ROME -- The Venice Film Festival has tapped Saudi femme helmer Haifaa Al Mansour ("Wadjda") to preside the jury of its Luigi De Laurentiis Award, handed out to a first work.
Mansour was at Venice last year with "Wadjda," her well-received debut feature about a spunky girl who wants to ride a bicycle, a no-no in Saudi Arabia. "Wajda," which Sony Classics will release in the U.S., is also the first feature shot entirely within the kingdom.
Mansour will head a seven-member jury. Other jurors will be announced at a later date.
The upcoming 70th edition of Venice will run Aug. 28-Sept. 7.