The announcement was made on Jan 7 by the Cannes general delegate Thierry Frémaux.
We are immensely proud that Jane Campion has accepted our invitation. She is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public.
Campion, the only woman to have won a Palme d'Or at Cannes for "The Piano" over 20 years ago in 1993, praised the festival.
Since I first went to Cannes with my short films in 1986, I have had the opportunity to see the festival from many sides and my admiration for this Queen of film festivals has only grown larger. At the Cannes film festival they manage to combine and celebrate the glamour of the industry, the stars, the parties, the beaches, the business, while rigorously maintaining the festival's seriousness about the Art and excellence of new world cinema.
I am truly honored to join with the Cannes Film Festival as President of the in Competition features for 2014. In fact I can't wait."
As if to atone for last year's raucous that there wasn't a single woman in the official Cannes lineup, Frémaux defended the famous film festival by making it known that several women have been jury presidents.
Following on from Michèle Morgan, Jeanne Moreau, Françoise Sagan, Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Huppert in 2009, Campion is the latest distinguished name to grace a prestigious roster of female Presidents. Coming from a country and indeed a continent where film is a rare but powerful phenomenon, she is one of those directors who perfectly embody the idea that you can make films as an artist and yet still appeal to a worldwide public. And we are confident that her exacting approach will be mirrored by her Jury.
Seven hundred women in the film industry protested that no women were selected in the official lineup at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in a letter initiated by the French feminist collective La Barbe. It was sent to Le Monde on May 11 by French actress Fanny Cottençon, writer and director Virginie Despentes, and director Coline Serreau.
In response to this action, Frémaux retorted that there would never be a film selected just because it was made by a woman, claiming it would would lead to a policy of quotas.
Critics claim there already is a policy of quotas in effect at Cannes since only men, excluding Campion, have been selected for their films in the official lineup. The fact that Campion is on the list as the only women prevents this claim from having a binding truth that is already abundantly clear.
Campion is recently renowned for the Emmy Award winning minseries "Top of the Lake" on the Sundance Channel, which is nominated for two 2014 Golden Globes.