Bong Joon Ho, the Oscar-winning director of “Parasite,” has been named the international jury president for the 78th Annual Venice Film Festival.
The festival will run from September 1-11 later this year, and the jury he leads will decide the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, as well as the other top festival prizes. No other jury members have been named.
This is the first time a Korean filmmaker will lead the jury in the festival’s history, and while Bong’s films have been staples at Cannes, this is his first time attending the Venice Film Festival.
“The Venice International Film Festival carries with it a long and varied history, and I’m honored to be woven into its beautiful cinematic tradition. As president of the jury – and more importantly as a perpetual cinephile – I’m ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. I’m filled with genuine hope and excitement,” Bong said in a statement.
“The first, good news item regarding the 78th Venice Film Festival is that Bong Joon Ho has enthusiastically agreed to preside over the Jury. Today, this great Korean director is one of the most authentic and original voices in worldwide cinema. We are immensely grateful to him for having agreed to put his passion as a cinephile attentive, inquisitive, and unprejudiced, at the service of our festival,” Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera said in a statement. “It is a pleasure and an honor to be able to share the joy of this moment with the countless admirers, throughout the world, of his extraordinary movies. The decision to entrust the Jury to a Korean filmmaker, for the first time in the festival’s history, is also confirmation that the Venetian event embraces the cinema of the entire world, and that directors from every country know they can consider Venice their second home.”
Last year’s slimmed down Venice Film Festival awarded Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” the Golden Lion, thanks to a jury led by Cate Blanchett and also consisting of actors actors Matt Dillon and Ludivine Sagnier, writer-directors Veronika Franz, Joanna Hogg and Christian Petzold and writer Nicola Lagioia.
Other films that won prizes in 2020 included “New Order,” “Pieces of a Woman,” “The Disciple” and “Notturno.”
Bong Joon Ho was the toast of Hollywood in 2019, with “Parasite” becoming the first international film to ever win Best Picture. It took home four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature. His other features include “The Host,” “Snowpiercer” and “Okja,” among others. Up next, Bong is producing an English language remake of the Korean drama “Sea Fog” at Participant.