Jane Campion will head Cannes 2014 jury

Jane Campion,  the New Zealand born writer, director and producer who has given us "The Piano," "Bright Star" and the Sundance Channel miniseries "Top of the Lake" is the head of Cannes' 2014 jury.

Steven Spielberg served as last year's head judge, awarding the 2013's top prize to the French film "Blue Is the Warmest Color."

“It is this worldwide inclusiveness and passion for film at the heart of the festival which makes the importance of the Cannes Film Festival indisputable," Campion said in a statement. “It is a mythical and exciting festival where amazing things can happen, actors are discovered, films are financed careers are made, I know this because that is what happened to me!"

Campion went to Cannes in 1993 with "The Piano," a film that saw Anna Paquin win the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. Holly Hunter also won for Best Actress.  The film won the coveted Palme d'Or for feature-length film. Campion is the only female director to win the honor.

As Cannes director Thierry Frémaux notes in the announcement, Campion also joins a small group of women who've served as head of the Cannes Film Festival's jury.

“Following on from Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Huppert in 2009, (Campion) is the latest distinguished name to grace a prestigious roster of female Presidents," Frémaux said. "Coming from a country and indeed a continent where film is a rare but powerful phenomenon, she is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. And we are confident that her exacting approach will be mirrored by her Jury.”

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 14 to May 25.

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