Jane Campion, Martin McDonagh & Laura Poitras Join Venice Film Festival Jury

The Venice Film Festival has unveiled the names who will join Damien Chazelle on the main Competition jury of its 80th edition, running Aug 30 — Sep 9.

Jury members include Saleh Bakri, Jane Campion, Mia Hansen-Løve, Gabriele Mainetti, Martin McDonagh, Santiago Mitre, Laura Poitras, and Shu Qi.

The jury will award the following official prizes to the feature films in Competition, with no joint awards allowed: Golden Lion for Best Film, Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize, Silver Lion for Best Director, Coppa Volpi for Best Actress, Coppa Volpi for Best Actor, Special Jury Prize, Award for Best Screenplay, and “Marcello Mastroianni” Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress.

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Saleh Bakri is a Palestinian film and theater actor. For the movie Wajib (2017) by Annemarie Jacir, Bakri won the Muhr Award for Best Actor at the Dubai Film Festival. His latest film performances are in the Oscar-nominated short film The Present by Farah Nabulsi (2020) and in Costa Brava, Lebanon by Mounia Akl, presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2021. New Zealander Jane Campion is best known as the first female director to receive the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, for The Piano (1993). She won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival in 2021 and Best Director at the 94th Academy Awards for her last pic The Power of the Dog.

Gabriele Mainetti is an Italian director, actor, composer, and producer. Freaks Out, his second feature, was selected in competition at the Venice Film Festival in 2021 and won 6 David di Donatello awards. Irish filmmaker Martin McDonagh is a frequent visitor to the Lido. His most recent film, The Banshees of Inisherin, played in Competition and won four Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA Awards.

Argentinian filmmaker Santiago Mitre is best known for his fifth feature Argentina, 1985, which debuted on the Lido last year. The film was nominated for the Best International Feature Oscar. Documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras was last year’s Golden Lion winner with the doc All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. She won the Best Doc Oscar in 2014 for Citizenfour. Chinese actress Shu Qi is best known for roles in both art-house films and box-office hits, including Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013) by Stephen Chow, Gone with the Bullets (2014) by Jiang Wen, and Mojin: The Lost Legend (2015) by Wuershan.

Jury president Chazelle has opened Venice twice. First, with 2016’s La La Land and in 2018 with First Man. La La Land received 14 Academy Awards nominations, winning six including Best Director. Damien Chazelle was the youngest director ever to win the award. First Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, picked up four Academy Awards.

This year Venice will open with the world premiere of Luca Guadagnino’s latest pic Challengers. The film will be screened Out of Competition on Wednesday, August 30, in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema (Lido di Venezia), on the opening night of the 80th Venice Film Festival.

The pic, which hits U.S. theaters September 15, stars Zendaya as Tashi Duncan, a tennis prodigy-turned-coach and a force of nature, who makes no apologies for her game on and off the court. Married to a champion (Mike Faist from West Side Story) on a losing streak, Tashi’s strategy for her husband’s redemption takes a surprising turn when he must face off against the washed-up Patrick (Josh O’Connor) – his former best friend and Tashi’s former boyfriend. As their pasts and presents collide, and tensions run high, Tashi must ask herself, what will it cost to win?

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