james franco

James Franco will be awarded the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory To The Filmmaker prize at the 71st Venice International Film Festival next month. Awarded for “an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema,” Franco is to be recognised for his work as “a relentless ‘manufacturer’ of cultural imagery”.

 The 36-year-old actor, director, producer, teacher and author’s latest directorial effort, The Sound And The Fury, is based on a novel by William Faulkner. One of the most revered writers of the American South, Faulkner wrote about both outcasts and aristocrats. Franco will also star in the film alongside Joey King and Seth Rogan. Set in the deep South in the beginning of the 20th century, the film, which will be screened out of competition, “encapsulates the universal theme of the death of honour, social injustice and forbidden love”.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory To The Filmmaker 2014 prize is dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.

“James Franco is one of the most versatile and multi-talented auteurs on the current American scene, as an actor in cinema and theatre, director, screenwriter, producer, soap-opera star, video-artist and much more – indeed, a relentless ‘manufacturer’ of cultural imagery,” said the Director of the Venice International Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, adding, “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, characterised by boldness, lucidity, courage and self-confidence. These values transform his omnivorous verve into a concept of total art performance, founded on considerable curiosity and intelligence.”

James Franco previously adapted Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying for the screen and also starred in the 2013 film. The 127 Hours actor, who first caught our attention as the lead in TV series Freaks And Geeks, will be awarded the prize in a ceremony at the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema) in Venice on September 5.