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The International Juries of the Biennale Cinema 2021
Cinema -

The International Juries of the Biennale Cinema 2021

The International Juries for the Venezia 78 Competition, Orizzonti, “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award, and Venice VR will assign the official prizes.

The International Juries have been selected for the Venezia 78 Competition, for Orizzonti, the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film, and Venice VR. The 78th Venice International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia, directed by Alberto Barbera, will run 1 > 11 September 2021.

Venezia 78

The personalities convened as members of the Jury for the Venezia 78 Competition are:

  • Bong Joon Ho - president (South Korea), Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter, is one of the most original voices in contemporary film. He is the author of milestones in Korean cinema such as Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006) and Mother (2009). He won definitive international consecration in 2019 for Parasite, winner of a long series of prestigious acknowledgments including the Golden Palm at Cannes, a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, two BAFTA and four Oscars® for Best Film, Best International Feature Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.
  • Saverio Costanzo (Italy), director and screenwriter, in Venice he presented La solitudine dei numeri primi (2010), his third film adapted from the novel of the same name by Paolo Giordano, and Hungry Hearts (2014) with Alba Rohrwacher and Adam Driver, who won the two Coppa Volpi awards for Best Actress and Best Actor. He then directed the Italian adaptation of In Treatment, seasons 1,2 and 3, and the HBO series L’amica geniale which he also wrote and conceived, adapted from the best-selling books by Elena Ferrante, and presented in Venice.
  • Virginie Efira (Belgium/France), actress, starred in Victoria, presented in 2016 at Cannes for Critics’ Week, earning critical acclaim. She then took part in the award-winning film Elle (2016) by Paul Verhoeven and Un amour impossible (2018) by Catherine Corsini, which won her a nomination for a César for Best Actress. At the same edition of the César, she earned a second nomination, this time as Best Supporting Actress, in the hit comedy Le grand bain (Sink or Swim, 2018) by Gilles Lellouche. In 2019 she starred in the dramatic comedy Sibyl by Justine Triet, in competition at Cannes, where she returned in 2021 as the protagonist of Paul Verhoeven’s most recent film, Benedetta.
  • Cynthia Erivo (Great Britain) is an actress in film and theatre, and a singer-songwriter. For her performance in The Color Purple she won many acknowledgments including a Tony Award, a Grammy Award and a Daytime Emmy Award. In 2018 she made her film debut in Bad Times at the El Royale by Drew Goddard. That same year she acted in Widows by Steve McQueen, presented in Toronto. In 2019 she was the protagonist in Harriet by Kasi Lemmons, which won her two nominations for the Golden Globe and two for the Oscars®, in both cases as Best Actress and Best Song for Stand Up, which she co-authored. In 2020 she played Holly Gibney in the HBO miniseries The Outsider, adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name. In 2021 she starred as Aretha Franklin in the third season of the series Genius.
  • Sarah Gadon (Canada), the Canadian actress and producer, acquired international visibility in A Dangerous Method by David Cronenberg, presented in competition in Venice in 2011. She continued her collaboration with Cronenburg in the later films Cosmopolis (2012) and Maps to the Stars (2014). She won the Canadian Screen Award for her roles in Alias Grace (2017), the acclaimed Netflix series, and Enemy (2013) by Denis Villeneuve. She was applauded by critics for her performances in The Moth Diaries (2011) by Mary Harron, Belle (2013) by Amma Asante, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018) by Xavier Dolan and Black Bear (2020) by Lawrence Levine.
  • Alexander Nanau (Romania), one of the most significant directors in Romanian cinema, has to this day directed four documentaries presented at the most important international festivals. In 2019, he premiered Collective out of competition in Venice. It was acclaimed by international critics and won the European Film Award as Best Documentary, along with a BAFTA nomination, and for the first time in the history of Romanian cinema, two historic nominations for an Oscar® as Best International Feature Film and Best Documentary.
  • Chloé Zhao (China) is a Chinese director, screenwriter, editor and producer. She was born in Beijing, raised there and in Brighton, England. After moving to the United States, she studied Political Science at Mount Holyoke College and Film Production at NYU. Her feature debut, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Her second feature, The Rider, premiered at Directors Fortnight at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Art Cinema Award. Her most recent film, Nomadland, premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and was awarded the Golden Lion. The film and Chloé Zhao also earned the industry’s highest acclaim including Golden Globe® , BAFTA, DGA, PGA Awards and 3 Academy Awards® , including Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Best Picture. Chloé co-wrote and directed Marvel Studios’ Eternals, which is scheduled for release November 5, 2021. 

The Jury of Venezia 78 will award the following official prizes to the feature films in Competition: Golden Lion for Best Film, Silver Lion - Grand Jury Prize, Silver Lion for Best Director, Coppa Volpi for Best Actress, Coppa Volpi for Best Actor, Special Jury Prize, Award for Best Screenplay, “Marcello Mastroianni” Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress.


The members of the international Jury for the Orizzonti section are:

  • Jasmila Žbanićpresident (Bosnia and Herzegovina), director and screenwriter, she was born in Sarajevo in 1974. She initially worked in puppet theatre and as a clown. Her debut feature film Grbavica won the Golden Bear at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival, as well as the American Film Institute Award and others. Her films, which have been presented at the most important festivals and distributed around the world, are produced by Deblokada, an artistic association she personally founded. In 2020 her film Quo Vadis, Aida?, which she wrote and directed, was presented in Competition in Venice, and was nominated for the Oscars® and BAFTA for Best International Feature Film.
  • Mona Fastvold (Norway), director and screenwriter, directed her first feature-length film The Sleepwalker in 2014, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was co-authored by Brady Corbet with whom she also collaborated on The Childhood of a Leader (2015), winner of the Orizzonti award for Best Director, and the Venice “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for a Debut Film at the Venice Film Festival. She wrote the screenplays for Vox Lux (2018) with director Brady Corbet, and Mustang (2019) with director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. In 2020 she presented The World to Come in competition in Venice.
  • Shahram Mokri (Iran), director, screenwriter and film critic, he directed his first feature-length film in 2008 titled Ashkan, the Charmed Ring and Other Stories, presented at the Busan Film Festival. In 2013 his next film Fish/Cat won the Orizzonti Special Prize for innovative content in Venice. In 2018 he premiered Invasion in Berlin. In 2020 he returned to Venice with his third film Careless Crime. The film won the Silver Hugo award at the Chicago Film Festival.
  • Josh Siegel (USA) is the curator of the film department at the MoMA in New York, for which he has organized many exhibitions. In 2007 he won the Lee Tenenbaum Award. He has acquired many films and artistic installations that have become part of MoMA’s permanent collection. Josh Siegel co-founded To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation, a festival that celebrates the effort to preserve and restore films by filmmakers, distributors, studios and archives around the world. Siegel is currently a member of the Board of Cinema Tropical, the non-profit association dedicated to Latin-American cinema in the United States. He is the author of many publications, essays, catalogues and monographs, and has been a jury member at various international festivals.
  • Nadia Terranova (Italy), a writer, is the author of many novels and children’s books including: Gli anni al contrario (Einaudi 2015, Bagutta Opera Prima award and The Bridge Book Award), Addio fantasmi (Einaudi 2018, finalist for the Premio Strega 2019) and Omero è stato qui (Bompiani 2019, selected as one of the twelve finalists for the Premio Strega Ragazzi). Her books have been translated around the world. She writes for several newspapers including Repubblica, Il Foglio, and curates the “Sirene” column in Vanity Fair magazine.

The Orizzonti Jury will award the following prizes, with no joint awards permitted: Orizzonti Award for Best Film, Orizzonti Award for Best Director, Special Orizzonti Jury Prize, Orizzonti Award for Best Actress, Orizzonti Award for Best Actor, Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay, Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.

“Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future

The members of the international Jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future are:

  • Uberto Pasolinipresident (Italy), director, screenwriter and producer, he made his debut with Machan (2008), which won many international awards. Still Life (2013) won the award for Best Director in the Orizzonti section in Venice in 2013. His most recent film is Nowhere Special, with James Norton, which also premiered in Venice in the Orizzonti section in 2020. In 1993 Pasolini founded Red Waves Films, a film production company with which in 1997 he produced the film The Full Monty, a box-office hit around the world.
  • Martin Schweighofer (Austria), film critic, teacher and festival director, starting in 1992 he directed the Diagonale film festival in Salzburg for three years, and then served as executive director of AFC Austrian Films. From 2013 to 2019 he was first vice-president then president of European Film Promotion (EFP). During those same years he taught at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (Film, TV and media production), focusing on the international film market and on film festivals. He is a member of the European Film Academy and has been a member of many international film festival juries.
  • Amalia Ulman (Argentina), an artist and director, she has presented installations and video artworks at the Tate Modern, the New Museum, the Frieze Art Fair, Evelyn Yard and the White Chapel Gallery. She was defined as “the first Instagram artist” following Excellences & Perfections (2014), a performance that lasted four months on Instagram. Her debut feature-length film El Planeta was acclaimed by critics and was previewed at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2021.

The Jury of the Venice Award for a Debut Film will award to one of the debut feature-length films selected from the various competitive sections of the Venice Film Festival (Official Selection and Independent and Parallel Sidebars), with no joint awards allowed, the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film, with a cash prize of 100,000 USD donated by Filmauro, to be divided equally between the director and the producer.

Venice VR

The members of the international Jury of the Venice VR section are:

  • Michelle Kranot - president (Israel), member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored with the Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work at the 77th Venice Film Festival. Originally from Israel and raised between New York City and London, now Kranot lives and works in Denmark.
  • Maria Grazia Mattei (Italy), a scholar and art critic, Maria Grazia Mattei has been exploring the realms of digital culture for over thirty years. She has investigated its frontiers and recognized its potentialities since the 1980s, on a journey that in 2005 led to the founding of Meet the Media Guru, a platform for the exchange of ideas and public debate on themes of innovation.
  • Jonathan Yeo (UK), born in London in 1970, he is now one of the world’s leading portrait artists, known for both traditional and experimental portraiture. His sitters include such diverse figures, as Dennis Hopper, Malala Yousafzai, Damien Hirst, Grayson Perry, Idris Elba, Nicole Kidman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tony Blair and Prince Philip. He has exhibited widely in both the United Kingdom and abroad.

The Venice VR Jury will award the following prizes: Grand Jury Prize for Best VR Immersive Work, Best VR Immersive Experience for interactive content, and Best VR Immersive Story for linear content.