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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

78th Venice International Film Festival Lineup


Another festival that pretends there is no pandemic and even claims will have less COVID19 rules and regulations than Cannes. Let's hope that all this joyful climate will not end in something we cinema fans will absolutedly hate as much as when a young director or actor dies. Sigh.

Alberto Barbera said: "We aren't so confident anymore, even though we are bolstered by great faith in science and humankind's ability to react to even the worst adversities. Hence, our decision to hold the next Film Festival of the Biennale di Venezia in the presence of the public and with even greater conviction than during the preceding annus horribilis, formulating the 78th edition that comes just one year before we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Festival's birth, when it was launched in August 1932." Perhaps most hopeful than what happened in the past is what's going to happen next year when the festival will reach an incredible milestone.

But well, I do like to compilate what's in each of the major three film festivals so will learn the movies I would like to watch in the near future and this is excactly what I should be doing instead of thinking and hoping Almdovar, Larrain and more remain healthy. Sigh

So this year there will be only two months separating Cannes from Venice and inbetween there are other Summer film festival going on strong, including Locarno. Still, Venice manage to have an ecletic selection, especially in the Competition section as there are films from all over the world.

A Contest of Gazes for the image of the official poster by Lorenzo Mattotti with an image that depicts "two people filming one another in a sort of dance, a playful duel in a relationship mediated by the camera. It's a dance under the spotlight of a set, a movement of shared energies, a ritual of gazes ... " says Mattotti about his work.

Actress Serena Rossi will host the opening night on the evening of Werdnesday, September 1st and the awards ceremony on Saturday. September 11th.

Before getting into the list let's review this edition honorary awards. Iconic American actress Jamie Lee Curtis has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement and Roberto Benigni also gets the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.  Also worth mentioning the new prize in the Orizzonti Extra section, the Audience Award, assigned through a voting process involving the ticket holding audience to films in this section.

There will be a double-program slated for Preopening night with the screening of La Biennale di Venezia: il cinema al tempo del Covid by Andrea Segre and Per grazia ricevuta (Between Miracles) by Nino Manfredi (1971), a tribute to the actor and director on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

This year there are twenty-one (21) films competing for festival major awards including top award: the Golden Lion.  Will not deny that best news come from all films that soon will be on Netflix; as yes, is the only way many of us in the world could see festival great movies.  Thank You Netflix for films by outstanding filmmakers Jane Campion and Paolo Sorrentino.  Another fest feature that will be on a streamer is limited series Scenes from a Marriage based on none other than Ingmar Bergman's television miniseries and feature film by the same name.

The Selection

#Venezia78 Competition

Opening Film: Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers), Pedro Almodóvar, Spain

America Latina, Fabio and Damiano D'Innocenzo, Italy and France
Competencia Oficial (Official Competition), Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn, Spain and Argentina
E Stata la Mano di Dio (The Hand of God), Paolo Sorrentino, Italy
Freaks Out, Gabriele Mainetti, Italy and Belgium
Il buco (The Hole), Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, France and Germany
Illusions perdues (Lost Illusions), Xavier Giannoli, France
Kapitan Volkonogov Bezhal (Captain Volkonogov Escaped), Matasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, Russia, Estonia, and France
La Caja (The Box), Lorenzo Vigas, Mexico and USA
L'événement (Happening), Audrey Diwan, France
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon, Ana Lily Amirpour, USA
On the Job: The Missing 8, Erik Matti, Philippines
Qui rido io (The King of Laughter), Mario Martone, Italy and Spain
Spencer, Pablo Larraín, Germany and UK
Sundown, Michel Franco, Mexico, France and Sweden
The Card Counter, Paul Schrader, USA, UK, and China
The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Greece, USA, UK and Israel
The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion, New Zealand and Australia
Un Autre Monde, Stéphane Brizé, France
Відблиск Vidblysk (Reflection), Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine
Żeby nie było śladów (Leave No Traces), Jan Paweł Matuszyński, Poland, France and Czech Republic

Competition Jury
President: Bong Joon Ho, director and screenwriter, South Korea
Saverio Constanzo, director and screenwriter, Italy
Alexander Nanau, director, Romania
Chloe Zhao, director, screenwriter, editor and producer, China and USA
Virginie Efira, actress, Belgium and France
Cynthia Erivo, actress and singer-songwriter, UK
Sarah Gadon, actress and producer, Canada

Out of Competition
Works of established authors, films in which the spectacualr dimension is accomplished by forms of expressive or narrative originality. This edition will have in the out of competition selection, four sections: Fiction, Series, Short Films and the newly renamed Non Fiction (i.e. documentaries).

Fiction
Closing Film: Il Bambino Nacosto, Roberto Andò, Italy and France
Ariaferma, Leonardo di Costanzo, Italy and Switzerland
Dune, Denis Villeneuve, USA, Hungary, UAE, Norway and Canada
Halloween Kills, David Gordon Green, USA
La Scuola Cattolica, Stefano Mordini, Italy
Last Night in Soho, Edgar Wright, UK
Les choses humaines, Yvan Attal, France
Old Henry, Potsy Ponciroli, USA
The Last Duel, Ridley Scott, USA and UK

Non Fiction
Becoming Led Zeppelin, Bernard MacMahon, UK
DeAndré#DeAndré. Storia di un impiegato, Roberta Lena, Italy
Django and Django, Luca Rea, Italy
Ennio (Ennio: The Maestro), Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Japan
Ezio Bosso, Le Cose Che Restano, Giorgio Verdelli, Italy
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song, Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine, USA
Life of Crime 1984-2020, Jon Alpert, USA
Republic of Silence, Diana el Jeiroudi, Germany, France, Syria, and Qatar
Tranchées, Loup Bureau, France
Viaggio nel Crepuscolo, Augusto Contento, France and Italy

Series
Scenes from A Marriage (Episodes 1 to 5), Hagai Levi, USA

Short Films
Liang ye bu neng liu (The Night), Tsai Ming-Liang, Taiwan and Netherlands, 12'
Plastic Semiotic, Radu Jude, Romania, 22'
Sad Film, Vasili (pseudonym), Myanmar and Netherlands, 12'

Special Screenings
Ges-2, Nastia Korkia, Russia (documentary)
Inferno rosso. Joe D'Amato sulla via dell'eccesso, Manilo Gomarasca and Massimiliano Zanin, Italy (documentary)
La Biennale di Venezia: Il Cinema al Tempo del COVID, Andrea Segre, Italy (documentary)
Le 7 Giornate di Bergamo, Simona Ventura, Italy (documentary)
Pietro il Grande, Antonello Sarno, Italy (documentary)
Ricostruire Insieme - Biennale Architettura 2021, Graziano Conversano, Italy (documentary)

Orizzonti
An international competition dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends. Orizzonti has a new section that is non-competitive: Orizzonti Extra.

Competition
Feature Films
Opening Film: Les Promesses (Promises), Thomas Kruithof, France
À plein temps, Éric Gravel, France
Amira, Mohamed Diab, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia
Atlantide, Yuri Ancarani, Italy, France, USA and Qatar (video art and documentary)
Bodeng Sar (White Building), Kavich Neang, Cambodia, France, China, and Qatar
Cenzorka (107 Mothers), Peter Kerekes, Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, and Ukraine  (documentary)
El Gran Movimiento, Kiro Russo, Bolivia, France, Qatar, and Switzerland
El Hoyo en la Cerca (The Hole In The Fence), Joaquín del Paso, Mexico and Poland
El Otro Tom (The Other Tom), Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo, Mexico and USA
Il Paradiso del Pavone, Laura Bispuri, Italy and Germany
犬王 Inu-Oh, Yuasa Masaaki, China and Japan (animation)
Miracol (Miracle), Bogdan George Apetri, Romania, Czech Republic, and Latvia
Once Upon a Time in Calcutta, Aditya Vikram Sengupta, India, France and Norway
Nosorih (Rhino), Oleg Sentsov, Ukraine, Poland and Germany
Piligrimai (Pilgrims), Laurynas Bareiša, Lithuania
瀑布 Pu Bu (The Falls), Chung Mong-Hong, Taiwan
True Things, Harry Wootliff, UK
Vera Andrron Detin (Vera Dreams of the Sea), Kaltrina Krasniqi, Kosovo, Albania and North Macedonia
Wela (Anatomy of Time), Jakrawal Nilthamrong, Thailand, France, Netherlands, and Singapore

Short Films
Competition

Descente (4 AM), Mehdi Fikri, France, 11'
لا ترتاح كثيرًا Don't Get Too Comfortable, Shaima Al-Tamimi, Yemen, Qatar, UAE, USA, and Netherlands, 9'  (experimental documentary)
Fall of the Ibis King, Josh O'Caoimh and Mikai Geronimo, Ireland, 10' (animation)
Heltzear, Mikel Gurrea, Spain, 17'
Il Turno, Chiara Marotta and Loris Giuseppe Nese, Italy, 14'
La fée des Roberts (The Boobies Fairy), Léahn Vivier-Chapas, France, 14' (animation)
Los Huesos, Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, Chile, 14' (animation)
Mulaqat (Sandstorm), Seemab Gul, Pakistan, 20'
Pid Pokati Mai (New Abnormal), Sorayos Prapapan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, 15'
かの山 Kanoyama (The Last Day), Yamashita Momi, Japan, 19'
Techno, Mama, Saulius Baradinskas, Lithuania, 18'
头绳,鸡蛋,作业本 Tuo sheg, ji dan, zuo ye ben (Hair, Tie, Egg, Homework Books), Luo Runxiao, China, 15'
Out of Competition
Ato, Bárbara Paz, Brazil, 20'
Preghiera della sera (Diario di una passeggiata), Giuseppe Piccioni, Italy, 17'  (documentary)

Orizzonti Jury
President: Jasmila Žbanić, director, screenwriter, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mona Fastvold, director and screenwriter, Norway
Shahram Mokri, director, screenwriter and film critic, Iran
Josh Siegel, curator of film department at MoMA in New York, USA
Nadia Terranova, writer, Italy

Orizzonti Extra

Opening Film: Land of Dreams, Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, USA, Germany and Qatar
7 Prisioneiros, Alexandre Moratto, Brazil
Costa Brava, Lebanon, Mounia Akl, Lebanon, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Qatar
La Macchina delle immagini di Alfredo C., Roland Sejko, Italy
La Ragazza ha volato, Wilma Labate, Italy and Slovenia
Ma Nuit, Antoinette Boulat, France and Belgium
Mama, ya doma (Mama, I'm Home), Vladimir Bitokov, Russia
Sokea mies, joka ei halunnut nähdä Titanicia (The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic), Teemu Nikki, Finland

Biennale College Cinema
An advanced training workshop for the development and production of micro-budget works, open to teams of directors and producers from around the word. To check projects in this section go official site here.

Final Cut In Venice

In the 9th edition there are 6 work-in-progress films selected for the three day workshop inn which working copies of the projects are introduced to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers. To read more about the projects in this section go official site here.

Venice VR Expanded
The Venice VR virtual world, designed with the technical support of VRrOOm within VRChat, will be the Venice VR Expanded hub—a fantastical virtual version of Venice and of our usual in-real-life VR Island Lazzaretto Vecchio, available to anyone with a VRChat account. To check the list with 37 projects from 21 Countries and 35 VRChat worlds go official site here.

Lion of the Future Jury
President: Uberto Pasolini, director, screenwriter and producer, Italy
Martin Schweighofer, film critic, teacher and festival director, Austria
Amalia Ulman, artist and director, Argentina

To check soon to be available info for each film go official site here and select the festival section of the film.

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