French director and scriptwriter Jacques Audiard, Russian poet Evgenij Evtusenko, producer Uli Felsberg, Hungarian cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, Italian actress Francesca Neri and Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu have joined the official jury of the Venice film festival (Aug 29-Sept 8).

As previously announced, the jury is to be headed by Chinese actress Gong Li (Screendaily, July 28).

Instead of having separate juries for the features and the short films, a single the all-powerful jury will this year allocate prizes in both categories. This is in line with the festival's decision to screen shorts ahead of the main competition features, rather than keeping the shorts to a separate showing.

As such the jury gets to decide the Golden Lion (which cannot be shared), a jury prize, best directing prize, the Coppa Volpi prizes for actor and actress and the Marcello Mastroianni award to the best newcomer. Among the shorts the jurors will award a Silver Lion, a special mention and the UIP Prize for best European short.

Juries have previously been announced for the Upstream (Controcorrente) and Critics' Week (Settimana Internazionale Della Critica) section.