Jodie Foster to be guest of honor at upcoming Cannes Film Festival
Published: Jun 03, 2021 05:48 PM
US actor-director Jodie Foster will be guest of honor at the Cannes Film Festival in July where she will be given an honorary Palme d'Or, the organizers said Wednesday. 

"Cannes is a festival to which I owe so much, it has completely changed my life," said Foster in the statement. 

The two-time Oscar winner first walked the red carpet on the Cote d'Azur aged just 13 when she appeared in the Palme-winning Taxi Driver in 1976. 

Seven of her films have played at the festival, including two that she directed: The Beaver in 2011 and Money Monster in 2016. 

"Although I had directed before, my first time on the Croisette was a defining moment for me," she said.

"Showcasing one of my films here has always been a dream... Cannes is a festival by auteur filmmakers who honor artists." 

Festival president Pierre Lescure said: "Her aura is unparalleled: She embodies modernity, the radiant intelligence of independence and the need for freedom."

Past winners of the honorary Palme include Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Agnes Varda and Jane Fonda. 

The 2021 festival has been postponed from its usual slot in May to July 6-17, and its jury is headed by US director Spike Lee. 

Foster reluctantly turned down the jury presidency herself in 2001 because she was shooting a thriller with David Fincher, Panic Room

"I am flattered that Cannes thought of me and I am very honored to be able to share a few words of wisdom or tell an adventure or two with a new generation of filmmakers," she said in the statement. 

Foster, a French-speaker and Francophile, has appeared in several films in the birthplace of cinema, including Claude Chabrol's Le sang des autres in 1984 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2004 film Un long dimanche de fiancailles

She is best known internationally for her Oscar-winning turn as Clarice Starling in 1991's Silence of the Lambs

The festival is due to announce its official selection of films for the competition on Thursday.