The 66th Venice International Film Festival is to award the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to American director and producer, John Lasseter and to the directors of Disney*Pixar.

For the first time in the history of the Venice Film Festival, the Golden Lion will celebrate the contribution of the directors of a studio alongside the achievements of a single filmmaker.

The board of directors of the Venice Biennale assigns the award following a proposal from festival director Marco Müller. The board is chaired by Paolo Baratta.

The Golden Lion will be presented to John Lasseter at a special ceremony in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at Venice Lido in the presence of some of his oldest Disney-Pixar colleagues, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich.

Recognising Lasseter's acheivements festival director Marco Müller declared,

'Always on the lookout for that point at which the avant-garde (whether artistic, technological or formal) meets the blockbuster, Lasseter has not only contributed in a fundamental manner to bringing animation cinema to new heights as one of the great expressive forces of the new millennium, but has also become one of the symbols of the most precious, vital and inventive tradition of the great Hollywood cinema.'

Lasseter is chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios and principal creative advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering.

His animated films include the Academy Award-winning Toy Story (1995) as well as A Bug's Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Cars (2006).