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SYDNEY — Chinese helmer Chen Kaige has been tapped as the inaugural international prexy of the 2011 Sydney Film Festival jury.

Now in its fourth year, the Official Competition was previously overseen by local producer Jan Chapman and helmers Rolf de Heer and Gillian Armstrong.

Chen (“Yellow Earth,” “Farewell, My Concubine”) will be responsible for Down Under’s richest film prize, the fest’s A$60,000 ($64,343) kudo.

SFF topper Clare Stewart said Chen would help lift the event’s profile.

“Renowned for his opulent visual style and epic storytelling, Chen is one of China’s leading filmmakers and a director of high international standing,” she said.

Chen has previously served on juries at the Berlin and Venice film festivals.