The Oscar-winning actress (and upcoming Mrs. America series star) will preside over the jury at the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, the Italian cinema event announced Thursday morning, with festival director Alberto Barbera calling Blanchett an “icon of contemporary cinema” while praising her humanitarian efforts as well as her “intelligence and sincere passion for cinema.”
Blanchett’s upcoming gig in Venice will mark the second time in two years that she has fronted a prestige festival’s jury, as the Carol and Blue Jasmine actress also served as the jury president at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. She is only the eighth woman in the last 77 years to head up the Venice jury, following Suso Cecchi d’Amico (1980), Irene Papas (1987), Jane Campion (1997), Gong Li (2002), Catherine Deneuve (2006), Annette Bening (2017), and Lucrecia Martel (2019).
In addition to watching films among the festival lineup, the jury president’s duties include overseeing Venice’s main competition. Last year, the festival awarded Todd Phillips’ eventual Oscar juggernaut Joker with the Golden Lion, it’s top prize. Major Oscar contenders like Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Wateralso won the award before scoring Best Picture nominations from the Academy. Previously, Blanchett won Venice’s Volpi Cup for Best Actress for her work in Todd Haynes’ 2007 film I’m Not There.
“Every year I look expectantly to the selection at Venice, and every year it is surprising and distinct,” Blanchett said in a press statement. “Venice is one of the most atmospheric film festivals in the world – a celebration of the provocative and inspirational medium that is cinema in all its forms. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be this year’s jury president.”