The Italian has had films in competition six times starting in 1978.
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25 Jan 2012 - 2:37 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 4:10 PM

Nanni Moretti, one of the best known Italian filmmakers currently working on the world stage, will be jury president at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

“The festival wanted to celebrate its 65th season with a European jury president,” said Cannes general delegate Thierry Frémaux in a statement issued by festival organisers. “High-spirited and marked by his modernity and intelligence, Nanni Moretti's films are the incarnation of all the best in cinema over the past 30 years. His work is always evolving and continues to carry the promise of film that engages with the world and with our times.”

Moretti knows what it feels like to win favour with a Cannes jury: he was voted best director for Dear Diary in 1994 and won the Palme d'Or for what is his most heart-breaking film, The Son's Room, in 1991. In all, he has had six films in official selection, the other four being Ecce Bombo (1978), April (1998), The Caiman (2006), a searing portrait of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and We Have a Pope (2011).

“This is a real joy, an honour and a tremendous responsibility to preside over the jury of the most prestigious festival of cinematography in the world, a festival that is held in a country where film has always been treated with interest and respect,” Moretti said.

“As a director, I was always very moved when my films were presented at the Festival de Cannes. I also have very happy memories of my experience as a jury member during the fiftieth anniversary season, and of the attentiveness and passion that went into the jury's viewing and discussion of all the films.

“As a spectator, fortunately I still have the same curiosity that I had in my youth and so it is a great privilege for me to embark on this voyage into the world of contemporary international film.”

Moretti has also wooed judges outside Cannes: he won the special jury prize in Venice for Sweet Dreams in 1981, for example, and the Silver Bear in Berlin for The Mass is Ended in 1986.

Moretti usually appears in front of the camera in his own films, produces and distributes films and co-owns an arthouse cinema in Rome. He has also played water polo for his country.

US actor Robert de Niro was the president of the jury last year.

This year the Cannes Film Festival runs from May 16 to 27.