Accepting the invitation, the Italian actor and director said: “This is a real joy, an honour and a tremendous responsibility to preside over the jury of the most prestigious festival of cinematography in the world, a festival that is held in a country where film has always been treated with interest and respect.
As a director, I was always very moved when my films were presented at the Festival de Cannes. I also have very happy memories of my experience as a jury member during the fiftieth anniversary season, and of the attentiveness and passion that went into the jury’s viewing and discussion of all the films.
As a spectator, fortunately I still have the same curiosity that I had in my youth and so it is a great privilege for me to embark on this voyage into the world of contemporary international film.”
Nanni Moretti was born in 1953 in Brunico, Italy. After several short films, he signed his first feature, Io Sono un Autarchico (I am Self Sufficient) in 1976, and in 1978, he was selected in Competition in Cannes, with Ecce Bombo.
International film critics were quick to pick up on this young director whose corrosive wit was directed toward a subtle and political analysis of contemporary society. His films were frequent prize winners in festivals around the world: in 1981, the Special Jury Prize in Venice was awarded to Sogni d’Oro (Sweet Dreams) and La Messa è finita (The Mass is Ended) won the Silver Bear in Berlin in 1986.
A director in constant evolution, an auteur with a personal touch, and an accomplished artist, Nanni Moretti has continued to surprise, with Caro Diario (Dear Diary) presented in Competition at the Festival de Cannes in 1994 (where it won the Prize for Best Director) and with La Stanza del figlio (The Son’s Room), which won the Palme d’Or in 2001 and was a box office hit. Then came Il Caimano (The Caiman) (2006), a film that harshly criticizes the aberrations of Italian political life in the era of Silvio Berlusconi.
An iconic actor in most of his own films, Moretti has also played in the Taviani brothers’ Padre Padrone (Father and Master) (1977), and worked with Luchetti, Mazzacurati and Calopresti. A producer and distributor as well as a director, he founded the Sacher Film production company in 1986. In 1991, he opened the Nuovo Sacher cinema in Rome, a cinema dedicated to the release of films from around the world. Since 1996, he has directed the “Sacher Festival” devoted to short films.
He has presented six films at the Festival de Cannes, including last year’s highly praised Habemus Papam (We Have a Pope).
Gilles Jacob received the new president’s acceptance with the words: “When we decided to put Ecce Bombo–a super 8 film!–into Competition when I first arrived in 1978, it was because I had a premonition that Nanni Moretti would soon become NANNI MORETTI. This is what happened and I am so gratified to have had this long and affectionate collaboration.”
Thierry Frémaux, for his part, said: “The Festival wanted to celebrate its 65th season with a European jury President. High-spirited and marked by his modernity and intelligence, Nanni Moretti’s films are the incarnation of all the best in cinema over the past thirty years. His work is always evolving and continues to carry the promise of film that engages with the world and with our times.”