Venice Film Fest 2008: Tunisian-Born Director Abdelatif Kechiche Head of Jury

July 8, 2008–Tunisian-born director Abdelatif Kechiche will head the Venice Film Festival jury awarding the Golden Lion of the Future prize for best work by a first-time director.

Kechiches third feature, The Secret of the Grain (aka Couscous), won Venices special jury prize last year and also wond the new young actress award for star Hafsia Herzi.

The jury is rounded out by U.S. helmer and producer Gregory Jacobs, Soderberghs longtime producer and a.d.; Brazilian actress Sonia Braga; Italian-American producer and helmer Donald Ranvaud, whose credits include City of God; and German-born Rome-based scribe Heidrun Schleef, who co-penned the screenplay for Nanni Morettis The Sons Room.

Also known as the Luigi De Laurentiis Prize, the $100,000 Venice nod for first work will be divided equally between the director and the producer. The nod also comes with $62,000 in film stock offered by Kodak to the director.

The 65th Venice fest runs August 27-September 6.