Taika Waititi, Christoph Waltz and Naomi Watts are among the talent who will sit on the Venice Film Festival’s main jury beginning August 28. They are joining last year’s Golden Lion winner, Guillermo del Toro, who is president of the panel. Also on board are Taiwanese actress and filmmaker Sylvia Chang; Danish star Trine Dyrholm; French actress/director Nicole Garcia; Italian director/screenwriter Paolo Genovese; and Polish director filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska.
Watts was recently on the Lido with out of competition boxing drama Chuck (aka The Bleeder) while Waltz starred in last year’s Venice opener, Downsizing. Thor: Ragnarok‘s Waititi recently wrapped Fox Searchlight war comedy Jojo Rabbit in Prague.
On September 8, Del Toro’s jury will hand out the Golden Lion for Best Film, the Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize, Silver Lion for Best Director, Coppa Volpi for Best Actor, Coppa Volpi for Best Actress, Award for Best Screenplay, the Special Jury Prize and the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress.
Over in the Horizons section, Greek director, screenwriter and producer Athina Tsangari is President. She’ll be surrounded by American director, screenwriter and producer Michael Almereyda; Iranian actress Fatemeh Motamed-Aria; film critic Frédéric Bonnaud; Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy; Canadian director and screenwriter Alison McLean; and Italian director and screenwriter Andrea Pallaoro. The section offers the following prizes: Orizzonti Award for Best Film, Orizzonti Award for Best Director, Special Orizzonti Jury Prize, Orizzonti Award for Best Actor or Actress, Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay, Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.
The Luigi De Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future has a separate jury that hands out the prize to the best first film from across all sections. Ramin Bahrani, who has Blood Kin in the Sconfini section, will chair this panel with Italian actress Carolina Crescentini, Tunisian director and screenwriter Kaouther Ben Hania, Japanese curator and artistic director Hayashi Kanako and Argentinian director Gastòn Solnicki in support. The latter also has a movie running in Venice with documentary Introduzione All’Oscuro in an out of competition slot.
Finally, the Virtual Reality jury is headed up by The Night Manager‘s Susanne Bier with Italian writer Alessandro Baricco and French actress Clémence Poésy. The prizes there are Best VR Immersive Story, Best VR Experience for interactive content, VR Story for linear content.
Venice runs August 28-September 8.