Cannes: The world’s leading festival for film and television is getting a new star in the form of director Paul Bettany.
The filmmaker will direct the inaugural Cannes Film Festival, which opens June 18 and runs through Aug. 13.
He is a member of the Academy Award-winning ensemble, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which includes director James Cameron, producer David O. Russell, screenwriter David Shore, and many others.
Bettany has also been credited as executive producer of the festival, but he will not be a producer.
He will oversee the festival’s programming and distribution.
The director has directed five films, including the Oscar-nominated “Doubt” and “Fury.”
His previous film, “The Lost City of Z,” won Best Picture in the 2003 Academy Awards.
Festival officials say he is the first director to work with the Academy, and they say Bettany is “a natural fit for this ambitious, innovative and unique festival.”
The festival, which is also set to feature films by “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu and “Bird Man” director David Fincher, is in its sixth year and will be the biggest film festival in the world.
“Cannés is a cultural institution that has been around for over 70 years and has been a source of inspiration to countless filmmakers, producers and fans worldwide,” festival president Jean-Paul Troin said in a statement.
“Paul Bettany has the ability to harness the power of the film industry to inspire the next generation of filmmakers, and we are delighted that he has joined us.”
“I’m excited to welcome Paul Bettancourt to the Cannes family,” Cannes President Françoise Cécile said in the statement.
“He has been at the forefront of the art of storytelling, which he has delivered with his unique cinematic style.
His vision for the festival is a new beginning for Cannes, where it will be celebrated on a global scale.”
Betts family spokesman said the festival had made it clear Bettany’s decision to join the project was the right one.
“Paul is a great director and we know he will continue to work to create a spectacular festival experience for audiences around the world,” the spokesman said.
“Cannéttes is a big, important, and influential cultural institution, so we are excited to see how he will create an unforgettable experience for all of us.”
“Paul has a long history of working with the film and TV industry, having worked on projects with Cameron, Spielberg, Ridley Scott and more,” he added.
“He is a visionary and is excited to help create a festival experience that brings together cinema, TV and technology.”
Cannèttes will host films that are nominated for the Oscars, the BAFTA and the Grand Prix.
It is also being announced that Bettany will co-direct the new film “Furious 7,” based on the blockbuster Marvel superhero film.