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Cate Blanchett to lead 2018 Cannes film festival jury

Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett has been announced as the president of the 2018 Cannes International Film Festival.

Following in the footsteps of director Pedro Almodovar, who lead the jury in 2017, Blanchett is being hailed as a political choice for the 71st festival – the first to be held since the sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced.

The 48-year-old Oscar winner is one of the Hollywood figures to launch the Times Up campaign to tackle harassment in the workplace.

“I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years; as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in competition,” she said in response.

“But never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbours.”

Cannes general delegate Thierry Fremaux said he was “delighted to welcome such a rare and unique artist whose talent and convictions enrich both screen and stage”.

“Our conversations from this autumn tell us she will be a committed president, a passionate woman and a big-hearted spectator.”

Blanchett has been a vocal campaigner for diversity and equal pay in the industry, as well as a fierce critic of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein following allegations of sexual harassment made against the disgraced

“Any man in a position of power or authority who thinks it’s his prerogative to threaten, intimidate or sexually assault any woman he encounters or works alongside needs to be called to account,” she said.

“It is never easy for a woman to come forward in such situations and I wholeheartedly support those who have.”

More from cannes film festival

The Cannes Film Festival is the most prestigious in Europe, and its 71st edition will take place from 8 to 19 May.

Other members of the jury and film contenders will be revealed in the coming months.

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