The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the Director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera.
“Shekhar Kapur is not only the Indian filmmaker who enjoys the greatest international prestige – which he earned for the success of the films he made in Bollywood in the early stages of his career, and later for having directed some of the major English and American productions – he is also a refined intellectual humanist interested in social issues,” as stated on the official website of the festival.
Shekhar Kapur made his directing debut in 1983 with the family drama Masoom, and then made Mr. India (1987). He won critical acclaim for Bandit Queen (1994). His Hollywood production Elizabeth (1998) was nominated for seven Oscars.
In 2002 came The Four Feathers, starring Heath Ledger and Kate Hudson. Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) won two more nominations for the Oscars. In 2009, Shekhar Kapur filmed an episode in the collective film New York, I Love You, starring Julie Christie, John Hurt and Shia LaBeouf. Also in 2009, he directed Passage, a short film about the reunion of three sisters. In 2012, he is working on Mallory, a biographical film about the figure of George Mallory and his obsession to climb Mount Everest.
The 69th Venice Film Festival will run from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8, 2012.