in “The Face of Love
”: IFC FilmsAnnette Bening
is doing her herstory-making “20th Century Women” character proud: The actress has been named as the President of the 74th Venice Film Festival
. According to Deadline, the four-time Oscar nominee will be the fest’s first female prez since French actress Catherine Deneuve
held the role in 2006 — over 10 years ago. A total of four women have ever served as President at Venice. Chinese actress Gong Li
and New Zealand writer-director Jane Campion
served in 2002 and 1997, respectively.
Fest director Alberto Barbera
didn’t shy away from addressing the fact that Presidents have been overwhelmingly male at Venice. “It was time to break with a long list of male presidents and invite a brilliant, talented, and inspiring woman to chair our International competition jury,” he acknowledged.
Of the new President, Barbera said, “I am extremely happy that Annette Bening
has accepted this role, which she will carry out by virtue of her stature, her intellect, and the talents she has manifested over the course of her career, in Hollywood, Europe, and on the stage. Hers is a career marked by always interesting, often daring choices. A sophisticated and instinctive actress, able to portray complex shadings of character, Annette Bening
brings to her roles an understating, a warmth, and a natural elegance that makes watching her films a wonderful and ever enriching experience,” he observed.
Bening earned Oscar nods for “The Kids Are All Right
,” “Being Julia
,” “American Beauty
,” and “The Grifters
.” She was last seen in “20th Century Women,” a critically acclaimed dramedy set in 1979. Bening portrayed a single mother who enlists the help of her photographer tenant (Greta Gerwig
) and a precocious teen (Elle Fanning
) to provide guidance to her teenage son. Bening’s character is an aspiring pilot who ends up being the first woman to work in the Continental Can Company drafting room.
“I’m honored to be asked to serve as the President of the jury for this year’s Venice Film Festival
,” commented Bening. “I look forward to seeing the movies and working with my fellow jury members to celebrate the best of this year’s cinema from all over the world.”
The jury determines the winner of the fest’s Golden Lion for best film as well as the other main prizes, such as the Silver Lion for best director. The 2017 Venice Film Festival
runs from August 30 to September 9.
Bening is set to star in an upcoming installment of FX
’s “American Crime Story
.” She’ll portray Kathleen Blanco
, the governor of Louisiana who served during and after Katrina. At least 1,245 people died in the tragedy, making it one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.Annette Bening
Named President of Venice Film Fest Jury, Is the 4th Woman to Hold Position was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.