The German-born, Paris-based Knobloch is best-known in the industry for her long and successful career at WarnerMedia, where she eventually became head of the studio’s operations across France, Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland, overseeing strategy, commercial and group marketing activities for the regions.

Previous Cannes

At Warner Bros., Knobloch played a key role in lobbying to secure a Cannes competition slot for Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist in 2011, a launchpad the film used en route to a historic awards run, capped by five Oscar wins, including for best picture, in 2012.

Knobloch stepped down in June last year amid Warner’s global restructuring efforts and launched a $300m European special-purpose acquisition company with Artemis, the investment firm backed by French businessman François-Henri Pinault, the boss of luxury giant Kering. Kering, conveniently, is also one of the Cannes festival’s official sponsors.

Ahead of her appointment, some in the French film industry pointed to a possible conflict of interest with Knobloch having such a position of influence in Cannes while continuing to run an entertainment company. She had said her new company will not invest in any film-related assets that could have a connection to Cannes. The fact that Knobloch is not a French national has also generated some attention in Paris.

But for Cannes, having a former studio executive at the helm could help the festival make up ground lost to Venice by luring more big Hollywood titles to the Croisette.

According to