Parasite director Bong Joon Ho has been selected as jury president of the 78th Venice International Film Festival, organizers said Friday. The Oscar-winner will preside over seven jurors to hand out the festivalâ€™s top awards, including the prestigious Golden Lion. Heâ€™ll be the first South Korean to hold the post.
In a statement, the director said he is, â€œHonored to be woven into its beautiful cinematic tradition. As president of the jury â€” and more importantly as a perpetual cinephile â€” Iâ€™m ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. Iâ€™m filled with genuine hope and excitement.â€
Festival director Alberto Barbera remarked upon the historic nature of the selection.
â€œWe are immensely grateful to him for having agreed to put his passion as a cinephile attentive, inquisitive and unprejudiced, at the service of our festival,â€ Barbera said. â€œThe decision to entrust the Jury to a Korean filmmaker, for the first time in the festivalâ€™s history, is also confirmation that the Venetian event embraces the cinema of the entire world, and that directors from every country know they can consider Venice their second home.â€
The Venice Film Festival was one of the only major film festivals to proceed in person last year amid the pandemic. The 78th edition is set to run from Sept. 1-11.