×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice Film Fest Critics’ Week Unveils Lineup Of Nine Promising First Works

ROME — The Venice Film Festival’s 29th Critics’ Week has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, including eight world preems, featuring fresh pics from Europe, China, Vietnam, Iran, and Palestine. Just like last year, the U.S. is absent.

The independently run Venice sidebar will open with Iranian drama “Melbourne,” (pictured) starring “A Separation” protag Payman Maadi as a young man about to leave Iran for Australia with his partner, when a tragic event prevents the couple from leaving the country. Pic, screening out-of-competition,  previously bowed at Tehran’s Fajr Film Festival and was also recently at the Cannes market, sold by Iranian Independants.

The Venice Critics’ Week closer, also out-of-competish, will be Berlusconi-era dramedy “Arance e Martello,” set in multi-ethnic Rome, inspired by Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” and helmed by Italo blogger and TV personality Diego Bianchi, who is known as “Zoro.”

The other seven pics all play in competition in the section dedicated to discoveries headed by Italo film critic Francesco Di Pace.

Italy, making a strong showing, is present in competish with docu “Dancing With Maria,” about nonagenarian Argentine dance therapy guru Maria Fux. Produced by Igor Princic, who shepherded last year’s Lion of the Future winner “Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot,” pic marks the first docu ever to compete in the section.

The strong European contingent also comprises French entry “Terre Battue” (“40-Love”) by Stephane Demoustier, toplining Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, about a young boy who wants to gain admission to Gaul’s Roland Garros tennis center. Pic is co-produced by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. Wagnerian drama “The Council of Birds,” by Timm Kroger, is competing from Germany.

Serbian first-timer Vuk Rsumovic is bringing “No One’s Child,” about an orphan who has an epiphany during the conflict in the Balkans.

China is repped by Xin Yukun’s multifaceted noir “The Coffin in the Mountain,” about a funeral rite in a rural Chinese area. Vietnam has what Pace called the section’s “shocker,” a Hanoi-set drama about sexual obsession, comprising a transgender character, helmed by the young emerging Nguyen Hoang Diep.

The Palestinian entry, titled “Villa Touma,” is a melodrama set in Ramallah during the early days of the Israeli occupation, directed and self-produced by Suha Arraf, who is the screenwriter of two works by Israeli filmmaker Eran Riklis, “The Syrian Bride” and “Lemon Tree.”

As is customary, 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.

For the second consecutive year the Euros 5,000 ($6,700) audience award is sponsored by vintage art cinema distributor Raro Video.

Venice fest runs Aug. 27 to Sept. 6. The official selection lineup will be announced on July 24.

 

More Film

  • Festival director Thierry Fremaux speaks to

    Cannes: Thierry Fremaux on the Lineup's Record Number of Female Directors, American Cinema and Political Films

    The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup for its 72nd edition that includes some high-profile Hollywood titles, genre movies and films from 13 female directors. The official selection has been applauded by many for mixing established auteurs like Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory”), Terrence Malick (“A Hidden Life”) and Xavier Dolan (“Matthias and Maxime”) [...]

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content