Jodie Foster to Judge Cannes Films

Director-actress Jodie Foster has been given the honor of heading the film jury at the 54th Annual Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off in May on the French Riviera.

"I've dreamed since my childhood of having the honor of being president of the Cannes jury," Foster said in a statement released today.

The Oscar-winning actress is no stranger to French culture — she previously lived in Paris and, as the valedictorian of her Los Angeles-based prep school, she delivered her graduation day speech in perfect French. Foster's mother also hails from France, The Associated Press noted.

"[Foster] has received the highest honors," festival president Gilles Jacob claimed in the statement, adding, "It was time for her to come to Cannes."

Foster's latest release, Altar Boys, was not ready in time for its Sundance bow this month. She co-produced the film and starred as a one-legged nun.

Last year, French director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element) led the Cannes competition jury, which also included Foster's Silence of the Lambs director, Jonathan Demme; Jeremy Irons; and Kristin Scott-Thomas.

The Cannes festival runs from May 9-20. The remainder of the jury will be announced in late April.

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