Steven Spielberg at the 50th New York Film Festival. Photo: Godlis

Oscar-winning and recently nominated director/producer Steven Spielberg will serve as Jury President of the 66th Festival de Cannes. He'll take over the reins from Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti who served in the position last year. The announcement was initially made via the festival's Twitter account.

In his 40-year career, Spielberg has made 27 films, many of which are important moments in the history of cinema: from early works like Jaws (1974) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1975) to Saving Private Ryan (1998), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), and the recent The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011), his first film in 3D. He received his seventh Oscar nomination for last year's Lincoln, which earned Daniel Day-Lewis the Best Male Lead Actor win last Sunday. Schindler’s List (1993), gave Spielberg the Best Director Oscar.

“The memory of my first Cannes Film Festival, nearly 31 years ago with the debut of E.T. is still one of the most vibrant memories of my career,” said Spielberg in a statement. “For over six decades, Cannes has served as a platform for extraordinary films to be discovered and introduced to the world for the first time. It is an honor and a privilege to preside over the jury of a festival that proves, again and again, that cinema is the language of the world.”

“Steven Spielberg accepted in principle two years ago,” noted Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival. “He was able to make himself available this year to be the new Jury President and when meeting him these last few weeks it has been obvious he’s excited about the job. Because of his films, and the many causes he holds dear, he’s year-in year-out the equal of the very greatest Hollywood filmmakers. We are very proud to count him among us.”