Acclaimed antipodean screen director Jane Campion will lead a judging panel at the upcoming prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

New Zealand-born Campion, 59, is no stranger to the French Riviera's cinematic awards system, where her 1993 production The Piano won the coveted Palme d'or.

"Jane is a child of Cannes,'' said Festival chief Gilles Jacob, announcing Campion's role as jury president on Tuesday.

"I know this as it was I who selected her first three short films for the Festival, because I liked her style and consistency.''


In 1986 Campion won the short film Palme d'or for Peel and garnered the interest of critics for Sweetie, the first feature she presented in competition at the Festival.

After An Angel at my Table, she returned to Cannes with The Piano, for which she bagged the top prize and lead Holly Hunter was named Best Actress.

In more recent years Campion has maintained close links with the Festival.

In 2011 she was on hand as a strong supporter for the world premiere of Australian director Julia Leigh's Sleeping Beauty, which was selected for competition.

"I am delighted that the love story between Lady Jane and the Festival continues today as she takes on the role of president,'' Jacob said.

Campion will oversee a group of five as yet unnamed jury members, each with eminent film or literature backgrounds.

The panel will choose three prize winners from a selection of film school entrants, and also the winner of the short film Palme d'or, which is presented during the closing ceremony of the Festival, which is held in May.

Campion's position of president has previously been held by industry front-runners including Martin Scorsese and John Boorman.