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iW NEWS | Sean Penn to Head 61st Cannes Jury

iW NEWS | Sean Penn to Head 61st Cannes Jury

Actor/director Sean Penn has been named president of the jury for the 61st Festival de Cannes, taking place May 14 – 25, festival organizers announced early Thursday morning local time in France. Penn’s acclaimed directorial effort, “Into the Wild,” will open in the country on January 9, 2008. Penn won the best male performance prize at the festival in 1997 for “She’s So Lovely” by Nick Cassavetes and took an Oscar in 2004 for his performance in Clint Eastwood‘s “Mystic River,” which also screened at Cannes. “In the last few years it seems there has been a rejuvenation of cinema building worldwide [with] increasingly thoughtful, provocative, moving, and imaginative films by talented filmmakers: that a new generation of filmmaking may have begun,” commented Penn, in a statement upon accepting the invitation extended by the festival’s Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux. “The Cannes Film Festival has long been the epicenter 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.” [Brian Brooks]

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