It was a record-breaking year for Greta Gerwig, who achieved multiple firsts for a female director with massive global success. Barbiesurpassed by becoming the first woman to surpass the one billion mark at the global box office in July.

Gerwig is set to break new ground again next May when she becomes the first American woman director to take on the role of jury president at the 77th Cannes Film Festival.

The festival announced the news on Thursday morning, describing Gerwig as “a heroine of our modern times” who shook up the “status quo”.

“I am surprised, thrilled and honored to serve as President of the Cannes Film Festival Jury. I can’t wait to see what trips are in store for all of us,” said Gerwig.

“I love movies – I love making them, I love going to see them, I love talking about them. As a film buff, Cannes has always been the pinnacle of what can be the universal language of cinema… Being in a place of vulnerability, in a dark theater full of strangers, watching a new film is my favorite place to be.”

In addition to being the first American director to be named president of the Cannes jury, Gerwig, at age 40, is also the youngest person to take on the task since Sofia Loren headed the jury in 1966, at age 31.

Gerwig is the second female director to serve as jury president, after Jane Campion in 2014, and the second American woman after actress Olivia de Havilland, who was the first female jury president in 1965.

“This is an obvious choice, as Greta Gerwig so boldly embodies the renewal of world cinema, for which Cannes is every year the precursor and the sounding board”, said the president of the Cannes Festival, Iris Knobloch, and general delegate Thierry Frémaux.

“In addition to the 7th Art, it is also the representative of an era that breaks barriers and mixes genres, thus elevating the values ​​of intelligence and humanism.”

The festival paid tribute to Gerwig's transition from doyen of the independent film world to global household name.

“Yesterday, ambassador of American independent cinema, today at the top of the global box office success,” the statement said.

“Greta Gerwig manages to combine what were once considered incompatible: delivering blockbusters, narrowing the gap between art and industry, exploring contemporary feminist issues with skill and depth, and declaring her demanding artistic ambition within an economic model that she embraces for the better. to enjoy.”

Tracing her career, Cannes highlighted Gerwig's early films with Joe Swanberg, co-writing and starring Hannah goes up the stairs (2007) and Evenings and weekends (2008), which she also co-directed, as well as her early collaborations with Noah Baumbach on Frances Ha (2012) and Lady America (2015).

The festival profiled Gerwig's solo directorial debut, the Oscar-nominated drama Bird Ladyas “a striking, tender and melancholy portrait of the torments of adolescence”, and paid homage to his second film, the Louisa May Alcott adaptation. Little Womenfor its new look at female protagonists.

About Barbie, he enthused: “The tornado that is Barbie opens the same furrow in an even more spectacular way, when facing that ambivalent idol of girls, symbol of the woman-object, but also of the emancipated woman. In this fierce satire on the human condition, Greta Gerwig tackles sexism and everyday stereotypes with lighthearted intentions. An international cultural phenomenon, Barbie is the second biggest hit of the year and made Greta Gerwig the most profitable film director in history.”

The 77th Cannes Film Festival will take place from May 14 to 25, 2024.