Venice jurors

Source: Venice / Trae Patton / @ A.M.P.A.S / Marrakech

Agnieszka Holland, Andrew Haigh, James Gray

Filmmakers James Gray, Andrew Haigh and Agnieszka Holland have joined the main competition jury of the 81st Venice Film Festival (August 28-September 7).

They are joined by Brazilian director and screenwriter Kleber Mendonça Filho; Mauritanian director, screenwriter and producer Abderrahmane Sissako; Italian director and screenwriter Giuseppe Tornatore; German director and screenwriter Julia von Heinz; and Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi.

As previously announced, the jury will be chaired by Isabelle Huppert, and award the Golden Lion for best film and the other official awards.

Gray’s Ad Astra screened in competition at Venice in 2019, and his directorial debut Little Odessa received the Silver Lion at the festival in 1994.

Haigh’s most recent film All of Us Strangers earned six Bafta nominations; his other films are Weekend (2011), 45 Years (2015) and Lean On Pete (2017).

Holland’s most recent film The Green Border won the special jury prize at Venice last year, and she has received Oscar nominations for Angry Harvest, Europa Europa and In Darkness.

Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius, Bacurau and Pictures Of Ghosts all appeared at Cannes, the first two in competition.

Sissako is also a Cannes regular with Waiting for Happiness, Bamako and Timbuktu all selected for the French festival; the latter became the first Mauritanian film to be nominated for an Oscar and won seven César awards.

Tornatore won the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar for his 1988 classic Cinema Paradiso; his other projects include Oscar-nominee Malèna, and Baarìa which opened Venice in 2009.

von Heinz’s And Tomorrow The Entire World was in competition at Venice in 2020, whilst her latest Treasure premiered at Berlinale and Tribeca in 2024.

Zhang Ziyi became a star after appearing in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and earned further acclaim for roles including Memoirs Of A Geisha, The Grandmaster, Hero and House Of Flying Daggers.

Last year’s Golden Lion went to Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things.

The juries for the Horizons and Luigi De Laurentiis debut film award will be announced at a later date.