The Venice Film Festival announced Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Carol) as the head of the jury for the 77th year of the competition, where Blanchett will lead the jury in deciding the Golden Lion for Best Film, among other awards.
In a statement 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.”
Blanchett is set to be the second woman in a row to serve as the Venice Film Festival Jury President, taking the mantle from filmmaker Lucretia Martel (Zama), who held the position in 2019, ultimately assigning Todd Phillips’ Joker the festival’s top prize.
Alberto Barbera, Director of the Venice Film Festival, said ,“Cate Blanchett is not just an icon of contemporary cinema, courted by the greatest directors of the past twenty 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.”
Barbera 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.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Cannes naming Spike Lee as its 2020 Jury President. According to IndieWire, Blanchett is only the eighth woman in Venice Film Festival history to head the jury, and the festival has caused controversy in the past for not including more women directors in its programming.
The Venice Film Festival will run from Sept. 2-12.