February 6, 2011
Cannes Film Festival
The 67 year old actor is the 3rd American in 3 years to lead the 9 member jury after director, Tim Burton in 2010 and actor, Sean Penn in 2008. De Niro has expressed his gratitude by saying “The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world.” The organisers of the festival have said that they wanted to honour him not only for his acting talent, but also for his work in co-founding the Tribeca Film Festival in his native New York back in 2002.
Two of De Niro’s own films have been given the prestigious Palme d’Or award at previous Cannes festivals; 1976’s Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese and The Mission by Roland Joffe 10 years later. Robert De Niro himself also won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 for his role in Raging Bull, also directed by Scorsese.
Through his experience of Tribeca, Robert says that he has “an increased appreciation for the jury” as he believes that they are faced with such an important role in choosing the films to represent the highest level of world film. He also says that, “These types of festivals help connect the international film community and have a lasting cultural impact.”
This year’s festival marks the 64th in Cannes history and will run from 11th – 22nd May 2011.