French composer to head Venice film festival jury

ROME (AP) — For the first time, a composer will lead the international jury at the Venice Film Festival.

Organizers said Monday that the jury president this year will be Frenchman Alexandre Desplat, a six-time Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner. His many credits include the scores for “Godzilla,” “The King’s Speech,” ”Argo” and “Philomena.”

Desplat began his career in French cinema and broke into Hollywood in 2003 after composing for “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”

The 71st edition of the festival, which often showcases unconventional, artistic films, runs Aug. 27 to Sept. 6. The nine-person jury awards the Golden Lion for best film and seven other prizes.

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