For the 74th Venice Film Festival, Annette Bening has been named President of the jury, ending an eleven-year string of males holding the position.
“It was time to break with a long list of male presidents and invite a brilliant talented and inspiring woman to chair our International competition jury,” Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera said.
“I am extremely happy that Annette Bening has accepted this role, which she will carry out by virtue of her stature, her intellect and the talents she has manifested over the course of her career, in Hollywood, Europe and on the stage.”
Last year, Sam Mendes — famed James Bond director who also helmed American Beauty in which Bening had a role — held the position.
Bening, a four-time Oscar nominee, will be the sixth woman to lead the Venice festival jury, the last being French actress Catherine Deneuve, who oversaw the panel in 2006.
“I’m honoured to be asked to serve as the president of the jury for this year’s Venice Film Festival,” Bening said of the appointment in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the movies and working with my fellow jury members to celebrate the best of this year’s cinema from all over the world.”
Venice, the world’s oldest film festival, has played an increasingly important role when it comes to awards season, La La Land having opened last year’s event while Gravity, Birdman, and Spotlight all premiered there in past years.
The Venice Film Festival starts 30 August, concluding 9 September. A lineup announcement will take place 27 July.
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