×

Annette Bening to Head Venice Film Festival Jury

ROME – Four-time Oscar nominee Annette Bening will preside over the jury of the upcoming 74th Venice Film Festival, ending an 11-year succession of male jury chiefs on the Lido.

“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 in a statement.

“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,” Barbera added.

The last time a woman headed the Venice fest jury was in 2006, when French actress Catherine Deneuve oversaw the panel. Bening is the sixth female jury president of the world’s oldest film festival, following in the footsteps of Deneuve, Chinese actress Gong Li (2002), Australian director Jane Campion (1997), French actress and director Sabine Azéma (1987), and Italian screenwriter Suso Cecchi D’Amico (1980).

Last year the Venice jury was headed by Sam Mendes, who directed Bening in “American Beauty.”

“I’m honored to be asked to serve as the president of the jury for this year’s Venice Film Festival,” Bening said 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 in recent years has become an important awards-season driver. Movies that have world premiered on the Lido and gone on to score multiple Oscars include “Gravity,” “Birdman,” “Spotlight” and “La La Land,” which opened the fest last year.

Bening received Academy Award nominations for “The Grifters” (1991), “American Beauty” (1999), “Being Julia” (2004), and “The Kids Are All Right” (2010). She was last seen opposite Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig and Billy Crudup in A24’s “20th Century Women,” directed by Mike Mills, for which she received her eighth Golden Globe nomination. She also recently appeared in husband Warren Beatty’s “Rules Don’t Apply” with Alden Ehrenreich, Lily Collins and Beatty.

Barbera said that Bening’s career has been “marked by always interesting, often daring choices.”

“Annette Bening brings to her roles an understatement, a warmth and a natural elegance that makes watching her films a wonderful and ever-enriching experience,” he said.

Her upcoming film projects include 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 has also had a rewarding stage career. Her most recent role was in the Public Theater’s 2014 Shakespeare in the Park production of “King Lear.” Additional theater credits include “Ruth Draper Monologues” at the Geffen Playhouse, “The Cherry Orchard” at the Mark Taper Forum, “Talking Heads” at the Tiffany Theater, and “Medea” at UCLA.

The 74th Venice Film Festival will run Aug. 30 to Sept. 9. The lineup will be announced July 27.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Mackenzie Davis Terminator Dark Fate

    ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Ads placed for the sci-fi action film had an estimated media value of $6.81 million through Sunday for 796 national ad airings [...]

  • Judy & Punch review

    Damon Herriman Stands Out as 'The Nightingale' and 'Lambs of God' Lead AACTA Nominations

    Dark thriller, “The Nightingale” and miniseries “Lambs of God” lead the pack at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. In nominations announced on Wednesday, they picked up 15 and 18 nods, respectively. Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” was one of six films nominated in the best film category. With others including Mirrah Foulkes’ [...]

  • Daisy Ridley is Rey in STAR

    'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Scores Best First-Day Atom Ticket Sales for a 'Star Wars' Film

    Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalker” has racked up the best first day of advance ticket sales for a “Star Wars” movie ticketed by Atom. Sales launched during the half time of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” Atom’s overall first-day record was set in April by Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame.” But “Star Wars: The Rise of [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Joins Vin Diesel in 'Fast & Furious 9'

    Cardi B has joined the cast of Universal’s “Fast & Furious 9” in an undisclosed role. It’s the rapper’s first movie part since her role as the stripper Diamond in STX’s drama “Hustlers.” Vin Diesel disclosed the casting Tuesday in a post on his Instagram account with a video that showed him and Cardi B [...]

  • James Wan

    Film News Roundup: James Wan's Horror Thriller 'Malignant' Gets August Release

    In today’s film news roundup, James Wan’s “Malignant” gets a late-summer release, a Rita Hayworth documentary is shooting and Women in Animation have announced diversity awards winners. RELEASE DATE Warner Bros. has set an Aug. 14 release date for James Wan’s horror thriller “Malignant.” Wan will direct the movie, based on a story by Wan [...]

  • Michael Shannon Benedict Cumberbatch Tuppence Middleton

    How Martin Scorsese Saved 'Current War' From Harvey Weinstein

    Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon finally gets to release his version of his long-in-the-making “The Current War.” The film, about the competition between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, was originally set to be distributed by the Weinstein Company after Harvey Weinstein recut it, much to Gomez-Rejon’s chagrin. To make matters worse, Weinstein premiered the movie at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content