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Guillermo del Toro Named Jury President of 2018 Venice Film Festival

The year just keeps getting better and better for "The Shape of Water" director.

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

StarPix/For Ne/REX/Shutterstock

One year after winning the Golden Lion for “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro will return to the Venice Film Festival to preside over the jury. Del Toro has been named jury president of Venice’s 75th edition, which takes place August 29-September 8. The director became the first Mexican filmmaker to win the Golden Lion when “The Shape of Water” took top honors last year. The film has gone on to earn 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

“To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude,” del Toro said of the announcement. “Venice is a window to world cinema and the opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.”

Del Toro was named jury president by the board of directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. Baratta said del Toro’s name was recommended by the director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera.

“Guillermo del Toro personifies generosity, a love for movies past or future, and a passion for the kind of cinema that can spark emotions, affect people and, at the same time, make them reflect,” Barbara said in an official statement. “By virtue of his lively imagination, uncommon sensitivity and his trust in the power of images, he has brought to life a fantastic universe in which love and fear can coexist, and to treasure diversity is a fundamental value.”

Del Toro is no stranger to the Venice Film Festival. Prior to winning the Golden Lion with “The Shape of Water,” his 1997 horror film “Mimic” screened in the Mezzanotte section. Del Toro was also a jury member in 2006 for the Luigi de Laurentiis Venice Award for a debut film. Del Toro succeeds Annette Bening as jury president.

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