The Venice Film Festival has named independent filmmaker Pere Portabella as president of the Orizzonti (Horizons) Jury, while director Haile Gerima will preside over the Lion of the Future Jury.
Portabella has been an influential force in Spanish independent film making for fifty years. Both a filmmaker and a producer, he produced Luis Bunuel’s 1961 Palme d’Or winner Viridiana for which he was forced into exile in Italy, although he eventually returned to Spain.
The Venice Orizzonti section is dedicated to new currents in cinema and its jury awards two prizes: the Orizzonti Prize and the Orizzonti Doc prize. Portabella himself presented The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille Vor Bach).in Venice Orizzonti in 2007
Filmmaker Haile Gerima will lead the Venice Lion of the Future prize jury.
Ethiopian Gerima is based in the United States. His film Teza(Dew) won the special Jury prize and the Osella Prize for best Screenplay at Venice in 2008. It went on to be the most awarded African film of all time.
Venice ‘s Lion of the Future prize, also known as the Luigi De Laurentiis Prize, awards $100,000, courtesy of Filmauro, to be divided between the director and producer of the winning film. All first films from across the festival’s sections are eligible.
The 66th Venice Film Festival runs September 2 -12.