ROME (Reuters): The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, with its 80th edition opening this week.
Below are some facts about the festival and the 2023 contenders.
WHEN IS THE VENICE FESTIVAL?
The festival opens on Aug 30 with the premiere of Italian World War Two film “Comandante”, directed by Edoardo De Angelis. The event runs until Sept 9 and closes with a Spanish-language Netflix drama “Society of the Snow”.
WHERE IS IT HELD?
The Festival takes place on the Venice Lido – the so-called beach of Venice – a thin barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, which is a short boat trip from the main city of Venice. Unlike Venice itself, cars have access to the Lido.
WHY IS IT SO CLOSELY WATCHED?
The festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 best director awards at the Oscars went to films that debuted at Venice.
Movie stars and directors traditionally enjoy travelling to the lagoon city to launch their films. However, this year will offer a bit less sparkle than usual because a Hollywood actors’ strike will prevent many stars from promoting their work here.
WHAT MOVIES HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE FESTIVAL?
There are several categories making up the official selection of films shown, the top being those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award.
This year’s 23 contenders, in order of their screening, are:
“Comandante” (Italy) Director: Edoardo De Angelis
“El Conde” (Chile) Dir: Pablo Larrain
“Dogman” (France) Dir: Luc Besson
“Ferrari” (US) Dir: Michael Mann
“The Promised Land” (Denmark) Dir: Nikolaj Arcel
“Poor Things” (UK) Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
“Finally Dawn” (Italy) Dir: Saverio Costanzo
“Maestro” (US) Dir: Bradley Cooper
“Adagio” (Italy) Dir: Stefano Sollima
“Die Theorie Von Allem” (Germany-Austria-Switzerland) Dir: Timm Kroger
“The Killer” (US) Dir: David Fincher
“The Beast” (France-Canada) Dir: Bertrand Bonello
“Evil Does Not Exist” (Japan) Dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
“Priscilla” (US-Italy) Dir: Sofia Coppola
“Green Border” (Czech Republic-Poland-Belgium-France) Dir: Agnieszka Holland
“Enea” (Italy): Dir. Pietro Castellitto
“Origin” (US) Dir: Ava DuVernay
“Me Captain” (Italy-Belgium) Dir: Matteo Garrone
“Lubo” (It-Switzerland) Dir: Giorgio Diritti
“Holly” (Bel-Netherland-Luxemburg-France) Dir: Fien Troch
“Woman Of” (Poland-Sweden) Dir: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
“Memory” (Mexico-US) Dir: Michel Franco
“Hors-Saison” (France) Dir: Stephane Brize
ARE ANY BIG FILMS BEING SHOWN OUT OF COMPETITION?
Like other festivals, Venice reserves a number of spots for interesting movies that are shown out of competition. Amongst those on offer this year are “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” by US director William Friedkin, who died this month; “Coup de Chance”, Woody Allen’s first French-language picture; “The Palace”, by Roman Polanski; “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar”, a short feature by Wes Anderson; “Aggro Dr1ft”, directed by Harmony Korine and starring rapper Travis Scott.