"As a spectator, fortunately I still have the same curiosity that I had in my youth and so it is a great privilege for me to embark on this voyage into the world of contemporary international film," the 58-year-old Moretti said in a statement announcing his selection as jury president.
Moretti, known in Italy for his left-wing politics as well as his work about psychological trauma, has directed 22 short and feature-length movies during his career that has lasted almost 40 years.
His 2001 film "The Son’s Room", about a psychologist whose mental stability is tested after his son dies in a scuba diving accident, won him the Cannes top prize — the Palme d’Or.
Moretti was a jury member in 1997 at the 50th Cannes Film Festival.
Six of his movies have been presented at Cannes, including last year’s "We Have a Pope", about a newly elected pontiff who believes he is not up to the job, the Cannes statement said.
The film festival will be held May 16-27.