Posted by Larry Gleeson
Iris Knobloch, elected next President of the Cannes Film Festival
During its meeting on March 23, 2022, the Board of Directors of the French Association of the International Film Festival, which brings together public authorities and professionals of the 7th art, renewed the presidency of the Festival.
In accordance with the statutes, an election was held by secret ballot. She brought to the presidency of the Festival Mrs. Iris Knobloch.
Iris Knobloch thus becomes the first woman to serve as President of the International Film Festival. She will take office on July 1 and her three-year term will cover the 2023, 2024 and 2025 editions.
Knobloch stated, “France is doing me a great honor by entrusting me with the Presidency of the Cannes Film Festival. Deeply European, having always defended the cinema in my career, in France and abroad, I am happy to be able to devote all my energy to the influence of this planetary event, a major meeting for the safeguarding of the cultural life of a world which feels, more than ever, the imperious need for it. The cinema film seen in theaters remains an essential artistic expression and the Cannes Film Festival, with its unique selection, shows the way each year. I look forward to conducting a collective reflection with the Board of Directors, Thierry Frémaux its General Delegate and all the players in the world of cinema in order to continue the work accomplished and to imagine the future history in the light of new challenges facing us. Finally, I would like to thank Pierre Lescure for the tremendous work accomplished at the service of the Festival for 8 years and, in advance, for the discussions that we will have in order to prepare for the transition over the coming months.”
“When I was re-elected in June 2020, I announced that I wanted to ensure my succession before the end of this 3rd term and that I wanted it to be entrusted to a woman. I am happy with the arrival of Iris Knobloch and I will be pleased to pass on my duties to her, the duties of which she will be able to carry out with vision and talent,” said current chairman, Pierre Lescure.
“With the teams, we are delighted to welcome Iris Knobloch among us. (T)His appointment will help strengthen the Festival’s desire to stay as close as possible to its convictions. The challenges are numerous, we will work together to guarantee the Festival and the cinema it embodies, the place they deserve, and strongly affirm their artistic and political necessity.”
Pierre Lescure will definitively leave his functions on June 30, 2022. The Board of Directors would like to express its gratitude to him for his invaluable contribution, for the way in which he led the work of the directors, consolidating the foundations of the Cannes Film Festival and allowing the manifestation of remaining the absolute artistic reference of world cinema.
Thierry Frémaux, Managing Director, and François Desrousseaux, Secretary General, will now work with Iris Knobloch as they did with Pierre Lescure.
About Iris Knobloch
A trilingual lawyer, trained on the benches of the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich and NYU in New York, Iris Knobloch likes to present herself as “a translator”, in that she has never ceased to accompany the Hollywood studio in his understanding of the particular challenges of the French cultural exception, and to defend the idea that creation and reason need each other.
After 25 years in various management positions within Warner, including more than 15 years as President of Warner Bros France, Iris Knobloch is expanding her role in 2020 by becoming President of WarnerMedia France, Benelux, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, within particular under his responsibility the development and execution of WarnerMedia’s strategy as well as the coordination of all the group’s sales and marketing activities in the region.
After her departure and with recognized expertise in entertainment and leisure and a solid international network, she co-founded I2PO in July 2021 the first European SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) dedicated to this sector.
During all her years at the head of Warner France, she brought and accompanied some of the greatest international authors to Cannes: Clint Eastwood for the 25th anniversary of the release of Impitoyable , Christopher Nolan who supervised the restoration of 2001, the Odyssey of Stanley Kubrick’s space , Steven Soderbergh for Che which earned Benicio Del Toro the interpretation prize, Woody Allen for Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona and You will meet a beautiful and dark stranger , Dámian Szifrón for The New Savages , produced by the Argentines of K&S and by Pedro Almodóvar, Baz Luhrmann for Gatsby the Magnificent , George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road , etc.
Among them, a film symbolizes this requirement: The Artist , a French film by Michel Hazanavicius produced by Thomas Langmann, black and white and silent, which he had to explain and defend, like so many other films of French cinema, before he did not meet with the success that we know, notably with the interpretation prize awarded to Jean Dujardin. This is also one of the finest encounters between Iris Knobloch’s professional commitment and the Cannes Film Festival in the role it plays in helping great cinema emerge.
In 2008 she was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
(From Cannes Newsletter Release)