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:
I guess if they just fill the Competition with Desplat-scored films, it’s still a level playing field.
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) June 23, 2014