the prestigious position, where men remain over-represented.

Aside from ‘Barbie’, a vivid feminist satire about the all-conquering line of plastic dolls, Gerwig has also directed ‘Lady Bird’ (2017) and ‘Dr March’s Daughters’ (2020).

She is working on an adaptation of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ for Netflix and has also starred in more than two dozen films.

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