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Cate Blanchett to Lead Cannes Film Festival Judges

05 January, 2018

Actor Cate Blanchett will head the awards jury at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival in May.

The Australian movie star is a major voice in the campaign against sexual harassment.

In a statement, Festival officials Pierre Lescure and Thierry Fremaux praised Blanchett. They called her "a rare and unique artist whose talent and convictions enrich both screen and stage."

Blanchett is a two-time Academy Award winner. She also was an early supporter of the women who accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual wrongdoing.

FILE - Actress Cate Blanchett poses during a photocall at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, April 11, 2017.
FILE - Actress Cate Blanchett poses during a photocall at the Louvre Museum, in Paris, April 11, 2017.

Weinstein resigned as head of the powerful Weinstein Company in October. He left a few weeks after the first reports of widespread accusations against him were published.

Blanchett recently joined the Time's Up campaign with movie stars Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone and others. The campaign aims to act against sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace.

Blanchett said she had been to Cannes for many reasons over the years: as an actress, producer and in competition. But the actor said she has never attended only for the pleasure of watching the many films the festival offers.

"I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year's jury. This festival plays a pivotal role in bringing the world together to celebrate story," Blanchett said.

Blanchett won the 2014 best actress Oscar for her part in the movie "Blue Jasmine." Ten years earlier, she had won the Academy Award for best supporting actress in "The Aviator."

In 2012, the French government honored Blanchett with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Blanchett follows Spanish director Pedro Almodovar. He headed the 70th festival in the coastal town of Cannes last year. This year's event will take place from May 8 to 19.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Caty Weaver adapted this story for Learning English based on Associated Press news reports. Mario Ritter was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

unique adj. used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else

conviction n. a strong belief or opinion

harassment n. the act of annoying or bothering (someone) In a repeated way

humbled adj. not thinking of yourself as better than other people

privilege n. a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud

pivotal adj. very important