The ceremony will take place on Sept. 8 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema before an out-of-competition screening of David Gordon Green’s “Halloween Kills,” the latest instalment of the iconic Halloween franchise that opens in October.
“I am incredibly humbled to be honored in this way by the Venice International Film Festival,” said Curtis. “It seems impossible to me that I’ve been in this industry long enough to be receiving ‘Lifetime Achievement’ recognition, and to have it happen now, with ‘Halloween Kills,’ is particularly meaningful to me.
“‘Halloween’ — and my partnership with Laurie Strode — launched and sustained my career, and to have these films evolve into a new franchise that is beloved by audiences around the world was, and remains, a gift. Italian cinema has always honored and heralded the genre that gave me my career, so I couldn’t be more proud and happy to accept this award from the Venice International Film Festival on behalf of Laurie and all the courageous heroines of the world who stand tall in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and refuse to yield.”
The Golden Lion honor is bestowed by the board of the Venice Biennale, following a proposal by festival director Alberto Barbera. The executive said Curtis belongs to “that rarefied group of Hollywood actors who best reflect the qualities that are the very soul of the global film industry and its legacy.”
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Barbera declared: “A direct descendant of America’s film aristocracy — she is the daughter of two unforgettable stars, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh — Jamie Lee Curtis is the natural embodiment of a star who knows how to play roles with versatility and amenability, all while infusing them with her peerless charisma and signature personality.
“All these qualities, combined with her work as an author of children’s books and her commitment to her charitable work have cemented her status as an indelible and enduring global artist,” he continued. “To date, her extraordinary four-decade career, which began with her dazzling debut in John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic ‘Halloween,’ encompasses more than 40 feature films and reminds us that true talent, combined with intelligence, wit, endurance and sheer grit, are the hallmarks of this true and unforgettable star.”
Barbera also noted that the actor’s career spans almost every genre of film, including comedies such as “Knives Out,” “A Fish Called Wanda,” “Trading Places” and “Freaky Friday,” alongside actioners like “True Lies” and “Blue Steel” and the dramas “The Tailor of Panama,” “My Girl” and “Forever Young.”
Curtis’ TV credits include the Ryan Murphy-created “Scream Queens” for FX, as well as the sitcom “Anything But Love.” She is also a New York Times-bestselling children’s book author. Her 11th book, “This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From,” was released in 2016.
Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in Universal Pictures’ follow-up to Gordon Green’s 2018 film “Halloween,” which pulled in more than $250 million at the global box office. The pic became the highest-grossing chapter in the 40-year Halloween franchise and also set a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman.
Venice’s Golden Lion was awarded to Tilda Swinton last year.
Unlike most major film festivals during the 2020 pandemic, Venice was able to take place last year as an in-person event. This year’s festival runs from Sept. 1-11.