Cate Blanchett Named Venice Film Festival Jury President

Cate Blanchett - screening of Girls Of The Sun - Getty-H 2019
George Pimentel/WireImage

Jury head Cate Blanchett with other filmmakers reads a statement on the steps of the red carpet in protest of the lack of female filmmakers honored throughout the history of the festival at the screening of 'Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil)' during the 71st annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 12, 2018 in Cannes, France. Only 82 films in competition in the official selection have been directed by women since the inception of the Cannes Film Festival whereas 1,645 films in the past 71 years have been directed by men.  

The decision was made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.

Actor/producer Cate Blanchett will be the president of the international jury of the competition at the 77th Venice International Film Festival this September, which will decide on the Golden Lion for best film and other awards, organizers said Thursday.

The decision was made by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, based on the recommendation of festival director Alberto Barbera.

In accepting the proposal, Blanchett said: "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."

Said Barbera: “Cate Blanchett is not just an icon of contemporary cinema, courted by the greatest directors of the past 20 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."

He added: "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."

Blanchett in 2018 headed up the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, leading a women's march there to promote gender equality in the film industry. In total, 82 women participated in the event, including Blanchett, fellow jury members Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, Patty Jenkins and others. 

The Venice festival will this year take place Sept. 2-12.