Stillman’s ‘Damsels’ to close Venice

Fest to screen Techine's 'Unforgivables'

With five weeks to go before the kickoff, the Venice Film Festival has chosen helmer-scribe Whit Stillman’s laffer “Damsels in Distress,” about three beautiful girls who wreak havoc at a grungy East Coast college, as its closer.

Meanwhile, the independently run Venice Days section has unveiled a strong mix of name auteurs and promising newcomers in its lineup of 12 titles, 10 of which are world preems.

“Damsels,” a Sony Pictures Classics release starring Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody, will world preem Sept. 10, out of competition.

Fest also announced that it will screen French auteur Andre Techine’s Venice-set “Unforgivables” as a pre-opening day special event in Campo San Polo, the city’s largest public square. Techine, who will attend, is a member of Venice’s main jury.

High-profile titles world preeming at the eighth Venice Days, the Lido section modeled on Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, include Argentine helmer Santiago Amigorena’s political thriller “Another Silence”; Canadian helmer Jean-Marc Vallee’s “C.R.A.Z.Y” follow-up “Cafe de Flore,” starring Vanessa Paradis; and U.S. filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s docu “Crazy Horse,” about the Parisian strip club, screening as a special event.

Making its world bow as Venice Days opener is “Love and Bruises” by controversial Chinese helmer Lou Ye. Paris-set pic concerns the love affair between a femme Chinese student and a French blue-collar worker played by Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”), who is expected on the Lido. Venice Days will screen the three finalists for the European Parliament’s Lux prize, which finances subtitles in 23 European languages and EU-wide distribution. They are Greek black comedy “Attenberg,” by Athina Rachel Tsangari; Gallic drama “Les neiges du Kilimandjaro,” by Robert Guediguian; and Swedish helmer Ruben Ostlund’s youth drama “Play.”

The fest’s 68th edition runs Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

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