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Cate Blanchett Named President of Venice International Film Festival Competition Jury

The 77th annual festival will be held in September

Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett has been named president of the International Jury of the Competition at the 77th Venice International Film Festival in September.

La Biennale di Venezia, the organization behind the festival, made the announcement Thursday.

“Every year I look expectantly to the selection at Venice and every year it is surprising and distinct. Venice is one of the most atmospheric film festivals in the world – a celebration of the provocative and inspirational medium that is cinema in all its forms. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be this year’s jury president,” Blanchett said in a statement.

Festival director Alberto Barbera commented, “Cate Blanchett is not just an icon of contemporary cinema, courted by the greatest directors of the past twenty years and adored by moviegoers of every kind. Her commitment in the artistic and humanitarian fields and to the protection of the environment, as well as her defense of the emancipation of women in a film industry still coming to terms with male prejudice, have made her an inspiration for society as a whole. Her immense talent as an actress, combined with her unique intelligence and sincere passion for cinema, are the ideal qualities for a Jury President. It will be a great pleasure to welcome her to Venice again in this new capacity, after having applauded her magnificent performances in the films ‘Elizabeth’ by Shekhar Kapur and ‘I’m Not There’ by Todd Haynes, which won her the Coppa Volpi as Best Actress in 2007.”

Last year, “Joker” from director Todd Phillips won the Golden Lion, and “J’Accuse,” or “An Officer and a Spy,” from director Roman Polanski won the Grand Jury Prize, the festival’s runner up prize.

The jury was led by Lucrecia Martel, along with Mary Harron (replacing Jennifer Kent), Piers Handling, Stacy Martin, Rodrigo Prieto, Tsukamoto Shinya and Paolo Virzi rounding out the jury.

This year’s Venice Film Festival runs from September 2-12.