Shekhar Kapur to head a jury at Venice film festival

Indian actor-director Shekhar Kapur will head the jury for the Luigi de Laurentiis Award at the Venice Film Festival, running from August 29 to September 8. The renowned filmmaker has...

hollywood Updated: Jun 06, 2012 13:24 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran

Indian actor-director Shekhar Kapur will head the jury for the Luigi de Laurentiis Award at the Venice Film Festival, running from August 29 to September 8.

Kapur shot into limelight with his 1994 Bandit Queen, a loosely knit biopic of dacoit Phoolan Devi. A nude scene of Seema Biswas, playing the dreaded dacoit (who later went on to become a Member of Parliament), caused a sensation then.

With the 1980s movies such as Masoom and Mr India behind him, Kapur made Elizabeth in 1998, a fictional account of the British monarch’s reign, which garnered seven Academy nominations, including one for direction. This was followed by a sequel in 2007, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which clinched two Oscar nods.

Accused of being anti-British for his portrayal of the British Army and Monarchy in the 2002 The Four Feathers, Kapur nonetheless walked on with the Elizabeth sequel coming in some years later.

Venice film festival trophy

In 2010, he announced at Cannes that he was making Paani, with Danny Boyle as the producer and A.R. Rahman scoring the music. The film, a futuristic detailing of war over water, is still in the making. In the meantime, Kapur is playing a part in Kamal Hassan’s Viswaroopam.

Leading Italian actor Pierfrancesco Favino will preside over the Orizzonti jury at Venice. A flexible and versatile actor, beloved of the movie and television audience, Favino won the David di Donatello won the Best Supporting Actor Award this year for his role as the anarchist Pinelli in Romanzo di una strage by Marco Tullio Giordana.

American director, screenwriter and producer Michael Mann will lead the main international Jury at Venice. Born in Chicago in 1943, Mann is one of the most influential figures in contemporary American cinema. After having written, produced and directed a few television series, he made his debut in film in 1981 with Thief. His characteristic post-modern style came out in all its complexity in Manhunter (1986), a movie which marked the first appearance on our screens of the character, Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal psychologist.

Mann’s name is particularly associated with city thrillers such as Heat (1995), which saw Al Pacino and Robert De Niro starring together for the first time, Collateral (2004, out of competition at the 61st Venice Film Festival), with Tom Cruise, and the political thriller, Insider (1999), the adaptation for cinema of Miami Vice (2006), and the noir biopic, Public Enemies (2009), about the 1930s bank robber, John Dillinger, essayed by Johnny Depp. Mann’s movies also include the epic, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and Ali, with Will Smith as the legendary boxer, Muhammed Ali.

As a producer, Mann's work includes Martin Scorsese's Aviator (2004), Hancock (2008) with Will Smith, and Texas Killing Fields (2011), directed by his daughter Ami Canaan Mann (in competition at the 68th Venice Film Festival).

This will be the first edition of the Venice Film Festival under Alberto Barbera, who took over early this year from Marco Mueller, whose eight-year stint as the head of the cinematic event is widely seen as a golden period.

Follow @htShowbiz

First Published: Jun 06, 2012 12:55 IST