Venice Film Festival generic

Source: Courtesy of Asac - la Biennale di Venezia

Venice Film Festival

It may only be the second day of the Cannes Film Festival but industry chatter is growing louder around what could be a very enticing world premiere line-up at the Venice Film Festival – in just eight weeks.

New films from Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion, and Paolo Sorrentino are all understood to be almost definites to join Denis Villeneuve’s already-confirmed Dune on the Lido. The sci-fi thriller stars Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson and will screen out of competition. 

Searchlight Pictures’ thriller Nightmare Alley would make a lot of sense for Venice if it is ready in time. Guillermo del Toro won the Golden Lion for The Shape Of Water in 2017 and returned the following year as president of the jury. Nightmare Alley stars Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, and Bradley Cooper.

Almodovar’s Parallel Mothers starring Penelope Cruz has a September release date in Spain, aligning perfectly with a berth in Venice, The Spanish auteur premiered his short film The Human Voice in Italy last year and is said to have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Cruz also stars in Venice-tipped Official Competition, The MediaPro Studio project she made with Antonio Banderas for Argentinian duo Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat.

Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog is also reportedly heading to Venice and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, and Thomasin McKenzie in the tale of feuding brothers.

Netflix apparently turned down an Out Of Competition slot at Cannes, despite Campion holding the dubious honour of being the only woman director to win the Palme d’Or (for The Piano, albeit ex aqueo) in favour of a Venice competition berth. (Cannes rules preclude films from playing in Competition unless they commit to a full theatrical release in France.) However Campion premiered multiple winner An Angel At My Table in Venice in 1990 and last competed there with Holy Smoke in 1999 so she is no stranger to the Lido. 

Another Netflix title understood to be a strong contender for the Lido is Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand Of God which stars regular collaborator Toni Servillo and is described as deeply personal by the filmmaker. Little is known about it, save that while the title refers to Diego Maradona’s controversial goal for Argentina against England in the 1986 World Cup, it is not thought to be about the late football legend.

The Italian director shared Venice’s Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award with Jude Law for The Young Pope in 2016.

Ana Lily Amirpour’s Mona Lisa And The Blood Moon starring Kate Hudson could also be in the Lido line-up (Rocket Science and CAA Media Finance are selling), and a Venice berth for Pablo Larrain’s Spencer starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana would also makes sense: the Chilean auteur brought Jackie and Ema there in 2016 and 2019, respectively.