The event, hosted by Giorgio Armani, will be in aid of the ongoing operation in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010 and will also support charities set up by Paul Haggis and Petra Nemcova.

Sean Penn will be at the Cannes Film Festival to attend a benefit event in aid of his Haiti charity J/P HRO on May 18.

Penn set up the charity to support Haiti in the wake of the earthquake which devastated the country in 2010.

The gala fund raising event event will also be in aid of Canadian director-screenwriter Paul Haggis’s Artists for Peace and Justice, and Czech super model and humanitarian Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund.

It will be the first benefit event at the festival since the screening of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s film Elective Affinities in 1996, in support of the reconstruction of the Fenice.

The gala evening, presented by Giorgio Armani, will feature a fund raising dinner at the Festival Agora and a Haitian show entitled “Carnival in Cannes”. It will be co-sponsored by Chopard.

Penn has a long standing relationship with the festival, attending last year with two films, Terence Malick’s Palme D’or winning The Tree Of Life and Sorrentino’s This Must Be The Place and as a director back in 2001 with The Pledge. He served as President of the Jury in 2008.

Cannes artistic director Thierry Fremaux said: “Sean Penn is a good friend of the Festival de Cannes, he came in Competition as an actor and as a director, he was President of the Jury. But it is not the only reason why we offered to receive him. We are greatly fascinated by his permanent and long-lasting commitment to Haiti’s recovery. And we are very pleased to be a part of this evening which intends to raise money and honor the Haitians themselves.”