La La Land director Damien Chazelle to lead main jury at Venice Film Festival 2023

The 80th edition of the festival will commence on August 30 on Lido Island

Damien Chazelle at Venice Film Festival in 2018, where his feature First Man was shown. Reuters
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Damien Chazelle, the Oscar-winning director of hit movies La La Land and Whiplash, will lead the main competition jury at this year's Venice Film Festival, organisers have announced.

The French-American director, screenwriter and producer has close ties to the festival, having opened it with two of his films in the past decade — First Man in 2018 and La La Land in 2016.

"I am humbled and delighted to be invited to lead this year's jury," he said after his appointment was announced on Friday.

French director Alice Diop, whose first feature-length fiction film Saint Omer won the Silver Lion and Grand Jury Prize at last year's festival, will lead the jury to decide who should win the award for a debut film this year.

Critics were deeply divided over many of the films at the last festival, but it was a stellar year for individual actors.

There were rave reviews for Brendan Fraser, who made an unlikely comeback from the Hollywood wilderness as a morbidly obese English professor in The Whale. Fraser went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for the role.

Hugh Jackman's performance as a father dealing with a depressed teenager in The Son was also labelled the best of his career.

The jury last year was led by Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore.

The 80th edition of the festival, held on the lagoon city's Lido island, will run from August 30 to September 9. The movies in competition will be announced in July.

Updated: May 05, 2023, 11:25 AM