The Saudi Arabian director of Wadjda will head up the Luigi De Laurentiis jury at the Venice Film Festival.

Saudi Arabian director Haifaa Al Mansour is to chair the International Jury for the Luigi De Laurentiis Venice Award for a debut film at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.

The first female director to come out of Saudi Arabia, her debut feature Wadjda screened at Venice last year to much critical acclaim. 

The jury, which will comprise of 7 leading international figures including a producer, will award a $10,000 cash prize to one of the debut feature-length films in the various competitive sections of the Venice Film Festival, which runs August 28-September 7.

Previous winners have included Guido Lombardi’s La-Bas and Ali Aydin’s Kuf.