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Thursday, 24 May, 2001, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Moretti on Venice jury
Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti celebrates winning the coveted Palme D'Or at Cannes
Palme d'Or winning director Nanni Moretti is to sit on the jury panel at the 58th Venice International Film Festival.

He reportedly told Venice festival director Alberto Barbera that he would only serve on the jury if he won one of the major prizes at the Cannes film festival.

There is of course no bigger prize than the Palme d'Or, which Moretti won on Sunday for The Son's Room. He was the first Italian director to win the prize since 1978.

The Venice Film Festival is just as glamorous and star-studded as Cannes, with many major Hollywood stars in attendance.

Fraught

Moretti's relationship with the Venice Festival has been somewhat fraught at times, from the time when his 1989 film Palombella Rossa (Red Wood Pigeon) was rejected for selection.

The film was eventually screened in the separate Critics Week section. Since then, the director's films have all been screened.
Clint Eastwood and Sharon Stone
Clint Eastwood is presented with the Golden Lion career by Sharon Stone at the 57th Venice Film Festival

The Venice Film Festival is perhaps a more commercial prospect than its Cannes equivalent, with more Hollywood films and their stars in attendance. Last year, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer attended for the premiere of What Lies Beneath.

Clint Eastwood was presented with a Golden Lion special award for his career, a body of work spanning some 40 years.

The Venice festival is the world's oldest film event and its special award is recognised as one of the most prestigious in the movie industry.

Despite the strong Hollywood presence, of the 20 pictures in competition for the coveted Golden Lion trophy last year, only two came from the US. The prize was won by Iranian film The Circle.

Major retrospective

Moretti's invitation to sit on the Venice jury comes at a time when his films are to get wide exposure in the United States.

The Son's Room will premiere in North America later this month as the opening film of a complete retrospective of the Italian writer-director-actor's work.

Starting on 31 May with the premiere to be attended by Moretti and finishing on 3 June, the run will allow American audiences to see many films previously unreleased.

Felix Laudadio, President of Cinecitta Holdings said: "This will be an event of exceptional importance for Italian cinema, which has been experiencing a strong revival in the past year."

The other members of the Venice jury will be announced on 27 July in Rome. The festival itself runs from 20 August to 8 September.


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