Sean Penn to head Cannes jury

MUMBAI: Oscar winner Sean Penn has been named president of the jury of the 61st Festival de Cannes 2008.

"In the last few years, it seems there has been a rejuvenation of cinema building worldwide. The Cannes Film Festival has long been the epicentre in the discovery of those new waves of filmmakers from all over the world. I very much look forward to participating in this year‘s festival as president of the jury," Penn declared, while accepting the invitation extended by Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux, heads of the Cannes festival.

Penn, who has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades, won the Best Male Performance Prize at the Festival de Cannes in 1997 for She‘s so Lovely by Nick Cassavetes. He has been nominated four times for the Academy Award as Best Actor: in Tim Robbins‘ Dead Man Walking, Woody Allen‘s Sweet and Lowdown, Jessie Nelson‘s I am Sam, and won the Oscar in 2004 for his performance in Clint Eastwood‘s Mystic River, which was presented in competition at Cannes. Moreover, Penn‘s first film, The Indian Runner, which he wrote, directed and produced, was presented at Cannes in 1991.

Sean Penn adapted his latest directorial effort, Into the Wild, from the non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer. Following its successful run in the United States, the award-winning film released in France today.

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