venice cuaron gravityOscar-winner Alfonso Cuarón will chair the International Jury for the Competition at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in September. The appointment by the board of directors comes two years after the helmer’s Gravity opened the festival out of competition and one year after his pal Alejandro G. Inarritu raised the curtain with Birdman. Both men went on to win the directing Academy Award (among others) for their respective pics. Two of Cuaron’s other Oscar nominated films have also premiered on the Lido: 2001’s Y Tu Mamà También and 2006’s Children Of Men. The former won the Osella Award for Best Screenplay and the Marcello Mastroianni Award (for stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna). Children Of Men later won the Osella Award for Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography.

Venice chief Alberto Barbera has had a terrific impact on the festival since returning three years ago, bringing high-profile premieres that have gone on to strongly figure in awards season. With Cuaron and then Inarritu having opened the festival in the past two years, there’s been speculation that their amigo Guillermo del Toro might have a presence this year. Inarritu joked with me on the Lido last August that the trio was taking over. The Venice Film Festival runs from September 2-12.