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Robert De Niro will head Cannes jury

January 6, 2011 |  9:14 am

The Cannes Film Festival is again going with an American brand name for its jury president.

Organizers announced Thursday morning that they’ve chosen Robert De Niro to head the jury for this year’s edition, the 64th in the gathering’s history. He follows Tim Burton, who served as president in 2010.

The 2011 installment  runs May 11-22 in the French Riviera town.

De Niro is, of course, no stranger to film festivals, having founded the Tribeca Film Festival a decade ago; that group spun off another international film convocation, the Doha Film Festival in Qatar, two years ago.

The announcement marks the latest involvement for De Niro with the French festival; the actor-director noted that he served as president twice in the 1980s. He also saw his “Taxi Driver” and "The Mission" each win the Palme d’Or. A De Niro film last appeared in Cannes in 2008, when his Hollywood satire “What Just Happened?” – which features a climactic scene set at the festival – closed Cannes.

The festival announcement, however, ended with a rather different reference, nodding to the fact that “ 'Little Fockers,' released late December, is currently enjoying a successful run in France.”

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Robert De Niro. Credit: Christophe Karaba / EPA