The Venice Film Festival has announced that American director Greg Araki will preside over the Venice Horizons section jury while the Lion of the Future prize jury (dedicated to first films) will be presided over by American producer Bill Mechanic.

The Lion of the Future prize is a USD $100,000 cash prize funded by Italian producer Aurelio de Laurentiis and split between director and producer of the winning film.

The director will also receive Euros 40,000 in a voucher to be spent on Kodak Film. All debut films, across all festival sections are taken into consideration for this prize.

Mechanic, who will preside over the Lion of the Future Prize, has been a producer with Disney Home Entertainment for most of the 1980s, Fox Filmed Entertainment in the 1990s, and more recently has been an independent producer with his own Pandemonium production company.

Among his credits are Terrence Malick's New World and Walter Salles first English lingo film Dark Water.

The Horizon Section, which focuses on the latest trends in cinema - is to bepresided over by Greg Araki - a director who has twice presented films in the Horizon section himself, and whose work is reflective of 'pop culture and the tribulations of adolescence,' the press statement said.

His most recent Horizons contender was Mysterious Skin in 2004. Araki was schooled in history of Cinema at The University of California at Santa Barbara and went on to earn a Masters in Fine Arts in film production at the University of Southern California.

The Venice film Festival runs Aug 29 - Sept 8.