Fears has directed films including The Queen, My Beautiful Laundrette, The Grifters, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things and 1987 Cannes competitor Prick Up Your Ears.
'Of course, it's an honour but it's also a treat, to be able to watch terrific films from all over the world in such heady surroundings,' Frears said. 'God Save
Gilles Jacob, Cannes festival president, added: 'I am particularly delighted that Stephen Frears accepted my proposal this year. We thus pay tribute to this great, inspired filmmaker, endowed with freedom of mind and love of making films. The 60th Festival will henceforth take place under a lucky star, that of intelligence, wit and a dash of impertinence.'
Last year's jury president was Wong Kar-wai.