U.S. actress Annette Bening will chair the international jury of the competition at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.
On the final night of the festival running from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9, the jury composed of nine international celebrities will assign the Golden Lion for best film and the top prizes for best director, actress, actor, and screenplay.
“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,” said festival director Alberto Barbera.
He called Bening “a sophisticated and instinctive actress, able to portray complex shadings of character” whose “career is marked by always interesting, often daring choices.”
“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,” said Bening, a four-time Academy Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner.
She was last seen in 20th Century Women directed by Mike Mills, for which she received her eighth Golden Globe nomination, opposite Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig and Billy Crudup.
Upcoming for Bening is Michael Mayer’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull opposite Saoirse Ronan, Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool with Jamie Bell, and Dan Fogelman’s drama Life, Itself with Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Samuel L. Jackson and Antonio Banderas.
Bening received Oscar nominations for her roles in The Grifters, 1991; American Beauty, 1999; Being Julia, 2004; and The Kids Are All Right, 2010.