The Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week has unveiled a largely Eurocentric lineup of nine first works — all world preems, with seven competing — in its 26th edition.
Swedish bereavement drama “East Side Station” by TV helmer Simon Kaijser da Silva (“The Hidden Half”) will be the out-of-competition opener in a year that sees family feature prominently as a theme, section topper Francesco Di Pace said.
Italy is repped by two debuts: Francesco Lagi’s out-of-competition closer, “Missione di pace” (Mission of Peace), an anti-military comedy with a father-and-son conflict as a subplot and an all-star cast, including Silvio Orlando, Alba Rohrwacher and Filippo Timi; and Guido Lombardi’s gritty thriller “La-bas,” set amid North African immigrants in the mob-infested Campania region.
Comprising the strong Latin American presence are Mexican scribe-producer Kyzza Terrazas’ political drama “Machete Language,” on which Gael Garcia Bernal is an exec producer, and Argentine Hernan Belon’s “In the Open” (El Campo), about a young family that moves to the country.
Gaul is repped by Cyril Mennegun’s “Louise Wimmer,” about a divorced woman sleeping in her car. Post-Chernobyl drama “The Land of Oblivion,” the first feature from documaker Michale Boganim (“Odessa… Odessa!”), flies both the French and Ukrainian flags.
Rounding out the selection are Canadian helmer Guy Edoin’s “Marecages,” a family drama set in rural Quebec, and German newcomer Jessica Krummacher’s “Totem.”
Pics from the U.S. and Asia are notably absent, which Di Pace said was mostly “due to chance and circumstances.”
Venice Critics’ Week films will be judged by votes cast by festgoers rather than a jury.
All entries will compete alongside titles in the Official Selection for the fest’s Golden Lion of the Future, worth $100,000.
Fest runs Aug. 31-Sept. 10.