‘Wild Tales’ director Damian Szifrón joins Cannes film festival jury

The Argentine filmmaker will sit on the jury presided by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund.

Argentine filmmaker Damian Szifron, creator of the hit TV show The Pretenders (Los simuladores) and the 2014 Oscar-nominated film Wild Tales, will join the official competition jury of the 76th edition of the Cannes film festival. 

According to the festival’s Thursday press release, the jury presided by two-time Palm d’Or Swedish director Ruben Östlund (The Square, Triangle of Sadness) will also feature Moroccan director Maryam Touzani, French actor Denis Ménochet, British-Zambian screenwriter and director Rungano Nyoni, American actress and director Brie Larson, American actor Paul Dano, Afghan author Atiq Rahimi, and French director Julia Ducournau who won the top prize in 2021 with Titane.

“The Festival de Cannes wishes to welcome a new generation of artists who direct, act, sing and write,” stated the release.

One of Argentina’s most successful mainstream directors, Szifrón has just released his first US film To Catch a Killer, a thriller starring Shailene Woodley, and is currently also working on the eagerly-awaited film version of his 2002 hit TV show Los simuladores, about a team of con artists for hire who use their skills to solve common people’s life problems. The show, one of the most popular series in Argentine TV history, sprouted local remakes in Chile, Spain, Mexico and Russia. The Pretenders, the film version produced by Paramount, is currently in the scriptwriting process and is scheduled for a 2024 release. 

Szifrón’s groundbreaking film debut, the 2004 dark comedy The Bottom of the Sea, premiered at the Mar del Plata film festival, where it won the Silver Ombú for best Ibero-American film. It was followed by Argentina’s first buddy movie, the box office hit Tiempo de Valientes (On Probation), a comedy produced by K&S Films (Argentina, 1985) and 20th Century Fox starring Diego Peretti as a psychologist assigned to treat a police detective. 

His 2014 Cannes entry Wild Tales was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, after which he made the jump to Hollywood, where he was set to write and direct the film version of 1970s show The Six Million Dollar Man, a project he quit in 2018.  

The Cannes jury will have the task of awarding the Palme d’Or to one of the 21 films announced in the Official Competition. 

The awards will be revealed on May 27 at the closing ceremony, which will be broadcast live by France Télévisions in France and by Brut internationally. 


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