PARIS • Actress-director Jodie Foster will be the guest of honour at the Cannes Film Festival next month, where she will be given an honorary Palme d'Or, the organisers said on Wednesday.
"Cannes is a festival to which I owe so much, it has completely changed my life," said Foster in the statement.
The two-time Oscar winner first walked the red carpet on the Cote d'Azur at the age of 13, when she appeared in the Palme d'Or-winning Taxi Driver in 1976.
Seven of her films have played at the festival, including two that she directed - The Beaver in 2011 and Money Monster in 2016.
"Although I had directed before, my first time on the Croisette was a defining moment for me," she said.
"Showcasing one of my films here has always been a dream... Cannes is a festival by auteur film-makers who honour artists."
Festival president Pierre Lescure said: "Her aura is unparalleled: she embodies modernity, the radiant intelligence of independence and the need for freedom."
Past winners of the honorary Palme d'Or include film-makers Bernardo Bertolucci and Agnes Varda and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jane Fonda.
This year's festival has been postponed from its usual slot in May to July 6 to 17. Its jury will be headed by American director Spike Lee.
Foster reluctantly turned down the jury presidency herself in 2001 because she was shooting a thriller with David Fincher, Panic Room.
"I am flattered Cannes thought of me and I am very honoured to be able to share a few words of wisdom or tell an adventure or two with a new generation of film-makers," she said in the statement.
Foster, a French speaker and Francophile, has appeared in several films in the birthplace of cinema, including Claude Chabrol's Le Sang Des Autres in 1984 and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2004 film Un Long Dimanche De Fiancailles.
She is best known internationally for her Oscar-winning turn as Clarice Starling in 1991's The Silence Of The Lambs.