It”s been a good year for David Lynch. The “Twin Peaks” director/scribe debuted his most lauded, interesting work in years with the neo-noir nightmarescape “Mulholland Drive.” The film will be re-released in order to generate more Oscar-buzz later this year. On top of this, he has just been named President of the Jury at the 55th annual film festival in Cannes.

“Drive” has recently been named Best Film of 2001 by the New York Film Critics Circle, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named Lynch Best Director. Lynch, famous for such varied films as “Blue Velvet,” “Dune” and “The Straight Story” will bring his less-than-mainstream views to the international festival.

“I will do my best,” Lynch told the official festival website, “to help continue the festivals great tradition of spotlighting and celebrating world cinema through friendly competition.”

The “friendly competition,” though, becomes fierce when it comes the the festival”s highest honor, the Palme de” Or. Past winners, such as “Barton Fink,” “Pulp Fiction” and “Dancer in the Dark” went on to broad critical and financial success.

Many independent domestic and foriegn movies are showcased and picked up for American distribution during Cannes. Big-budget films also debut, hoping to generate box office gold through good word-of-mouth. Major film companies vie for the most popular/interesting films, and even the most obscure director can find himself signing a multi-million dollar contract.

This eccentric choice comes on the heals of major esthetic changes for the festival”s title and logo. The former Cannes” International Festival of Film is now officially Festival de Cannes. The festival is also controlling how and when their official logo will be used, making sure size, shape and coloring is consistent on any film advertising its Cannes awards.

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