Source: GdA/Venice Film Festival

‘The Listener’

Abel Ferrara’s Padre Pio, Steve Buscemi’s The Listener and rising UK director Georgia Oakley’s Blue Jean are among the world premieres in this year’s Giornate degli Autori (GdA) , the independent sidebar of the Venice Film Festival (August 31 - September 10).

Lebanese director Wissam Charaf’s Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous will open the programme in competition. The film entwines multiple love stories against the backdrop of Lebanon’s near collapse.

UK director Fyzal Boulifa’s The Damned Don’t Cry is also playing in competition. The film is a France-Belgium-Moroccan co-production from the director of 2019’s Lynn + Lucy.

Scroll down for full line-up

Shia LaBeouf stars in Ferrara’s biographical drama which depicts the life of the Italian Capuchin monk who provoked admiration and controversy by displaying stigmata. Ferrara was last in Venice in 2020 with his out of competition documentary Sportin’ Life.

Oakley’s Blue Jean follows a closeted teacher during 1980’s Thatcherism and was presented in Cannes Great8 selection earlier this year. It was produced via Creative England’s ifeatures initiative and is backed by BBC Film and the BFI. 

Buscemi’s The Listener will screen out of competition and close the programme. Tessa Thompson stars as a night-shift volunteer for a mental health helpline. 

Further out of competition titles include March On Rome from Northern Irish filmmaker Mark Cousins which charts the rise of fascism in Italy, and Sebastien Lifshitz’s Casa Susanna.

Better Call Saul actor Bob Odenkirk will be at GdA to deliver a talk after a special event screening of Cecilia Miniucchi’s Worlds Apart, in which he stars.

Of the 10 films in competition, four are directed by women (Cristina Grosan’s Ordinary Failures, Oakley’s Blue Jean, Cláudia Varejão’s Wolf And Dog, and Huang Ji and Otsuka Ryuji’s Stonewalling) while The Last Queen is co-directed by Adila Bendimerad with Damien Ounouri.

The jury will be overseen by French director Céline Sciamma who will help 27 young European film enthusiasts select the recipient of the GdA Director’s award and a cash prize of €20,000.

Official Competition 

Bentu (It)
Dir. Salvatore Mereu

Ordinary Failures (Czech-Hun-It-Slovakia)
Dir. Cristina Groșan

Blue Jean (UK)
Dir. Georgia Oakley

Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous (Fr-It-Leb) (Opening film) 
Dir. Wissam Charaf

The Last Queen (Alg-Fr-Tai-Qat-Saudi)
Dirs Adila Bendimerad, Damien Ounouri

The Damned Don’t Cry (Fr-Bel-Mor)
Dir. Fyzal Boulifa

Wolf And Dog (Port)
Dir. Cláudia Varejão

Padre Pio (UK-It-Ger)
Dir. Abel Ferrara

Stonewalling (Jap)
Dirs. Huang Ji, Otsuka Ryuji

The Maiden (Can-US)
Dir. Graham Foy

Out Of Competition - special events

Olimpia’s Way (It)
Dir. Corrado Ceron

Alone (Iran)
Dir. Jafar Najafi

We’re Here To Try (It)
Dirs. Greta De Lazzaris, Jacopo Quadri

Casa Susanna (Fr-US)
Dir. Sebastien Lifshitz

March On Rome (It)
Dir. Mark Cousins

The Listener (US) (closing film) 
Dir. Steve Buscemi

Venetian Nights 

Land Of Upright People
Dir. Christian Carmosino Mereu

Kristos, The Last Child
Dir. Giulia Amati

The Crown Shyness
Dir. Valentina Bertani

Las Leonas
Dirs. Isabel Achával, Chiara Bondì

Le Favolose
Dir. Roberta Torre

Pablo From Neanderthal
Dir. Antonello Matarazzo

Se Fate I Bravi
Dirs. Stefano Collizzolli, Daniele Gaglianone

The Bone Breakers
Dir. Vincenzo Pirrotta

An Invisible Enemy
Dirs. Riccardo Campagna, Federico Savonitto