Italian paper falls for Cannes prank

La Repubblica prints faux jury story

ROME — Cannes jury selection has provided April Fool’s fodder in Italy, where La Repubblica on Tuesday reported that critic Gian Luigi Rondi was on board for jury duty, but only after getting a call from Sean Penn.

Italy’s leading daily got duped by website cinematografo.it, which devised the prank, printed by La Repubblica verbatim without verification or source attribution, with a picture of Rondi.

The faux news on the website April 1 quoted Rondi saying that Cannes jury prexy Penn had called to woo him after requests from Cannes toppers Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux had failed to secure him to serve on the upcoming Cannes jury.

The clincher, read the hoax, was that Penn had told Rondi that he was an avid reader of his reviews on local Rome newspaper Il Tempo.

Rondi, considered the doyen of Italian film critics and a former Venice fest topper, did serve jury duty in Cannes in 1963.

Cannes has yet to announce any jury members other than Penn.

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