Harry Potter composer to head up Venice film fest jury

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French composer Alexandre Desplat
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French composer Alexandre Desplat

French film composer Alexandre Desplat -- whose dozens of works include the scores for "The King's Speech" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" -- will head up this year's Venice festival jury, organisers said Monday.

The Golden globe-winner behind the music in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "New Moon" from the Twilight saga will be the first composer to lead the jury at the world's oldest film festival, taking place this year from August 27 to September 6.

"Alexandre Desplat is not only one of today's great film composers but he is also a movie lover, whose artistic sensibility adds to a deep knowledge of cinema, its history, its language," the festival's director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying.

Desplat has received six Academy Award nominations for films including "The Queen", "Fantastic Mr Fox" and "Philomena", and has worked with directors including Stephen Frears, Roman Polanski, Terrence Malick and George Clooney.

"It is a great honour and an arduous responsibility to be president of the jury at such a prestigious festival," Desplat said.

"Italian cinema has done more to influence both my taste and my music than anything else," he added.

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