Steven Spielberg to head Cannes Film Festival jury this year

Festival runs from May 15 to 26

PARIS - France's Cannes Film Festival says it has finally snagged Steven Spielberg to serve as president of the award jury this year.

Gilles Jacob, the festival's president, recounted how he had been trying to get the award-winning director to head the jury for years -- but the American was always working. Finally, this year, Spielberg got in touch.

"When this year I was told `E.T., phone home,' I understood and immediately replied: `At last!"' Jacob said in a statement posted on the festival's website Thursday.

Spielberg, who was nominated but didn't win the directing Oscar for his biopic "Lincoln" this year, takes the reins from Italian Nanni Moretti. The festival takes place in the glamorous French Mediterranean resort of Cannes from May 15 to 26.

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