The Cannes Film Festival announced the president of its 2011 jury: it’s Robert De Niro star of “Little Fockers” and other movies much more deserving of inclusion in an article about the Cannes Film Festival. According to Cannes’ official press release, De Niro was selected to honor not only his career as a filmmaker but also to “pay tribute to the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2011. “
De Niro’s no stranger to Cannes: his most recent trip to the Croisette was with “What Just Happened,” the Closing Night Film at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. He’s also appeared in two Palme d’Or winners: 1976’s “Taxi Driver” and 1986’s “The Mission.” In a statement, De Niro said “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.” I looked through the Cannes archives, curious to see what previous years he’d been President, and what films he’d chosen for the Palme d’Or but he’s not listed as President for any year in the 1980s, or the 1990s for that matter. Is he confused? Did he mean President of Juries at other film festivals?
Last year’s jury was also presided over by an American filmmaker, director Tim Burton. Other recent American Cannes jury presidents include Sean Penn (2008), Quentin Tarantino (2004), and David Lynch (2002). This year’s Cannes Film Festival will run from May 11 to 22.