Sean Penn will head the jury at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, organisers have announced.

The 61st festival runs May 14-25.

'In the last few years, it seems there has been a rejuvenation of cinema building worldwide; increasingly thoughtful, provocative, moving, and imaginative films by talented filmmakers: that a new generation of filmmaking may have begun,' Penn said in a statement. 'The Cannes Film Festival has long been the epicenter in the discovery of those new waves of filmmakers from all over the world. I very much look forward to participating in this year's festival as president of the jury.'

Stephen Frears headed the 2007 jury.

Penn, who is winning awards season notice for his latest directorial effort Into The Wild, presented his first film The Indian Runner in Cannes in 1991, followed by The Pledge in 2001.