Director Darren Aronofsky to Head Venice Festival Jury

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The "Black Swan" director won the event's top prize for "The Wrestler" in 2008.

ROME – Darren Aronofsky, whose last three films all premiered at the Venice Film Festival, will be the president of the main competition jury at this year’s edition of the storied Italian festival.

Venice regular Aronofsky, 42, brought the festival opening Black Swan to Venice last year, and he took home the Golden Lion prize for The Wrestler two years before that. In 2006, his epic fantasy story The Fountain also premiered on the Venice Lido.

Wednesday’s announcement means that the off year between film productions (Aronofsky’s science fiction thriller Machine Man won’t be finished until 2012) means Aronofsky will again be present on the Lido in 2011. 

In a statement, Venice officials praised Aronofsky as “a key figure in contemporary film” whose work “engaged the evolution and mutations of the many languages of art.”

As jury president, Aronofsky will follow on the heels of fellow U.S auteur Quentin Tarantino, who sparked criticism in Italy after the jury gave three top prizes to directors Tarantino was personally close to. 

This year’s edition of the festival, the 68th, will take place August 31-Sept. 10.