06/08/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Jodie Foster is about to become the George W. Bush of film world's annual rite of spring. The double Oscar winner ("The Accused," "The Silence of the Lambs") was named in Paris on Tuesday as the head of the jury for the 54th annual Cannes Film Festival, which will take place in the South of France from May 9-20. Foster, 38, who speaks French fluently, has a French mother and graduated as the best of her class from the College LycÈe FranÁais (in 1980, before she went on to study at Yale). She "has received the highest honors. It was time for her to come to Cannes," festival president Gilles Jacob said in a statement, which went on to quote Jodie as saying, "I've dreamed since my childhood of having the honor of being president of the Cannes jury." The remainder of the jury is not expected to be announced until late April. The chairman of last year's jury was French director Luc Besson ("La Femme Nikita"). Jury members in 2000 included "The English Patient" actress Kristin Scott Thomas and Oscar-winning "The Silence of the Lambs" director Jonathan Demme.