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Zhao, who was born in China but lives and works in the United States, collected Venice's top prize last year, when "Nomadland" took home a Golden Lion for best film before going on to win a slew of awards at the Oscars this year, including best director and best picture.

Venice's six-person jury also includes directors Saverio Costanzo from Italy and Romania's Alexander Nanau, British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo, Belgian-French actress Virginie Efira and Canadian actress Sarah Gadon.

The Venice Film Festival is the world's oldest and among the most prestigious, rivalling Cannes and Berlin.

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