Iris Knobloch, elected first woman president of the Cannes Film Festival

Iris Knobloch during the César ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet. (Paris, February 22, 2013.) Rindoff Petroff/Durand/Getty Images

The former CEO of WarnerMedia will succeed Pierre Lescure, right arm of Thierry Frémaux at the Cannes Film Festival since 2014, from July 1.

She is German but has been working in France, in the film industry, for more than twenty-five years. Former president of Warner Bros France then of WarnerMedia France, decorated with the Legion of Honor in 2008, Iris Knobloch accompanied many great films and great authors (Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, The Artist…) during their outings in France, and on the Cannes red carpet. But it is at the top of the steps that she will receive them next year alongside Thierry Frémaux, as the new president of the Cannes Film Festival. The first woman ever elected to this position! “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 safeguard of the cultural life of a world that feels, more than ever, the imperious need”, she declared during her appointment which will cover the 2023, 2024 and 2025 editions.

The new challenges of cinema

There are indeed many projects. Since the pandemic, the cinema has suffered from the absence of spectators, and the platforms, still absent from the Cannes selection for lack of theatrical release, are reaping the rewards. Negotiations will invariably continue with these new cultural actors, in parallel with supporting the sector on the issues of inclusion, parity and ecological transition. Because this is the role of a president in particular: to be the guarantor of the editorial line with the general delegate (even if it is the latter who makes the selection), to manage relations with private and public partners, and to record the contracts. A mission cut out for this woman of power and cinema, a lawyer by training and perfectly aware of the French cultural exception thanks to her career.