The super-busy James Franco has set aside time in each of the past several years to make a trip to the Lido where he’s become an increasingly familiar presence to Venice festgoers. His first appearance there as director/screenwriter was in 2011 with the Horizons entry Sal. In 2012, Spring Breakers, which he produced and in which he starred, was one of the big crowd pleasers when it screened in competition. Last year, Child Of God, which he wrote and directed, ran in competition while he was also the star of Gia Coppola’s Horizons title Palo Alto, based on Franco’s own collection of short stories. This year, Franco’s latest directorial effort, The Sound And The Fury will have its world premiere out of competition at the fest. That same day, Franco will be awarded the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award. The prize, which went to Ettore Scola in 2013, is dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema. Venice chief Alberto Barbera calls Franco “one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene, as an actor in cinema and theater, director, screenwriter, producer, soap-opera star, video-artist and much more – indeed, a relentless ‘manufacturer’ of cultural imagery.” He says Franco’s Sound And The Fury “is a major thread in his creative approach, characterized by boldness, lucidity, courage and self-confidence.” Franco stars in the adaptation of the Faulkner novel along with Tim Blake Nelson, Joey King, Ahna O’Reilly, Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm. The screening and prize ceremony will be held on September 5. The fest runs from August 27-September 6.
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