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Alexandre Desplat to Preside Over International Jury at Venice Film Festival

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood June 23, 2014 at 11:57AM

Is there any Hollywood composer busier than Alexandre Desplat? The six-time Oscar nominee has scored four of the year's films so far (with another in post), but apparently he needed something more on his plate: he's been tapped to be the president of the International Jury Competition at this year's 71st Venice International Film Festival.
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Alexandre Desplat

Is there any Hollywood composer busier than Alexandre Desplat?  The six-time Oscar nominee has scored four of the year's films so far (with another in post), but apparently he needed something more on his plate: he's been tapped to be the president of the International Jury Competition at this year's 71st Venice International Film Festival.

The International Jury awards the festival's top prizes, including the Golden Lion for Best Film, Silver Lion for Best Director, the Grand Jury Prize and the awards for acting and writing.  Desplat is no stranger to prizes himself: for his scores to films such as "The Queen," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," "The King's Speech" and "Philomena," he's racked up a collection including a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, three Césars and two European Film Awards.  This is the first time that a composer will chair the jury.

"Alexandre Desplat is not only one of the greatest composers of film scores today but an ardent cinéphile, whose extraordinary artistic sensitivity is sustained by a profound knowledge of cinema, of its history, of its language," Alberto Barbera, the festival's director, said in a statement accompanying the announcement of Desplat's new gig.

Desplat and nine other jury members--yet to be announced--will hand out their prizes at the festival's closing ceremony on September 6.

London-based journalist Guy Lodge couldn't help but poke some fun at the French composer following the announcement, pointing on Twitter to his prolific output:

This article is related to: Alexandre Desplat, Venice Film Festival, Festivals, Awards, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.