Cate Blanchett feels "humbled" to have be named as chair for the 2018 Cannes Film Festival jury.

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett

The Academy Award-winning actress will head the panel - which is made up of actors and filmmakers - tasked with choosing the Palme d'Or recipient for best film, and the other main prizes at the world-famous event.

In a statement, she said: "I have been to Cannes in many guises over the years - as an actress, producer, in the marketplace, the Gala-sphere and in competition but never solely for the sheer pleasure of watching the cornucopia of films this great festival harbours.

"I am humbled by the privilege and responsibility of presiding over this year's jury.

"This festival plays a pivotal role in bringing the world together to celebrate story: that strange and vital endeavour that all peoples share, understand and crave."

Cate's predecessor was filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, who clashed with panelist Will Smith during the 2017 festival over where Netflix stands in the movie industry.

Cannes president Pierre Lescure and delegate general Thierry Fremaux have praised Cate while throwing their support behind her ahead of her exciting role.

In a joint statement, they added: "Our conversations this autumn convince us she will be a committed president, and a passionate and generous spectator."

Cate's appointment makes her the third female jury president in the last decade, following 'Louder Than Bombs' actress Isabelle Huppert in 2009, and director Jane Campion in 2014.

In 1993, Jane became the first - and to date, only - female filmmaker to receive the Palme d'Or, in recognition for her work on 'The Piano'.