Biennale Cinema - 66th International Venice Film Festival
The 66th International Venice Film Festival, directed by Marc Müller will run from 2nd to 12th September 2009. This year the award-winning director, Ang Lee, will chair the International Jury for the Competition of the Festival and will be responsible for awarding the Golden Lion and the other official prizes.
The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, approving the proposal made by the Director of the Venice International Film Festival, Marco Müller.
Ang Lee is one of the most successful directors in creating a dialogue between the film-making culture of the East and West, and is one of the most highly-awarded directors of recent years. At the Venice International Film Festival, he has won two Golden Lions: in 2005, with Brokeback Mountain, and in 2007 with Lust, Caution (Se, jie). He has also taken the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival twice, first in 1993 with The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan), and again in 1996 with Sense and Sensibility, which went on to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. In 2001, his visionary martial arts masterpiece, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Wo hu cang long), won four Oscars, including Best Foreign Film, and became the non-English-language film with the highest box office earnings in the history of cinema. Ang Lee also won an Oscar and a Golden Globe as Best Director in 2006 for the Golden Lion film, Brokeback Mountain, which won three Oscars and four Golden Globes in all. Ang Lee has received innumerable other awards around the world for the 11 feature films he has directed to date.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement is to be awarded to the American director and producer, John Lasseter – one of the protagonists of the innovation in contemporary animated cinema – and to the directors of Disney•Pixar Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton e Lee Unkrich. Exceptionally in the history of the Venice Film Festival, the award celebrates not only a single filmmaker, but also the contribution of all the directors of this visionary studio.
“John Lasseter is the protagonist of ‘Western’ contemporary animation cinema,” declared Marco Müller. “Always on the lookout for that point at which the avant-garde (whether artistic, technological or formal) meets the blockbuster and the director of magnificent films – such as Toy Story (1995), A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Cars (2006), Lasseter has not only contributed in a fundamental manner to bringing animation cinema to new heights as one of the great expressive forces of the new millennium, but has also become one of the symbols of the most precious, vital and inventive tradition of the great Hollywood cinema.”
“We are particularly pleased to award this Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to one of the great innovators and experimenters of Hollywood,” declared the President of the Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta. “We believe that the presence of John Lasseter in Venice, with his fellow Disney•Pixar directors, will represent an extraordinary opportunity for them to meet young Italian and European animation filmmakers as part of a workshop organised with the Biennale.”