Robert De Niro to head Cannes jury

Film festival runs May 11-22

Robert De Niro was tapped Thursday to serve as jury president of the 64th Cannes Film Festival, renewing his longtime relationship with the event.

Thesp has attended Cannes for eight films, two of which won the Palme d’Or — Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” in 1976 and Roland Joffe’s “The Mission” in 1986.

Fest organizers said De Niro’s invitation was a way to pay tribute to the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

De Niro, who also founded the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, said that both had given him “an increased appreciation for the jury, who serve, undertaking an important role in choosing films that are represented in the world of film at its highest level.” He added, “These types of festivals help connect the international film community and have a lasting cultural impact.”

De Niro is the fifth American in the last 10 years to head the fest’s main jury, which judges its main Competition Palme d’Or as well as Grand Prix, Jury Prize and actor and actress plaudits, among other kudos. He follows Tim Burton (2010), Sean Penn (2008), Quentin Tarantino (2004) and David Lynch (2002). He’s the third actor to head a Cannes Competition jury since 2002, after France’s Isabelle Huppert in 2009 and Penn.

The other jurors have yet to be selected by the Cannes fest’s board of directors.

The 64th edition runs May 11-22.

De Niro’s latest film, “Little Fockers,” is in general release.

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