James Franco to Receive Innovation Award at Venice Festival

James Franco
Fabrizio Maltese

James Franco spoke to THR about his adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel about an impoverished Mississippi family. "Its essence is something that was relevant 80 years ago and is relevant today and was relevant 2,000 years ago," he said. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section.

VIDEO: Live From Cannes: James Franco on 'As I Lay Dying'

The actor-director will be honored before premiering "The Sound and the Fury," his big-screen adaptation of the William Faulkner novel.

ROME — James Franco will add another award to his résumé at the Venice Film Festival this year: the prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory.

The award singles out individuals who are focused on innovating contemporary cinema.

Franco will receive the award before presenting his latest film, The Sound and the Fury, which will receive its world premiere out of competition on the Lido.

"The adaptation of the great classics of American literature, like his new film based on a novel by Faulkner, which will be presented in Venice, is a major thread in his creative approach, characterized by boldness, lucidity, courage and self-confidence," said festival director Alberto Barbera. "These values transform his omnivorous verve into a concept of total art performance, founded on considerable curiosity and intelligence."

The Sound and the Fury stars Franco himself alongside frequent collaborator Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey King, Ahna O'Reilly, Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm. The film marks his second William Faulkner adaptation. He previously premiered As I Lay Dying in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the Cannes festival, which was released on VOD in the U.S.

Franco has been a mainstay on the Lido since 2011, when he premiered his film Sal in the Horizons program. In 2012, he attended to promote Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers in which he starred as a bad-boy named Alien.

In 2013, he promoted Gia Coppola's Palo Alto, a film based on his own short stories, in which he also starred, and his own Child of God, now playing in U.S. theaters.

This year marks a decade-long sponsorship from the luxury watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre in support of the festival. Past recipients of the award include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino, Spike Lee and last year's Ettore Scola

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