A Korean filmmaker will serve as the VIFF's jury president for the first time.

By Joey Nolfi
January 15, 2021 at 09:02 AM EST

Legendary filmmaker Bong Joon Ho is rewriting global industry rules once again after his 2019 drama Parasite changed the Oscars history books forever.

The iconic director will preside over the jury at the upcoming 2021 Venice International Film Festival, becoming the first Korean filmmaker to hold the title in the prestigious event's 88-year existence.

"The Venice International Film Festival carries with it a long and varied history, and I'm honored to be woven into its beautiful cinematic tradition," Joon Ho said in a press statement. "As president of the jury — and, more importantly, as a perpetual cinephile — I'm ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. I'm filled with genuine hope and excitement."

The 51-year-old's duties will include overseeing the assignment of the festival's top award, the Golden Lion, to one of the competitive titles at the impending edition, as well as other Oscar-positioning awards such as the Volpi Cup acting awards. Venice's Board of Directors made the decision at the recommendation of Festival Director Alberto Barbera, who called Joon Ho "one of the most authentic and original voices in worldwide cinema" in a statement.

Last year, Venice's Cate Blanchett-fronted jury presented Chloé Zhao's current Oscar frontrunner Nomadland with the Golden Lion, while Netflix's Pieces of a Woman awards hopeful Vanessa Kirby took the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. Prior to that, eventual Oscar juggernaut Joker took the Golden Lion, while major contenders like Alfonso Cuarón's Roma and Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water previously won the award before scoring Best Picture nominations from the Academy.

Joon Ho — whose Parasite became the first Korean film to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020 — joins the likes of Annette Bening, Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, and David Lynch among other memorable industry titans who've held the position in the past.

The 2021 Venice International Film Festival runs Sept. 1-11.

Related content: