BUCHAREST, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Romania's film director Cristian Mungiu was chosen to be part of the jury of the 66th editions of the Cannes Film Festival, the official Agerpres news agency reported according to a Wednesday announcement of the organizers.
The jury, headed by U.S. filmmaker Steven Spielberg, includes big names of the world cinema, such as Australian actress Nicole Kidman, Austrian actor Christoph Waltz and Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee, as well as French actor and director Daniel Auteuil, Indian actress Vidya Balan and female directors Lynne Ramsay, from Britain and Naomi Kawase, from Japan.
The new edition of the Cannes Film Festival, organized between May 15 and 26, will open with the screening of "The Great Gatsby" movie, directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann and with a distribution which includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
Mungiu, 45, is a filmmaker close to Cannes Festival. His film "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 days" won the Palme d'Or in 2007. He returned last year on the Croisette, where his latest film, "Beyond the hills", earned the Best Screenplay Award, and two actresses in the leading roles, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, the Best Actress trophy.
Mungiu worked in earlier years as a teacher and as a journalist, after studying English literature at the University of Iasi in northeastern Romania. He enrolled at the University of Film in Bucharest to study film directing and began his film career after graduating in 1998. He is the first Romanian filmmaker awarded with the coveted Palme d'Or for feature film.
The film "Beyond the hills" was also selected as the Romanian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, making the January shortlist.
Romanian film industry almost collapsed at the end of the last century, yet the new millennium saw a reemergence of Romanian cinema, with the appearance of such films as "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" (Cannes 2005 un certain regard winner), and "12:08 East of Bucharest" (Cannes 2006 the Camera d'Or best-first-feature award). In February this year, the Romanian film "Child's Pose" picked up the coveted Golden Bear prize for best film at the 63rd Berlin film festival.