Sean Penn to Head Cannes Jury

Actor-director will head prize-awarding body for May festival
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 10:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Hollywood's favorite bad boy Sean Penn will preside over the jury for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, AFP reports. The now twice-divorced actor and director "represents the independent American cinema as well as a vision of America which we like," said the festival's artistic director. Americans Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino have previously helmed the Cannes jury.

Penn, who is riding a wave of critical success for his direction of Into the Wild, is no stranger to Cannes. In 1997 he won the best actor prize for She's So Lovely, and in 2004, having stoked controversy over his visit to Iraq, told the festival's audience, "I never thought I'd be sitting here today missing Richard Nixon."