Bernardo Bertolucci will take on the newly-created role of patron of the Critics' Week (May 11-19) at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

To honour the Italian director, the organisation will hold a public screening of his debut, Before The Revolution (Prima Della Rivoluzione), which screened at the festival in 1964 and launched him onto the international stage. He will also be one of several directors, both established and new, at a round-table discussion during the event.

Since 1964, Bertolucci has been invited to the festival four times. In 1976, 1900 screened out of competition. In 1981, Tragedy Of A Ridiculous Man was in competition and won lead Ugo Tognazzi the best actor award. Stealing Beauty was in competition in 1996, and in 1990 Bertolucci headed up the competition jury.

Critics' Week head Jose Maria Riba, who was appointed in June last year, introduced these two new initiatives in an attempt to raise the section's profile both during the festival and throughout the year around the world.