Matteo Garrone, Samantha Morton Headline Venice's Main Competition Jury

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ISCHIA, Italy –- Italian director Matteo Garrone, best known for his epic organized crime drama Gamorrah, and two-time Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton will be among the members for the main international jury at the next edition of the Venice Film Festival, organizers announced Friday.

Morton was nominated for the Oscar for best actress in 2004 for her role in Jim Sheridan’s In America and for best supporting actress in Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown four years earlier.

Garrone has been in the news in Italy lately after prosecutors in Naples charged that the filmmakers behind Gamorrah, which tells the story of people struggling with the Camorra mob in Naples, mighty have collaborated with crime families in making the 2008 film, which won the special jury prize in Cannes and was Italy’s official nominee for the Oscars. Garrone’s follow-up, Reality, won the Grand Prix award in Cannes this year.

The other jury members are noted Serbian artist and performer Marina Abramovic; French actress and beauty queen Laetitia Casta; Hong Kong producer and director Peter Ho-Sun Chan; Israeli director and screenwriter Ari Folman; Franco-Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier; and Pablo Trapero, a director and producer from Argentina.

Biennale president Paolo Baratta and festival artistic director Alberto Barbera previously announced that American producer-director Michael Mann would head the jury that will hand out the festival’s most prestigious awards, including the Golden Lion for Best Film, the Silver Lion for Best Director, the Coppa Volpi prizes for Best Actor and Best Actress, the Special Jury Prize and the awards for Best New Actor or Actress and Best Screenplay.

This year’s edition of the storied Venice festival, its 69th, will take place Aug. 29 through Sept. 8.

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