Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth) will serve as this year’s president of the competition jury at the Venice International Film Festival.
The event’s 75th edition will take place Aug. 29-Sept. 8. The jury will pick the Golden Lion award for best film and other official awards.
The decision, made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, who said he embraced the recommendation of the director of the Venice festival Alberto Barbera, was unveiled Monday.
Said del Toro: “To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude. Venice is a window to world cinema and the opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.”
Said Barbera: “Guillermo del Toro personifies generosity, a love for movies past or future, and a passion for the kind of cinema that can spark emotions, affect people and, at the same time, make them reflect. By virtue of his lively imagination, uncommon sensitivity and his trust in the power of images, he has brought to life a fantastic universe in which love and fear can coexist, and to treasure diversity is a fundamental value.”
The Mexican direction participated in the competition of last year’s Venice festival with Oscar contender The Shape of Water, which won the Golden Lion. Last year’s jury was led by Annette Bening.
Del Toro first had a film in the Venice festival in 1997 with Mimic, which screened in the Mezzanotte section. In 2006, he was a member of the jury for the Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a debut film.