The Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund will be the president of the jury of the next Festival de Cannes, announced this Tuesday the organization of the event. Nominated for the Oscar for Best Director in the imminent ceremony of March 13, with his film Triangle of Sadness competing for the Best Film statuette after winning the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2022, this is the first time in 50 years that a Swede has chaired the jury at the festival — her predecessor was Ingrid Bergman.
Ruben Östlund already has two Palme d’Ors under his belt, the first for The Square, and it is now up to him to head a jury that chooses precisely the main laureates of the most important film festival in the world. “I am happy, proud and full of humility for being entrusted with the honor of chairing the competition jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival”, says the Swedish director in a statement, published on the event’s website.
The festival, in turn, has clear objectives in choosing its name. “By inviting Ruben Östlund to chair the jury, the Festival de Cannes wants to honor films that are inflexible and frank and that constantly demand that the viewer challenge himself and that art continues to invent itself”, reads in the same note. Östlund, on the other hand, leaves a timely reminder: “As president, I will remind my colleagues on the jury of the social function of cinema. A good film concerns the collective experience, it stimulates us to think and makes us want to discuss what we have seen. So let’s see them together.”
This is the third filmmaker twice awarded with the Palme d’Or to chair the jury, joining the exclusive group formed by Francis Ford Coppola and Emir Kusturica – but he is the first to assume the position in the year after his distinction with the highest honor at Cannes.
Ruben Östlund fills the sails with the romanticism of the Cannes experience: “Nowhere else in the movie-going world are expectations as high as when the curtain goes up to show films in competition at the festival”, he says, describing Cannes-goers as “connoisseurs”. and emphasizing his sincerity when he says that “film culture is experiencing its most important moment ever”. He goes back to talking about the communal experience of watching cinema, therefore in a movie theater, which he considers “requires more than what is shown on the screen and increases the intensity of the experience. It makes us think in a different way than when we do a scroll of dopamine in front of the individual screens”, shoots against the streaming.
In addition to the two palms, the Swedish director has already had a film selected for the Un Certain Regard section, from which he won the jury prize in 2014. It was force majeure. After studying cinema in Gothenburg and having made his first feature film, The Guitar Mongoloid, in 2004, Östlund would sign yet of the frivilliga in 2008 (Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival), play in 2011 (selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes), The Square in 2017 and finally Triangle of Sadness, both praised and criticized. Born in 1974, he had previously scored in short films or music videos and made his last short film in 2010.
“Ruben Östlund repeatedly explores a provocative dialectic that has become his distinctive signature: an initial situation lays the groundwork for a sociological examination in which the most basic instincts of our humanity are ineffably and unflinchingly examined with corrosive humour,” says the festival.