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Nanni Moretti named 2012 Cannes jury president

January 20, 2012 |  2:00 am

Nanni Moretti, director of "The Son's Room," has been named as this year's Cannes Film Festival jury president

The Cannes Film Festival has named Nanni Moretti as its jury president for this year's festival.

The Italian director has been a longtime favorite of the festival, winning the Palme d'Or in 2001 for his family drama "The Son's Room" as well as a director prize in 1994 for his film "Dear Diary." Moretti, who also acts, came to the Croisette last year with "We Have a Pope," a comedic look at what happens when the man selected by the College of Cardinals doesn't want the job.

Moretti, who previously served as a jury member in 1997, takes a position that was last year held by Robert De Niro. De Niro's jury handed the Palme d'Or, the festival's top prize, to Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life."

Moretti, 58, said in a statement that he has "very happy memories" of his time as a juror, and of "the attentiveness and passion that went into the jury's viewing."

The prestigious film festival kicks off May 16 in the coastal French town and runs through May 27.

-- Steven Zeitchik

 Photo: Nanni Moretti in "We Have a Pope." Credit: Cannes Film Festival