ROME – The organizers of the Venice International Film Festival announced on Monday their decision to select Mexican cinematographer Guillermo del Toro to preside over this year’s International Jury.
The world’s oldest film festival, founded in 1932 and today regarded as one of the world’s three most important such events along with Cannes and Berlin, will take place from Aug. 29-Sept. 8 with Del Toro, who is currently riding on a wave after his latest film, “The Shape of Water” accrued 13 nominations and is considered a front-runner to win the Best Director Oscar at this year’s 90th edition on March 4, presiding.
“To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude,” Del Toro said, adding that Venice was a window to world cinema and an “opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.”
The decision to choose Del Toro was taken by Venice Festival board chair Paolo Baratta and festival director Alberto Barbera.
“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,” Barbera said, adding that Del Toro “will be a genial, inquisitive and enthusiastic President.”
The Mexican director, who last year screened his Oscar nomination-laden film “The Shape of Water” at the Venice Festival will be tasked, with another eight, yet to be announced, jurors with deciding this, the 75th edition’s, winners of the festival’s Golden and Silver Lion awards for Best Film or Best Film director, among others.