The Venice Film Festival will honor James Franco with its Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory to the Filmmaker award dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.
Franco will pick up his nod on September 5 when he comes to the Lido for the world bow of his new film “The Sound and the Fury,” based on the William Faulkner novel, which will screen at Venice out of competition. Franco directed and also stars in the adaptation of the great American classic.
Venice topper Alberto Barbera in a statement praised him as “one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene,” noting that Franco is a film and theatre actor, a director, screenwriter, producer, soap-opera star, video-artist “and much more – indeed, a relentless ‘manufacturer’ of cultural imagery.”
James Franco is Venice aficionado, having first disembarked on the Lido in 2011 with “Sal,” a biographical tribute to actor Sal Mineo which he wrote and directed. At the Venice Art Biennale that year Franco also presented the visual arts installation “Rebel,” a tribute to the film “Rebel Without a Cause” by Nicholas Ray.” In 2012 he came to the Lido as the star and producer of “Spring Breakers” by Harmony Korine. Last year Franco was at Venice as director and screenwriter of “Child of God,” an adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel, and also as star of Gia Copola’s “Palo Alto,” based on a collection of short stories which Franco himself wrote.
Past recipients of the Venice nod include Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, Sylvester Stallone, Al Pacino, and Spike Lee.
The 71st edition of Venice will run August 27-September 6.