Director Guillermo Del Toro has been appointed President of the 2018 Venice International Film Festival jury.
The Pan’s Labyrinth filmmaker premiered his latest movie The Shape of Water at the 2017 film festival, where it won the coveted Golden Lion for best film, and he is now set to return to the Italian city in August (18) to find the next Golden Lion winner.
“To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude,” said the Mexican director in a statement. “Venice is a window to world cinema and the opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.”
“Guillermo Del Toro personifies generosity, a love for movies past or future, and a passion for the kind of cinema that can spark emotions, affect people and, at the same time, make them reflect,” Festival Director Alberto Barbera said. “By virtue of his lively imagination, uncommon sensitivity and his trust in the power of images, he has brought to life a fantastic universe in which love and fear can coexist, and to treasure diversity is a fundamental value.
“We are pleased and honored that he has agreed to preside over the Jury of the 75th Venice Film Festival, after having illuminated the previous edition with the dazzling beauty of The Shape Of Water. He will be a genial, inquisitive and enthusiastic President.”
Since its premiere at Venice, The Shape of Water has achieved critical acclaim and has been one of the leading films this awards season. Del Toro has already won the Best Director Golden Globe and a top Directors Guild of America award for the fantasy-drama, and is a hot favorite for the BAFTA and Oscar accolades too.
Del Toro follows in the footsteps of recent Venice presidents which include Sam Mendes, Annette Bening, Alfonso Cuaron and Darren Aronofsky.
The remainder of del Toro’s jury has yet to be announced. The 75th Venice Film Festival runs from 29 August to 8 September 29 to Sept. 8.