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Coen brothers named presidents of Cannes film jury

Joel (L) and Ethan Coen, Cannes 2013
Joel (L) and Ethan Coen, Cannes 2013 Reuters/Eric Gaillard

The Coen brothers, the American directors of hits like Fargo and The Big Lebowski, are to be joint presidents of the Jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

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It’s the first time ever that two people have shared the presidency, heading the panel of filmmakers and actors who choose the prizewinners at the world famous festival.

"We look forward to returning to Cannes this year," Joel, 60, and Ethan, 57, said in a statement. "Cannes is a festival that has been important to us since the very beginning of our career."

Seven of their 16 feature films have been presented at the festival. They won the prestigious Palme d'Or, the highest Cannes accolade, for Barton Fink in 1991, and picked up the Grand Jury Prize for Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013. They jointly won Best Director awards for Fargo (1996) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001).

In 2007, at the Oscars, No Country for Old Men won awards in several categories including Best Picture. Altogether they have been jointly nominated for 12 Academy Awards and one individual oscar each.

In Hollywood they are known as the "two-headed director" for their seamless ability to work alongside each other.

"The Coens embody a certain type of 'auteur' filmmaking that is universal and has a wide appeal, full of humour and so original in their way of seeing the world," said the director of the Cannes Film Festival, Thierry Fremaux.

The other members of the jury will be announced in mid-April. The festival organisers usually choose a variety of filmmakers and actors of note from different regions around the world.

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