Director Milos Forman will chair the jury of the upcoming Venice International Film Festival, the festival has announced.

Forman, who recently directed Man On The Moon and The People Vs Larry Flint, will head a jury composed of Jennifer Jason Leigh; Giuseppe Bertolucci; Claude Chabrol; writer Tahar Ben-Jelloun; Iranian Cannes prize-winner Samira Makhmalbaf; and German film critic Andreas Kilb.

Canadian director Atom Egoyan will chair the Opera Prima "Luigi De Laurentiis" sidebar, which awards a $100,000 prize to be equally divided between the director and producer of the festival's best first film. The section's jury features Chiara Mastroianni; Italian director Mimmo Calopresti; actor-director Peter Mullan; and American critic Bill Krohn.

The festival, which this year runs from August 30 to September 9, also confirmed that Sharon Stone will present a Leono d'Oro award to Clint Eastwood at the opening ceremony on August 30 to celebrate his 45-year career. Eastwood's Space Cowboys, about four retired pilots who are called back to Nasa for a special mission, will be screened after the ceremony.

Venice chief Alberto Barbera will announce the full line-up for the festival's 57th edition in Rome on July 28.

  • Italian pay-TV channel Telepiu has clinched a deal with the Venice Biennale organisers for exclusive broadcasting rights to this year's event and will be the only broadcaster to cover the opening night gala, the awards and closing ceremonies, the celebrities' arrivals at film screenings and the daily press conferences. Rome-based GA&A distribution and sales company will be handling international sales of the twice daily 10-minute festival updates, as well as a 50-minute special of the event highlights, which will be available at the end of the festival.