Campion (who we just interviewed at Sundance) has presented many of her films in competition at the festival— including winning the Palm d’Or for her short film (also her first), Peel, in 1986. Campion went on to win the Palm d’Or for The Piano in 1993. Her films Sweetie and Bright Star have also ran in competition. She’s still the only woman to win the Palm d’Or in the history of Cannes.
Festival president Gilles Jacob feels that Campion is a natural fit to serve as president.
Jane is a child of Cannes. I know this, as it was I who selected her first three short films for the Festival. I am delighted that the love story between Lady Jane and the Festival continues today as she takes on the role of president.
Clearly, Cannes is aware of the gender reprecussions with this first announcement. Let's hope Lady Jane is not the only woman director who will be a part of the festival. The Cannes Film Festival will run from May 16-25. The winner of the short film Palm d’Or will be announced during the closing ceremony on May 26.
Jane Campion Named Cannes Short Film Jury President (The Hollywood Reporter)