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December 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Gilles Jacob

The board of administrators of the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday voted to extend the term of its longtime chief, Gilles Jacob, 81, until 2014. He had been due to step down after next year’s 65th festival, which runs from May 16-27. Jacob told the French news agency Agence France-Presse that he “couldn’t resist the temptation” to stay on. However, the board also transferred some of his executive duties to the festival’s director, Thierry Fremaux, giving him “total freedom to act,” Fremaux told AFP. Indeed, Daily Variety said today (Wednesday) that Fremaux will now oversee “the whole Cannes festival organization, including key issues such as sponsorship and new projects” — all while viewing as many as seven films a day as part of the selection process, which begins next month. Jacobs made it clear that he will be attending the selection screenings with Fremaux. “We will continue to combine my experience with his youth [Fremaux is 50] and dynamism,” Jacobs told AFP. “What people see is the pair of us standing on the festival steps in tuxedos, welcoming the stars — but the truth is we are the workers shoveling coal below deck while everyone parties up above.”