Robert De Niro To Head Cannes Jury

Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro presents the co-founders award for best narrative feature onstage at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival awards show and wrap party held at Jing Fong during the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival on May 3, 2007, in New York. The sixth annual film festival founded by DeNiro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, ended on Sunday, May 6. (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TFF)
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for TFF
Robert De Niro, co-founder of New York's Tribeca Film Festival, will head the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

PICTURES: Robert DeNiro

The veteran American actor and director will lead a nine-member jury for the May 11-22 festival on the French Riviera.

De Niro's charisma may provide a Hollywood boost to Cannes. Last year's event was lighter than usual on star power and featured a line-up that left many critics unimpressed.

The Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" won the top honor at the 2010 festival, while Academy Award winners Juliette Binoche and Javier Bardem earned acting honors.

De Niro said he felt honored by the invitation, calling it "a rare opportunity," Cannes organizers said in a statement.