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Juliette Binoche Named New European Film Academy President

Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche is the new president of the European Film Academy.

The EFA board on Thursday said they voted unanimously to name The English Patient and The Taste of Things star to succeed Polish director Agnieszka Holland (The Green Border) as president.

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Binoche’s appointment will be put to a vote by EFA members and, assuming she receives majority support, she will take over as president on May 1, 2024.

The French star will be only the second female head of the EFA, after Holland, who took over the role in 2021, succeeding German director Wim Wenders.

“I am not a person to easily step aside, but I have come to the conclusion that I am a filmmaker first and foremost. And this is what I want to focus on in the years to come,” said Holland. “For me, it is time to step aside now. Knowing that Juliette Binoche is willing to pick up the baton strengthens my feeling that this is a decision taken at the right moment. I could not have wished for a better successor, one who represents European cinema so strongly and convincingly throughout her impressive career.”

Holland recalled co-writing 1993’s Three Colors: Blue [with director Krzysztof Piesiewicz and director Krzysztof Kieślowski], the film that established Binoche as an international star.

“The way Juliette played her shaped the film and gave it its soul,” said Holland. “This is what a truly great actress manages to do: To give a soul to stories we as filmmakers tell. The film has also helped shape her career as an actress, and actress who continued to give a soul to many more projects she has starred in. I can warmly recommend Juliette Binoche as the new president and endorse her to all academy members, in the hope she will be warmly welcomed by everybody.”

Binoche is the only woman to have won best actress honors at all three top European film festivals —taking the Palme d’Or in Cannes for Certified Copy (2010), the Volpi Cup in Venice for Three Colors: Blue (1993) and Berlin’s Silver Bear for The English Patient in 1996, for the role that also won her the 1997 Oscar for best supporting actress. In her decades-long career, she has managed to balance major U.S. and international success —starring alongside Daniel Day-Lewis in 1988’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, together with Steve Carell in Dan in Real Life (2007) or alongside a radioactive lizard in Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla (2014) —with work on acclaimed European arthouse titles, such as Olivier Assayas’s 2014 Clouds of Sils Maria (alongside Kristen Stewart) or in Anh Hung Tran’s The Taste of Things, which premiered in Cannes last year.

Binoche can currently be seen as Coco Chanel opposite Ben Mendelsohn as Christian Dior in AppleTV+’s fashion history series The New Look. Upcoming projects include in Uberto Pasolini’s The Return, which will mark a reunion with her English Patient co-star Ralph Fiennes, and the Lance Hammer-directed Queen at Sea.

European Film Academy president is an honorary role with, according to the EFA, “strongly symbolic power [that] embodies what the Academy wishes to stand for.”

In addition to representing the interests of the European film industry, the EFA’s 4,600 members also vote for the annual European Film Awards, Europe’s equivalent to the Oscars.

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