French actress Isabelle Huppert has been confirmed as the president of the jury for next year's Cannes Film Festival.

The 55-year-old, a two-time winner of the best actress prize at the prestigious festival, succeeds Sean Penn as the jury's chairperson.

"I am very happy and proud. Cannes and I have a long history and this next meeting will definitely seal my love for the festival, as well as for world film," she said in a statement.

"Cannes is an open door to all the new ideas in the world."

A Golden Lion winner in 1978 for Violette Noziere and for The Piano Teacher in 2001, Huppert has acted in more than 80 films in a career spanning four decades.

She is the fourth woman to preside over the panel, following Liv Ullmann, Jeanne Moreau and Francoise Sagan as the south of France event reaches its 62nd year.

Thierry Fremaux, artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, told the AFP news agency that Huppert's appointment was a "tribute to someone who has put her popularity to the service of artistic cinema, who has worked with young directors and admiring foreign filmmakers".

The 62nd Cannes Film Festival begins on May 13th 2009.

02/01/2009 11:05:04