Peter Weir to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at 81st Venice Film Festival

The Australian director of “Dead Poets Society” and “The Truman Show” will be celebrated at this year’s festival

Peter Weir (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Peter Weir will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 81st Venice International Film Festival, which runs August 28 – September 7, 2024.

The announcement came on Thursday from the board of la Biennale di Venezia and the festival’s director, Alberto Barbera. As previously announced, Isabelle Huppert will preside over this year’s jury.

Weir, the Australian director and screenwriter best known for “Gallipoli,” “Witness,” “The Mosquito Coast,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Truman Show,” began his career with 1974’s “The Cars That Ate Paris.” He soon became an important figure in the Australian New Wave cinema of the 1970s, directing such movies as “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and “The Last Wave.” The 1981 World War I drama “Gallipoli” starred Mel Gibson, with whom he worked again in 1982’s “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

Weir earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Director for his first film made in Hollywood, 1985’s “Witness,” starring Harrison Ford. He earned three more Academy Award nominations for director: in 1990 for “Dead Poets Society,” in 1999 for “The Truman Show” and in 2004 for “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World,” which also got him a Best Picture nod. He was nominated for best screenplay for “Green Card” in 1991. In 2022, he became the first Australian filmmaker to receive an Honorary Oscar.

Two of his best known films, “Dead Poets Society” and “The Truman Show,” both premiered at the Venice Film Festival. In a statement, Weir said, “The Venice Film Festival and its Golden Lion are part of the folklore of our craft. To be singled out as a recipient for a lifetime’s work as a director is a considerable honour.”


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