Chinese superstar Gong Li will head the jury of the upcoming 59th Venice International Film Festival, the festival's organisers have announced.

The festival said Li had been chosen after artistic director Moritz de Hadeln suggested the actress should be considered as "her career successes have often been linked to the Venice Film Festival."

Li won Venice's Coppa Volpi award for best actress in the 1992 film The Story of Qiu Ju, as a pregnant peasant who manages to get justice for her husband. The film also won the Golden Lion, the festival's top award, while the actress's previous movie, Raise the Red Lantern, won the festival's Silver Lion.

Li recently completed work on Sun Zhou's The Train of Zho Zhu where she stars alongside Tony Leung as a beautiful young woman who is tempted away from her lover by another man.

Meanwhile, the Biennale, the organisation which manages the Venice Film Festival, also announced that veteran Italian director Dino Risi (1974's Scent of a Woman, Love and Larceny, The Dolls) will be this year's recipient of the festival's prestigious Golden Lion Career Award.