Bertolucci to lead Venice film festival jury

Oscar-winning Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci will lead this year's Venice film festival jury, organisers said on Thursday, defining the filmmaker as "one of the most influential in cinema history".

Bertolucci, 72, the author of "The Conformist", "Last Tango in Paris" and "The Last Emperor" among many others, will decide on the Golden Lion prize at the festival which begins on August 28.

"Few directors can bring together like Bertolucci a long experience with the fact of living in the present of cinematography," festival director Alberto Barbera said in a statement.

Bertolucci, who previously headed the jury in 1983, accepted the post, saying the festival "manages to probe the most mysterious cinematographic niches of the most mysterious countries in the world".

Bertolucci started out working with Pier Paolo Pasolini on "Accattone" (1961) and his latest film "Me and You" came out in 2012.

"The Last Emperor" in 1987 won nine Oscars and was the first and only Italian film to receive a golden statue for best director.