The sixthMarrakech International Film Festival, which will take place from Dec 1 to 9, hasannounced that Roman Polanski will be the president of this year's competition jury. Thefestival which takes place under the patronage of Morocco's King Mohammed VIwill also feature a retrospective focus on Italian cinema.

Polanski will presumably come to Marrakech immediately after receivinghis lifetime achievement award from the European Film Academy at the EuropeanFilm Awards on Dec 2 in Warsaw.

Previous jury presidents have included Jean-Jacques Annaud and JeanneMoreau.

The festival last year paid tribute to the legacy of Spanish cinema andthis year "The Italian Preference" will feature 50 films from Italian filmhistory from the 1940s to present day. A delegation of Italian film-makers,professionals and actors will attend an official tribute on Dec 2.

The festival will announce its lineup at the beginning of Nov.