James Franco to receive Venice Film Festival’s Glory to the Filmmaker award

By Daniel S Levine,

James Franco will have to find time in his busy life as a super-multi-hyphenate for a trip to Venice next month. The actor has been picked as this year’s recipient of the Venice Film Festival’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award.

Festival director Alberto Barbera called Franco “one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene” and acknowledged the actor’s love of classic literature. Indeed, his new film, The Sound and the Fury, is based on the William Faulkner novel. It will be screened at the festival out of competition.

“The adaptation of the great classics of American literature, like his new film based on a novel by Faulkner which will be presented in Venice, is a major thread in his creative approach, characterized by boldness, lucidity, courage and self-confidence,” Barbera said in a statement. “These values transform his omnivorous verve into a concept of total art performance, founded on considerable curiosity and intelligence.”

Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Daniel Riedo also praised Franco and said that the watchmaking company is “pleased to honor” the actor. Previous recipients of the award include Spike Lee, Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone.

Franco could also be honored for the incredible speed at which he finishes his movies. Last year, his adaption of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was released. This month, his adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God saw limited theatrical release. The film was screened at Venice in competition last year. He also starred in Gia Coppola’s Palo Alto, which was also screened at the world’s oldest film festival.

The 71st Venice Film Festival runs from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6.

Franco stars in The Sound and the Fury, along with Tim Blake Nelson and Scott Haze. Seth Rogen and Jon Hamm also make appearances.

Image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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