Venice comp titles

Source: A24 / Netflix / MGM

[Clockwise from top left:] ‘The Eternal Daughter’, ‘The Whale’, ‘Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths’, ‘Bones And All’

Following a 2021 edition that launched The Power Of The Dog and Dune into the awards race, Venice Film Festival (Aug 31‑Sept 10) returns to the Lido showcasing the likes of Alejandro G Inarritu, Luca Guadagnino, Joanna Hogg and Darren Aronofsky.

Screen presents its essential guide to the main sections.

All The Beauty And The Bloodshed (US)
Dir. Laura Poitras
Producer Participant teams up with Poitras as the Oscar-winning document­arian (Citizenfour) chronicles photographer Nan Goldin’s battle against the big-pharma Sackler family. After recovering from an addiction to prescription opioids that kept her confined to her apartment for three years, the celebrated art photographer became an activist to expose the role of the Sackler family — owners of Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma — in the US opioid crisis. Neon has acquired North American rights.
Contact: David Bartholomew, Altitude Film Sales (international); Participant (US)

Argentina, 1985 (Arg-US)
Dir. Santiago Mitre
Mitre was a Cannes Critics’ Week winner in 2015 with Paulina (La Patota) and heads to Italy with his latest story, an Amazon Original about Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’. The feature reunites Mitre with actor Ricardo Darin after 2017 Cannes Un Certain Regard entry The Summit (La Cordillera). Here, Darin stars alongside Peter Lanzani (The Clan) in the 1980s-set story of lawyers who risk everything when they take on the heads of Argentina’s military dictatorship. Prime Video has set a September 30 theatrical release in the US, and Sony will distribute in Argentina via Universal.
Contact: Prime Video

Athena (Fr)
Dir. Romain Gavras
This Netflix title is the third feature from France’s Gavras (Our Day Will Come and The World Is Yours). With co-writers including Ladj Ly (director of Les Misérables), the setting is a housing project that combusts when a young man tries to avenge the death of his brother. The cast includes Dali Benssalah (TV mini­series Savages), Anthony Bajon (Venice 2021 title Another World and The Third War), and Les Misérables actor and co-writer Alexis Manenti. Gavras, Ly and Mourad Belkeddar produce for Iconoclast.
Contact: Netflix 

The Banshees Of Inisherin (Ire-UK-US)
Dir. Martin McDonagh
McDonagh returns after winning the best screenplay prize at Venice 2017 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which went on to scoop two Oscars and five Baftas. The latest offering from the filmmaker — who was born in London to Irish parents — is set on the west coast of Ireland and follows the curt end of a relationship between two lifelong friends (In Bruges’ double act Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson). It is produced by McDonagh and his frequent collaborators Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin of Blueprint Pictures for Searchlight Pictures and Film4, with TSG Entertainment also providing funding.
Contact: Searchlight Pictures

Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths (Mex)
Dir. Alejandro G Inarritu
With Bardo, two-time best director Oscar winner Inarritu (The Revenant, Birdman) filmed entirely in Mexico for the first time since Amores Perros in 2000. The drama shot on 65mm and centres on a renowned Mexican journalist and filmmaker in existential crisis who returns home and grapples with identity, family, the folly of his memories and the past of his country. Daniel Gimenez Cacho and Griselda Siciliani star. Netflix plans a global theatrical release for this heavyweight awards contender prior to its platform debut.
Contact: Netflix

Beyond The Wall (Iran)
Dir. Vahid Jalilvand
Venice regular Jalilvand graduates to Competition with his third feature, after 2015’s Wednesday, May 9 and 2017’s No Date, No Signature debuted in Horizons — with the latter winning best director in the sidebar and becoming Iran’s Oscar entry. In Beyond The Wall (Shab, Dakheli, Divar), a blind man — after being interrupted in his suicide attempt — tries to help an escaped woman hidden in his building. Jalilvand and his producer brother Ali reunite with actors Navid Mohammad­zadeh and Amir Aghaee, plus theatre actress Diana Habibi.
Contact: The Match Factory 

Blonde (US)
Dir. Andrew Dominik
Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe is one of the most anticipated performances of the year and could lead the awards charge for Dominik’s no-holds-barred adaptation of the fictionalised account of the actress’s inner life by Joyce Carol Oates. Sexual content has earned Blonde a rare NC-17 rating in the US, although Netflix will not mind too much about theatrical release restrictions. Oates has given Blonde her blessing and New Zealand-born Australian Dominik described the film as a “masterpiece” in an interview with Screen International earlier this year.
Contact: Netflix

Bones And All (US)
Dir. Luca Guadagnino
Guadagnino’s last fiction feature Suspiria played Venice in 2018, and the Italian filmmaker is back with an adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’ coming-of-age novel about teenage cannibals trying to survive on the fringes of society. Guadagnino filmed in the Ohio tri-state area and reunites with his Call Me By Your Name star Timothée Chalamet, who appears alongside Taylor Russell, Michael Stuhlbarg, Chloë Sevigny and Mark Rylance. Frenesy Film Company and Per Capita Productions produce in association with Fremantle’s The Apartment, Memo Films and 3 Marys Entertainment. Amazon-owned MGM holds worldwide rights.
Contact: MGM 


Source: Emanulea Scarpa 2022 Vivo film, Tarantula


Chiara (It-Belg)
Dir. Susanna Nicchiarelli
After Nico, 1988 — which won the Horizons prize in 2017 — Italian director Nicchiarelli graduated to Venice’s Competition with Romola Garai-starrer Miss Marx in 2020. She is back in the same slot with another study of a strong woman, set in 13th-century Umbria. Margherita Mazzucco, a young Neapolitan actress launched in HBO/Rai series My Brilliant Friend, plays Saint Clare of Assisi, follower of Saint Francis and founder of the Poor Clares order. Like the director’s previous Venice entries, Chiara is co-­produced by Italy’s Vivo Film (alongside Rai Cinema) and Belgian company Tarantula.
Contact: The Match Factory

A Couple (Fr-US)
Dir. Frederick Wiseman
Stepping aside from his usual marathon documentaries, veteran maestro Wiseman — whose City Hall played out of competition in Venice 2020 — offers this uncharacteristically concise portrait of Sophia Tolstoy, wife of Russian literary giant Leo. Culled from her journals and letters, this is a one-woman showcase starring Nathalie Boutefeu, whose credits include Irma Vep and TV spy series The Bureau, and who co-wrote the film with Wiseman. Shot on Belle Ile, off the coast of Brittany, it is a production by Wiseman’s own Zipporah Films with Tout de Même Films.
Contact: The Party Film Sales 

The Eternal Daughter (UK-US)
Dir. Joanna Hogg
After her Venice Competition jury stint in 2020, UK writer/director Hogg is back on the Lido, and this time with her own title — a ghost story shot in Wales that centres on an artist and her elderly mother as they confront hidden secrets when visiting the ancestral home. Hogg has regrouped her A-team from 2021’s The Souvenir: Part II for the project, with Tilda Swinton starring and Element Pictures producing alongside JWH Films. Financing comes from A24 and BBC Film. A24 is also selling worldwide rights and distributing in the US. Martin Scorsese is an executive producer.
Contact: A24 

L’Immensità (It-Fr)
Dir. Emanuele Crialese
It has been 11 long years since his last film Terraferma, but Crialese is back in Venice’s Competition — for the third time — with a family drama set in 1970s Rome. Based on the author’s childhood, L’Immensità stars Penelope Cruz as a mother in a failing marriage who invests her dreams of freedom in her three children. Fremantle offshoot Wildside is producing alongside French partner Chapter 2, Italian distributor Warner Bros Italia and French distributor Pathé.
Contact: Pathé International

Lord Of The Ants (It)
Dir. Gianni Amelio
One of three Italian Competition titles in Venice to be repped by The Match Factory, Amelio’s latest drama shines a light on a case that divided Italy at the end of the 1960s. Gay, left-wing Italian writer Aldo Braibanti was sent to prison for the rarely prosecuted crime of morally “subjugating” a younger male friend. Fellow director Marco Bellocchio, one of many who protested against the sentence at the time, is among the co-­producers. 01 Distribution will release the film in Italy on September 8 under the title Il Signore Delle Formiche.
Contact: The Match Factory 

Love Life (Jap-Fr)
Dir. Koji Fukada
Starring Fumino Kimura and Kento Nagayama, this family drama explores themes of loss and loneliness through a woman seeking a new life, when a tragic incident brings the long-lost father of her young son back to her. Nagoya Broadcasting Network, Chipangu and Comme des Cinémas serve as producers. Japanese director Fukada has made a string of films since his 2011 feature debut Hospitalité, including Harmonium, which received the Un Certain Regard jury prize at Cannes 2016, and The Real Thing, selected for the 2020 Cannes label.
Contact: mk2 Films 

Monica (US-It)
Dir. Andrea Pallaoro
The Italian director was last at Venice in 2017 with Competition title Hannah starring Charlotte Rampling, who picked up the Volpi Cup for best actress while the picture went on to score a César nomination for best foreign film. Pallaoro returns to Venice with this family drama starring Patricia Clarkson, Trace Lysette and Emily Browning, about a trans woman returning home to care for her dying mother. Lead producers are Varient Entertainment, Solo Five Production and Melograno Films.
Contact: The Exchange

No Bears (Iran)
Dir. Jafar Panahi
The recently imprisoned Iranian director follows up his 2018 Cannes Competition entry and best screenplay winner 3 Faces with a film that weaves two kindred love stories, both of which involve partners overwhelmed by various obstacles. Panahi produces and stars alongside Naser Hashemi, Vahid Mobasheri, Bakhtiyar Panjeei and Mina Kavani. The director was last at Venice in 2000 with The Circle, which went on to win the festival’s Golden Lion.
Contact: Celluloid Dreams

Other People’s Children (Fr)
Dir. Rebecca Zlotowski
Following 2019’s An Easy Girl and French TV miniseries Savages, writer/director Zlotowski’s fifth feature pairs two of France’s best-loved screen stars in a drama about a woman taking stock of her life. Virginie Efira plays Rachel, a teacher passionately committed to her work, who discovers new romantic possibilities when she meets Ali (Roschdy Zem, also in Competition with his own Our Ties) and his young daughter Leila. Chiara Mastroianni co-stars, with Frédéric Jouve producing for Les Films Velvet.
Contact: Flavien Eripret, Wild Bunch International 

Our Ties (Fr)
Dir. Roschdy Zem
A longstanding French cinema fixture, starring in films including Competition title Other People’s Children, Zem has also directed a handful of films including 2019’s Persona Non Grata. His latest — aka Les Miens, co-written with actor/director Maïwenn, who co-stars — is a family drama about a man (Sami Bouajila) whose personality changes radically after he incurs a head injury; Zem plays his TV presenter brother. Also appearing is Rachid Bouchareb, who directed both Zem and Bouajila in Days Of Glory. Why Not Productions and Hole In One Films produce.
Contact: Flavien Eripret, Wild Bunch International 


Source: Srab Films Arte France Cinema 2022

‘Saint Omer’

Saint Omer (Fr)
Dir. Alice Diop
Known for her documentaries, including We, which won the Berlin Encounters award in 2021, Diop makes her fiction debut with this courtroom drama starring actor/artist Kayije Kagame alongside Guslagie Malanda, who made a powerful impression in 2014 drama My Friend Victoria. Kagame plays Rama, a writer who attends the trial of a young African immigrant accused of killing her child. The film is co-scripted by Goncourt-­winning novelist Marie NDiaye (Three Strong Women) and produced by Christophe Barral and Toufik Ayadi for SRAB Films, which scored with Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables.
Contact: Flavien Eripret, Wild Bunch International 

The Son (UK)
Dir. Florian Zeller
French novelist, playwright and filmmaker Zeller launched his first feature as director — The Father — at Sundance 2020, before segueing to Toronto on the way to Oscars glory. In New York-set follow-­­up The Son, likewise co-­written with Christopher Hampton and adapted from Zeller’s own stage play, Hugh Jackman and Laura Dern play the divorced parents of a troubled teenage boy. See‑Saw’s Joanna Laurie, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman produce, with Zeller and Christophe Spadone. France’s Ciné@ and UK’s Film4 are among the backers, and Sony Pictures Classics releases in the US.
Contact: Embankment Films; Cross City Films (international); CAA Media Finance (US)

Dir. Todd Field
Cate Blanchett plays fictional composer-­conductor Lydia Tár — presented in the film as one of the greatest of her generation, and the first female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. Field has a track record of eliciting Oscar-­nominated performances from his leading ladies — see Kate Winslet for 2006’s Little Children and Sissy Spacek in his 2001 feature debut In The Bedroom. This possible awards contender from Focus Features also stars Noémie Merlant and Nina Hoss.
Contact: Focus Features

The Whale (US)
Dir. Darren Aronofsky
Aronofsky won the Golden Lion in 2008 with The Wrestler. The US director’s first feature since Venice 2017 selection mother! is adapted from Samuel D Hunter’s stage play and shot in Newburgh, New York. Brendan Fraser plays a reclusive, obese English professor who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last shot at redemption. Aronofsky is known for coaxing extraordinary performances from his leads and hopes are high that Fraser, who has been quiet in recent years, will deliver an awards-worthy turn. The cast includes Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton and Ty Simpkins.
Contact: A24 

White Noise (US)
Dir. Noah Baumbach
Baumbach’s first feature in a multi-­year deal with Netflix opens Venice and is based on Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel. Adam Driver plays a ‘Hitler studies’ professor and family man whose suburban life is turned upside down when a nearby accident triggers an airborne toxic event. Greta Gerwig plays his wife, and the cast includes Don Cheadle and 2013 Screen Star of Tomorrow Raffey Cassidy. Baumbach is back on the Lido where his last film Marriage Story premiered in Competition in 2019, and his in-demand new feature will get its North American premiere at New York Film Festival.
Contact: Netflix

Profiles by: Ellie Calnan, Ben Dalton, Tim Dams, Charles Gant, Jeremy Kay, Geoffrey Macnab, Lee Marshall, Wendy Mitchell, Orlando Parfitt, Jonathan Romney, Mona Tabbara, Silvia Wong