French-Algerian actor picked for Cannes' top prize jury

French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim picked for Cannes Film Festival's top prize jury
2 min read
24 June, 2021
French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim will be one of nine jury members for the Palme d'Or, the Cannes Film Festival's top prize.
Tahar Rahim will be on the judging panel for the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival [Getty]

French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim will sit on a panel for the top prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Rahim, 39, will be one of nine people on the star-studded jury for the Palme d’Or, along with director Spike Lee and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, according to a statement published on Thursday on the festival's official website.

Rahim was born to parents from Oran, Algeria in Belfort, north-eastern France.

His breakout performance was in 'A Prophet' in 2009, which won the film festival's Grand Prix – second only to the Palme d’Or in its prestige. He stars in The Mauritanian, a film released earlier this year, as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner held without charge for years. 

In 2015, Rahim was a judge on Cannes' Un Certain Regard ("A Certain Gaze") panel for unusual films.

The festival did not take place last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Usually a May affair, it takes place from July 6 to 17 this year.

'Casablanca Beats', a film by French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch is one of the 24 films up for the Palme d'Or.

Three Arab filmmakers are on panels elsewhere at the festival. Russia-born Algerian Mounia Meddour will be a juror on the Cinefondation panel for film school entries, while Kaouther Ben Hania, from Tunisia, and Sameh Alaa, from Egypt, will join the six-member short films jury.