Matt Dillon is set for jury duty. The American actor will head to Venice next month for the festival to join the International Jury, replacing Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu.
Dillon is understood to already be in Italy, thus negating the travel issues presented by the pandemic. His longtime partner is Italian and he was previously at the Filming Italy Sardegna festival earlier this summer, where guests attended in person after undertaking COVID tests. He is set to premiere a documentary he directed, The Great Felllove, at Spain’s San Sebastian in September.
No specific reason was given for Puiu dropping out of the festival but the event thanked the director for “having accepted the appointment when it was offered, and for the sensibility he demonstrated in attempting to honour his commitment, even when unexpected difficulties arose.”
Romania saw COVID-19 cases rise sharply in late July and that level has maintained this past month. It is still possible to travel to and from the country, but Euro nations including Germany have warned against all but non-essential travel.
Dillon joins a jury featuring president Cate Blanchett, Veronika Franz, Joanna Hogg, Nicola Lagioia, Christian Petzold, and Ludivine Sagnier. Venice runs September 2-12.
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