Venezia 68 International Jury

The selection has been made for the members of the International Jury for the Competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival, with American director and screenwriter Darren Aronofsky as president.

The Jury will award the official prizes of the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which will take place on the Lido from 31 August through 10 September 2010, directed by Marco Mueller and organized by la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.

The personalities selected to compose the Jury are:

  • Finnish visual artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila, whose works have been displayed in the most important exhibition centres in the world, from the Tate Modern in London (with a monographic exhibition 2002), to MoMA in New York (with her video installation The Wind in 2006), and who has participated twice in the Art Biennale, in 1999 with her video-projection Lohdutusseremonia (Nordic countries Pavilion) and in 2005 with her work The Hour of Prayer, projected onto four screens.
  • Composer, visual artist and director David Byrne. Known as the force behind Talking Heads and later as creator of the highly-regarded record-label Luaka Bop, David Byrne also works as a photographer, film director, author, and solo artist; he has published and exhibited visual art for more than a decade. Film work includes starring in the famous concert-film Stop Making Sense (1984) by Jonathan Demme, director (and actor/narrator) of the original True Stories (1987) and composer of soundtracks including the The Last Emperor (1987) by Bernardo Bertolucci, which won him the Oscar. Most recently he collaborated with Will Oldham for the soundtrack to This Must be the Place, directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring Sean Penn.
  • American director Todd Haynes, a key figure in independent cinema, who has always been attracted by artistic and literary interests that run through his films. He was in Competition in Venice in 2007 with I’m Not Here (winner of the Special Jury Prize, and the Coppa Volpi for best actress to Cate Blanchett) and in 2002 with Far From Heaven (Coppa Volpi for best actress to Julianne Moore). He won the Golden Leopard in Locarno and the Jury Prize at Sundance for his debut film Poison (1991).
  • Italian film and theatre director Mario Martone, in Competition in Venice in 2010 with the highly acclaimed Noi Credevamo, winner of seven David di Donatello and the Nastro d’argento that year; winner of the Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1992 for his debut film Morte di un matematico napoletano (Death of a Neapolitan Mathematician). An important protagonist in the experimental theatre scene in Italy (one of the founders of the groups Falso Movimento and Teatri Uniti), he has been responsible for productions in the major theatres of the world and is the director of the Teatro Stabile in Turin.
  • Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher, one of the most sought-after and acclaimed actresses in recent years, in Venice in 2010 with La solitudine dei numeri primi (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) by Saverio Costanzo (for which she won the Nastro d’argento as best actress) and Sorelle mai by Marco Bellocchio, in 2009 with Io sono l’amore (I am Love by Luca Guadagnino), and in 2008 with Il papà di Giovanna (Giovanna’s Father) by Pupi Avati, for which she won the David di Donatello as best actress (the year before she had won the prize for best supporting actress for Giorni e nuvole (Days and Clouds) by Silvio Soldini).
  • French director and screenwriter André Téchiné, one of the great Masters from over the Alps, winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes for Rendez-vous (1985). After working as a critic with the prestigious “Cahiers du cinéma”, he made his debut in Venice in 1969 with Pauline s’en va (Pauline is Leaving). He chose Venice as a suggestive location for his latest film Impardonnables (2011), presented at Cannes in the section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, with André Dussollier in the role of Francis, an established author who comes to the Island of Sant’Erasmo to concentrate in peace on his next novel.

On the closing night of the Venice International Film Festival (September 10, 2011), the Venezia 68 International Jury will award the official prizes to the feature-length films in competition: the Golden Lion for Best Film, the Silver Lion for Best Director, the Special Jury Prize, the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor, the Coppa Volpi for Best Actress, the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress, the Osella for Best Technical Contribution, and the Osella for Best Screenplay.

Biographical Notes

Eija-Liisa Ahtila (visual artist and filmmaker – Finland)

Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a contemporary Finnish visual artist and filmmaker. She has been working in the diverse areas of audiovisual expression since the late eighties. She has studied film and multimedia both in London and Los Angeles and she is currently working mostly on film and video.

Within her works she has explored experimental narrative storytelling techniques and e.g. the connection between short films and commercials, split-screen techniques and the possibilities of narration in multiscreen installations. Her films have been shown in international film festivals such as Rotterdam, Miami, Hong Kong, Helsinki and the Sundance Film Festival, and on several different TV-Channels in Europe and Australia.

She explores and experiments with narrative storytelling in her films and cinematic installations. In her earlier works she has dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the centre of personal relationships, dealing e.g. with teenage sexuality, family relations, mental disintegration and death. Her later works, however, deal with more profound and basic artistic questions where she investigates the processes of perception and attribution of meaning, at times in the light of a larger cultural and existential thematic like colonialism, faith and post humanism. Her skillfully crafted narratives and touching portrayal of characters have captured the public’s interest and won critical acclaim worldwide. The films and installations attain an air of contemporary familiarity combined with intense oddness, giving Ahtila’s work its distinctive style. Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s films have won several international film awards. A retrospective of her time-based installation works has been shown in some of the most prominent contemporary art museums worldwide. Tate Modern in London dedicated a monographic exhibition to her work in 2002, and the MoMA presented in 2006 her video installation The Wind. In 2008, the Jeu de Paume cultural exhibition centre in Paris dedicated a retrospective to her work entitled Eija-Liisa Ahtila: A Retrospective. British Film Institute has published The Cinematic Works of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, exposing her work to a wider audience on home DVD.

The Finnish artist has participated twice in the International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia. In 1999, her video-projection Lohdutusseremonia (Consolation Service) won an honorable mention. She returned to the Biennale in 2005, where she projected The Hour of Prayer, an exploration on four screens of the sense of loss and pain that followed the death of a dog.

Her works include Plato’s Son (1990), a philosophical short road movie about a female alien who arrives to the earth, The Trial (1993), Me/We, Okay, Gray (1993), If 6 was 9 (1995/96), a split screen film about teenage girls and sex, Today (1996/1997), a three episode short film about the relations between fathers and daughters, Love is a Treasure (2002) and Where is Where (2009), a video-installation on multiple screens that addresses the theme of war and the trauma it provokes among civilians.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila has won a series of important acknowledgments throughout her career, including the Young Artist of the Year Award in Finland (1990), the AVEK award for important achievements in the field of audio-visual culture (1997), the Edstrand Art Prize (1998) and the Vincent Van Gogh Bi-annual Award for Contemporary Art in Europe (2000). She also earned the Artes Mundi Prize in Cardiff (2006) and the Prince Eugen Medal for outstanding artistic achievement in Sweden (2008).

David Byrne (musician, artist, filmmaker – Scotland)

David Byrne is well known as the musician who co-founded the group Talking Heads (1976–88) in New York and later as the creator of the highly regarded record label Luaka Bop. David Byrne has been involved with photography and design since his college days and has been publishing and exhibiting his work for the past decade. Like his film and musical projects, his artwork is often described as elevating the mundane or the banal to the level of art, creating icons out of everyday materials to find the sacred in the profane. Byrne’s works are about interiors, both physical and emotional, as much as exteriors. 

Museum shows in Germany, Italy, and Japan have mixed these pieces with audio elements, acoustiguides, and sculptural elements. Since the beginning Byrne has mixed exhibitions with public art: billboards in Belfast and Toronto, subway posters in Stockholm, fly posters during the presidential election in NY, LA and Chicago and lightboxes in the streets of San Francisco and Sydney, Australia. He has also created a 215-foot long flow chart covering the 5th Avenue side of Saks 5th Ave, multiple-choice questions on the Tokyo subways, an audio piece in the World Financial Center in NYC, and PowerPoint installations in a building lobby on Times Square. More recent projects include Playing the Building, an interactive installation which turned a building into a giant musical instrument, Voice of Julio / Vox de Julio, a singing robot, and a series of unique bike racks installed throughout New York City in collaboration with PaceWildenstein Gallery and the NYC Department of Transportation.

Several books have appeared in recent years, each a kind of piece on its own. The first, Strange Ritual (Chronicle Press, 1995) mixed text and image in a notebook-type format. The second, Your Action World (Edimar, Italy, 1998 and Chronicle, 1999), was modeled after corporate reports and inspirational and motivational literature. The third book, The New Sins / Los Nuevos Pecados, looks like a bible and was created for the Valencia Biennial, where copies were placed anonymously in hotel room drawers. It was published by McSweeney’s in the USA and by Faber & Faber in the UK, and there is a Bulgarian edition as well. Another book project, Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (Steidl/PaceMacGill, 2003) focuses on Byrne’s use of the presentation software PowerPoint as an art medium and contains a DVD of five PowerPoint presentations set to music. In September 2006 McSweeney’s published Arboretum, is a sketchbook facsimile of Byrne’s “tree drawings,” and Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries, an account of cycling in many cities around the world, was published by Viking Press in 2009. Most recently Byrne released an audio book version of Bicycle Diaries complete with street sounds and narration and music by Byrne. 

Todd Haynes (director, screenwriter – US)

A director native to California, Todd Haynes relies on a complex imaginative narrative to explore obsessions, dealing with awkward or scandalous themes and focused on characters that are ill at ease, driven by distress and deep-set impulses, quick to defy rules and conventions. Todd Haynes was attracted to the arts, painting and making amateur films from childhood on. In 1985, he successfully finished his studies in Art and Semiotics at Brown University and moved to New York. Two years later he wrote and directed an Oscar-winning short film entitled Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, in which the director used Barbie dolls instead of actors to reconstruct the life of a singer killed by anorexia, a film that soon became an underground cult hit.

Haynes’ first feature-length film, Poison (1991), won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Golden Leopard in Locarno. Shortly thereafter the director made Dottie Gets Spanked, a short film that The Village Voice defined as “A portrait of the suburbs in the Fifties, in a pop-art style”. His second feature-length film, Safe (1994), was nominated Best Film of the Year by the most influential critics of newspapers and magazines such as the Boston Globe, Film Comment, and Interview Magazine. The Village Voice went even further, defining it as the best film of the Nineties. Safe was the first collaboration between Haynes and actress Julianne Moore. Haynes’ third film was the intense rock drama Velvet Goldmine (1997), with Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Christian Bale and Toni Colette. The New York Times described Goldmine as “dazzling and surreal”, and the Cannes Film Festival awarded the film the prize for Best Artistic Contribution.

Far from Heaven (2002), Haynes’ fourth film, was presented in competition at the Venice International Film Festival where the star Julianne Moore won the Coppa Volpi, and was highly acclaimed, especially electrifying American critics, including those of the prestigious association of New York Film Critics. Far from Heaven won four Oscar nominations, including Best Actress for Julianne Moore, and Best Screenplay for Haynes. In 2007 he returned to Venice, presenting I’m Not There in Competition, a film inspired by the life of Bob Dylan, played by six different actors (Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw). The film won the Special Jury Prize (from the Jury chaired by Chinese director Zhang Yimou) and Cate Blanchett won the Coppa Volpi for best actress.

Haynes recently directed the American five-part television series Mildred Pierce, produced by the prestigious HBO channel and successfully broadcast in the United States this spring. The series, based on the novel by James M. Cain, and previously adapted for the screen in 1945 in a film also entitled Mildred Pierce, stars Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, James LeGros, Melissa Leo, Brian F. O’Byrne, Morgan Turner, and Mare Winningham.

Mario Martone (director, screenwriter – Italy)

Born in Naples in 1959, he has worked both as a stage and film director from the very beginning. His artistic career began in the theatre, at the time of the avant-garde, founding the group “Falso Movimento” and creating productions in which theatre interacted with film, such as Tango glaciale (1982) and Ritorno ad Alphaville (1986). Ten years later, working with other Neapolitan artists, he conceived and founded the cooperative “Teatri Uniti”, with which, in addition to continuing his work in theatre, he made the feature-length films: Morte di un matematico napoletano (Death of a Neapolitan Mathematician), winner of the Grand Jury Prize in Venice in 1992, Rasoi (from the homonymous production he created with Enzo Moscato and Toni Servillo), L’amore molesto (Nasty Love, 1995), and Teatro di Guerra (Rehearsal for War, 1998). Martone made many films in other formats: short films, documentaries, “collage” films, including Lucio Amelio/Terraemotus, Antonio Mastronunzio pittore sannita, La salita (an episode in the collective film I vesuviani), Una storia saharawi, Nella Napoli di Luca Giordano, and Caravaggio l’ultimo tempo (both winners of the Gran Premio Asolo for art films in 2004 and 2006). For his work in the cinema he has won numerous awards, including two David di Donatello and one Nastro d’argento. His productions for the theatre focus in particular on Greek tragedies (from Philoctetes to The Persians and Oedipus Rex) and, in recent years, operas (Mozart, Verdi, Rossini) in the greatest theatres in the world, including London, Madrid, Paris,Tokyo, and Milan. Between 1999 and 2000 he was the director of the Teatro di Roma, where he radically changed the programming to create a new space for theatre, the Teatro India, which he opened to the other arts and to the contemporary. He contributed in 2003 to the foundation of the Teatro Mercandante Stabile in Naples, for which he curated the Petrolio project, involving dozens of Italian artists on the theme of the homonymous novel by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

A novel by Goffredo Parise, also written in the Seventies, inspired his film L’odore del sangue (The Scent of Blood) with Michele Placido and Fanny Ardant. Last year, in Competition at the Venice Film Festival, he presented one of the most impressive projects of his career, Noi credevamo (We Believed, 2010), the story of three southern conspirators fighting the long war of the Risorgimento for the Unity of Italy. The film won 7 David di Donatello this year, including Best Film and Best Screenplay (written by Martone himself), and the Nastro d’argento 20111 from the National Syndicate of Film Critics “not only as a case study in film that runs against the trend in the year of comedy, but for the value and commitment it expresses, beyond cinema, at a historic moment in the life of the Italian Republic, 150 years after the Unity of the Country”. He is currently Director of the Teatro Stabile in Turin, for which he recently produced “Le Operette Morali” by Giacomo Leopardi. 

Alba Rohrwacher (actress – Italy)

After attending courses at the Accademia dei Piccoli in Florence (1997-98) and the Compagnia de’ Pinti school (1998-2000), she graduated in 2003 from the Scuola Nazionale di Cinema. She made her screen debut in 2004 in L’amore ritrovato (An Italian Romance) by Carlo Mazzacurati, followed by a series of films that established her as one of the most sought-after faces in Italian cinema: Melissa P. by Luca Guadagnino (2005), Mio fratello è figlio unico (My Brother is an Only Child) by Daniele Luchetti (2006), Giorni e nuvole (Days and Clouds) by Silvio Soldini (2007), Nelle tue mani by Peter del Monte (2008), Caos calmo (Quiet Chaos) by Antonello Grimaldi (2008), Il papa di Giovanna (Giovanna’s Father) by Pupi Avati, (2008), Due partite (The Ladies Get Their Say) by Enzo Monteleone (2009), Io sono l’amore (I am Love) by Luca Guadagnino (2010) L’uomo che verrà (The Man who will Come) by Giorgio Diritti (2010), Cosa voglio di più (Come Undone) by Silvio Soldini (2010), La solitudine dei numeri primi (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) by Saverio Costanzo (2010), and Sorelle mai by Marco Bellocchio (2010). Since 2003, she has acted on the stage as well as in film, starring in plays such as La casa degli spiriti directed by Della Seta and Sevald (2003), Bric à Brac, directed by L. Lupaioli (2004), Il mondo salvato dai ragazzini directed by V. Cruciani (2005), Lisa per la regia directed by L. Gioielli (2006), and Noccioline directed by V. Binasco (2007).

For television, she starred in Il vizio dell’amore by Velia Santella (2006). She has won many awards, including two David di Donatello, for Giorni e nuvole (2008) and Il papà di Giovanna (2009), two Ciak d’Oro, as best debut actress in 2008 and as best actress for Cosa voglio di più, the Premio Esercenti (2007), the Golden Graal (2008), the Premio Flaiano (2008) and was selected as a Shooting Star at the Berlin Festival 2008. For her interpretation in La solitudine dei numeri primi she won the Francesco Pasinetti Prize in Venice for best actress, and this year she won the Ciak d’oro and the Nastro d’argento. During 2011 she has been busy on the sets of two films: Missione di Pace, a first work by Francesco Lagi in which she again stars with Silvio Orlando, and Bliss (Gluck), Doris Dörrie’s latest film. 

André Téchiné (director, screenwriter – France)

He spent his childhood and youth in the southwest of France, where he would later set some of his films. Recognized as one of the masters of post-Nouvelle Vague French cinema, André Téchiné is a filmmaker who year after year has demonstrated his powerful talent as an auteur, addressing various types of narrative material, the classics of tradition as well as new works, in a highly personal and original style. Not only has he proved to be an excellent director of actors – and especially of actresses, given that he has always obtained the best from, among others, stars of the calibre of Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Jeanne Moreau and Emmanuelle Béart; but he has also distinguished himself as a scout for promising new talents – and for his commitment and courageous experimentation with new expressive forms. Téchiné is particularly adept at expressing the restlessness of young people, proving that he has a complete grasp of the way they express themselves and relate to others. Alternating great romantic stories with more intimate narratives, often with an autobiographical tone, he addresses issues such as the relationship between parents and children, between brothers and between brother and sister, homosexuality, prostitution, delinquency and the relationship between dreams and death, seeking to open new horizons for his audience. His style, highly nuanced and technically innovative, seeks to express extremely intense feelings, often marked by transgression.


After working as a film critic for “Cahiers du cinéma”, he began working behind the camera as assistant director for Jacques Rivette, Luc Moullet, and Marc’O. In the Seventies, he also acted in La maman et la putain (The Mother and the Whore) by Jean Eustache. In 1969, he made his first feature-length film, Pauline s’en va (Pauline is Leaving), with its moving portrait by actress Bulle Ogier. The film was released in 1975, which is why Téchiné considers his real debut to have been Souvenirs d’en France (French Provincial), a feature-length film influenced by Bertolt Brecht which won him the praise of Roland Barthes (who would appear in Les Sœurs Brontë (The Brontë Sisters) in 1979). In 1976 he released Barocco with Isabelle Adjani, followed in 1981 by Hotel des Amériques (Hotel America), with Patrick Dewaere and Catherine Deneuve, who would become one of his actress-symbols. In 1985, he achieved recognition at Cannes, winning the award for Best Director for Rendez-vous, with a screenplay by Olivier Assayas.


Téchiné displays the world of emotions, of relationships, of love with a sensibility that has become less literary over time and increasingly realistic. In J’embrasse pas (I Don’t Kiss, 1991) he tells a story of prostitution. Family and love are the focus of Ma saison préférée (My Favourite Season, presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993), of Les temps qui changent (Changing Times, 1994) and Les Témoins (The Witnesses, 2006), which addressed the theme of AIDS with particular composure. Téchiné does not disdain television, and he brings surprising grace to a television production such as Les Roseaux Sauvages (Wild Reeds, 1993), the story of four young people set during the war in Algeria. A version of the film was released in theatres to great acclaim and it won three Césars, including best director and best screenplay. In 2001, in Competition at the Venice International Film Festival, he presented Loin (Far), a digitally-made film that highlights the talent of several young actors including, in particular, Lubna Azabal in the role of a Jewish girl living in Tangiers. His next work, Les égarés (Strayed, 2003), starring Emmanuelle Béart and Gaspard Ulliel, is presented in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2003.


In 2009 the director returned to the silver screen with La Fille du RER (The Girl on the Train), inspired by the true story of the girl who some years ago claimed to be the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on the RER in Paris. In the film, Catherine Deneuve stars with Michel Blanc and Emilie Dequenne. Also in 2009, the Cinémathéque Française in Paris dedicated a retrospective to Téchiné, showing all his films. In 2011, he presented his latest film Impardonnables, entirely filmed in Venice, at Cannes in the section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs; it starred André Dussollier in the role of Francis, an established author who arrives on the island of Sant’Erasmo to concentrate in peace on his next novel.