Guido MARZILLA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Erin Strecker
May 09, 2013 AT 03:36 PM EDT

Bernardo Bertolucci, the Oscar-winning director of The Last Emperor, Last Tango In Paris, and many other films, has been selected to chair the international jury at the 70th Venice Film Festival, the festival announced today.

“I cheerfully accept to chair the jury of the 70th Venice International Film Festival,” said Bertolucci in a release. “Over a handful of days, I am being given the opportunity to see the most interesting work being done in filmmaking around the world. My friend and film buff Alberto Barbera has the knack of discovering the most mysterious niches of filmmaking in the most mysterious countries in the world. This is my second time. In 1983 the Venice Film Festival was celebrating its 40th edition. My jury, composed almost entirely of directors, could not help but award the Golden Lion to Jean-Luc Godard, to whom we all owed so much and who had never won an important prize in his life. At the time what I wanted from films was surprise and enjoyment. I haven’t changed much since then.”

In 2007, Bertolucci received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival for his life’s work. His most recent film, Me and You, was screened out of competition at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

“Very few directors can claim a lifetime experience so passionately committed to contemporary cinema like Bertolucci’s,” said the director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera in the same release. “His work has explored with insatiable curiosity the world around us and the ever evolving language of film, discovering and bringing to our attention what’s most vital and beautiful. Such commitment to ‘the present’ is one of the finest services that cinema can render to itself and is one of the many reasons why Bertolucci is the ideal Jury President. I am delighted he has generously accepted this delicate and important role.”

The 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival will take place Aug. 28 through Sept. 7.

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