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Director Damien Chazelle to Head Venice Film Festival

Director Damien Chazelle to Head Venice Film Festival

PARIS, France - Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning director of hit movies “La La Land” and “Whiplash”, will head the main competition jury at this year’s Venice Film Festival, organisers said on Friday.

The Franco-American director, screenwriter and producer has close ties to the festival, having opened the prestigious event with two of his films in the past decade – “First Man” in 2018 and “La La Land” in 2016.

“I am humbled and delighted to be invited to lead this year’s jury. I can’t wait to discover a new crop of great films at the 80th Venice Film Festival,” he said in a statement after his appointment was announced.

“La La Land”, a musical romance starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, received 14 Academy Awards nominations, winning six including Best Director. Chazelle was the youngest director ever to win the award.

“First Man”, a biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong, also starring Gosling, picked up four Academy Awards.

The 80th edition of the festival, held on the lagoon city’s Lido island, will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9. The movies in competition will be announced in July.

Other jury members include French director Alice Diop, who won the Silver Lion and Grand Jury Prize last year for her debut feature “Saint Omer”, and Italian director Jonas Carpignano, who will preside over the jury for the Orizzonti sidebar.

The Venice Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in the world, and a showcase for Oscar contenders and international cinema.

Last year, the festival was one of the few major cultural events to take place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with strict health measures and reduced attendance.

The Golden Lion for Best Film went to “Nomadland” by Chloe Zhao, who later became the first woman of colour and second woman ever to win the Best Director Oscar.

The Venice Film Festival is held at various venues on the Lido island, including the historic Palazzo del Cinema and other theatres. The festival also hosts outdoor screenings at venues such as Piazza San Marco and Campo San Polo.

The festival attracts many celebrities from around the world, who often arrive by boat or water taxi. Some of the stars expected to attend this year include Brad Pitt, Ana de Armas, Adrien Brody, Julianne Moore, Penelope Cruz, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine, Rachel Brosnahan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Colin Farrell and Tilda Swinton.



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