GOLDEN JUROR: Cate Blanchett has been named president of the jury of the upcoming edition of the Venice International Film Festival, which will run Sept. 2 to 12. She succeeds Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel in the role, which over the last decade was covered by the likes of directors Guillermo del Toro, Sam Mendes, Alfonso Cuarón, Bernardo Bertolucci, Darren Aronofsky and Quentin Tarantino, among others.
Announced on Thursday, Blanchett’s appointment was finalized last week by the board of the movie competition, which confirmed a recommendation advanced by the festival’s director Alberto Barbera.
“Every year I look expectantly to the selection at Venice and every year it is surprising and distinct,” Blanchett said in accepting the appointment. “Venice is one of the most atmospheric film festivals in the world — a celebration of the provocative and inspirational medium that is cinema in all its forms. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be this year’s jury president,” said the two-time Academy Award winner, who in 2018 also served as jury president of the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France.
Barbera underscored that Blanchett “is not just an icon of contemporary cinema, courted by the greatest directors of the past 20 years and adored by moviegoers of every kind. Her commitment in the artistic and humanitarian fields and to the protection of the environment, as well as her defense of the emancipation of women in a film industry still coming to terms with male prejudice, have made her an inspiration for society as a whole.”
In particular, the festival’s director praised “her immense talent as an actress, combined with her unique intelligence and sincere passion for cinema,” which he defined as ideal qualities for a jury president.
Blanchett is already very familiar with the Venice red carpet, having presented a number of her movies at the festival, comprising “Elizabeth” by Shekhar Kapur and “I’m Not There” by Todd Haynes, for which she won the Coppa Volpi award for best actress in 2007.
This time, she will be called to assign official prizes along with other seven international jurors. Set to be handed on the final night, the awards will include the Golden Lion for best film, the grand jury prize Silver Lion and the Coppa Volpi awards for best actor, among others.
Blanchett’s appointment is also bound to give some golden red carpet time to the Giorgio Armani brand, considering the actress is the label’s global beauty ambassador.
In recent editions of the festival, Blanchett stole the spotlight wearing a range of memorable Armani Privé gowns at premieres of movies including “Suspiria” and “A Star Is Born” in 2018 and “Joker” last year.
Moreover, Armani Beauty has been supporting the Venice Film Festival for a couple of years, upping its involvement last edition, when it became a main sponsor. As reported, last year the company celebrated the occasion with a private dinner hosted at Venice’s frescoed Palazzo Papadopoli, where Blanchett was joined by fellow brand ambassadors Barbara Palvin, Sara Sampaio, Madisin Rian and Greta Ferro, in addition to Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Nicholas Hoult, among others.