'The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world,' the actor says upon his appointment.
Veteran actor Robert De Niro will head the jury at this year's Cannes International Film Festival. Cannes organizers announced on Thursday, January 6 the "Raging Bull" star will serve as the chairman of the festival's competition jury, which will select the winner of top awards, including the prestigious Palme d'Or.
The 64th annual event is expected to feature new work from Pedro Almodovar ("The Skin That I Inhabit") and Lars Von Trier ("Melancholia"), as well as Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life", although official film selections have yet to be announced.
De Niro is the third American chosen to lead the Cannes jury in the last four years, following Sean Penn in 2008 and Tim Burton in 2010. Confirming the appointment, the star says, "The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world."
"As co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and the Doha Tribeca Film Festival I have 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, and these types of festivals help connect the international film community and have a lasting cultural impact."
"Having served as President of the Jury in the eighties twice, I know this isn't an easy task for me or my fellow jury members, but I'm very honored and happy to head the jury for this year's Cannes Film Festival."
The festival will run from May 11 to 22.