Martel and her jury will assign the Golden Lion for best film, as well as other awards. The choice was approved by board of directors of the festival, chaired by Paolo Baratta, at the recommendation of festival artistic director Alberto Barbera.
The Argentinian filmmaker said, “It’s an honor, a responsibility, and a pleasure to be a part of this celebration of cinema, of humanity’s immense desire to understand itself.”
Barbera commented that, “Four feature films and a handful of shorts, in just under two decades, have been enough to make Lucrecia Martel Latin America’s most important female director, and one of the top worldwide. In her films, the originality of her stylistic research and her meticulous mise-en-scène are at the service of a worldview free of compromises, dedicated to exploring the mysteries of female sexuality and the dynamics of groups and classes. We are grateful to her for having enthusiastically agreed to put her exacting, yet anything but uncharitable, gaze at the service of this commitment we have requested of her.”
Martel made her debut with La Cienaga (The Swamp) in 2001, followed by La Nina Santa (The Holy Girl) in 2004, and acclaimed Cannes title La Mujer Sin Cabeza (The Headless Woman) in 2008. Her fourth feature, Zama (2017), an exploration of colonialism and racism in Latin America, had its premiere on the Lido.
This year’s Venice festival, which runs August 28-September 7, is also honoring Pedro Almodovar and Julie Andrews with lifetime achievement awards. Last year the major Academy Awards launchpad, whose jury was presided over by Guillermo del Toro, crowned Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma with the Golden Lion and opened with Damien Chazelle’s First Man.