Award-winning Tunisian actress Hend Sabri will be joining the prestigious jury of the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film, at the 76th Venice Film Festival scheduled to take place from August 28 to September 7 in Rome.
Sabri recently took to Twitter to confirm her selection while sharing how she feels. “I am honored to be chosen for this role and I hope to represent the Arab region in one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in the world,” she wrote.
As one of the most popular actresses in the region, this is not the first time Sabri will be seated on an international festival’s jury panel. In 2015, she was selected as a jury member for the Dubai International Film Festival, and then became the first Arab actress to join the Rotterdam Film Festival jury panel in 2016. Additionally, she acted as the honorary president of the 1st International Arab Festival that took place in Algeria, 2016.
The line-up for the 76th Venice International Film Festival was announced on Thursday, July 25. The outstanding selection of films includes The Perfect Candidate by Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour. It is the only film from the region to be nominated in the Venezia 76 category along with 20 other international movies. Mansour’s film is about a young Saudi female doctor who decides to run in a municipal election and shatters stereotypes in the region. The movie starring Mila Alzahrani, Dhay, Nourah Al Awad, and Khalid Abdulrhim will have its world premiere at the festival in Rome. Meanwhile, Saudi director Shahad Ameen’s Scales, a UAE-made fantasy film about a young girl named Hayat, will run in the Venice Critics’ Week competition.
The film festival will also showcase big titles including, James Gray’s Ad Astra, a sci-fi drama starring Brad Pitt; Todd Phillip’s Joker, Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, featuring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson; as well as Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, a comedy starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.
Ranking amid major festivals including Cannes and Berlin, The Venice Film Festival is the world’s oldest film festival – which made its debut in 1932. A prominent event in the cinema calendar, the Biennale celebrates art, expression, and culture. Films that have opened in Rome have jumped straight to the Oscars on many occasions. This was the case with Academy award-winning movies La La Land in 2016, and Gravity in 2013 which debuted at the Venice Film Festival.