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Venice Critics’ Week Section Announces Lineup Of Promising First Works

Nepal has an entry in Venice for the first time

The Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week has unveiled its lineup, comprising ten first works – eight of which world preems – featuring new pics from continental Europe, Turkey, the U.K., Singapore, Australia, China and, for the first time ever at the event, Nepal.

As previously announced, the independently run Venice sidebar will open with a tribute to Scottish multihyphenate Peter Mullan, whose 1998 directorial debut “Orphans” will screen with Mullan (pictured) in tow. It has been selected as the best bow ever from the section dedicated to new directors, celebrating its 30th edition this year.

The seven works competing in the section, which is headed by Italo film critic Francesco Di Pace, are:

“Motherland,” Turkish director Senem Tuzen’s feature debut portraying a modern Turkish woman torn apart by feelings of both love and hatred for her traditional mother.

“Banat” (“Il Viaggio”) by Italy’s Adriano Valerio, who in 2013 scored a Cannes nod for a short.

“The Black Hen,” by Nepalese director Min Bahadur Bham. An adventure pic set against the backdrop of civil war between the Nepalese government and Maoist guerrillas, marking the first time a Nepalese feature scores a Venice slot.

“Light Years” by British director Esther May Campbell, whose TV credits include episodes of “Skins” and “Wallander.” Drama follows an intense day in the life of three youths of different ages.

“Montanha,” by Portuguese director Joao Salaviza, about a 14-year-old named David at a crucial juncture in his existence. Saliva, who is also an actor has won top nods for his shorts in Cannes and Berlin.

“The Return,” by Singapore-based multi-disciplinary artist Green Zeng, about an old man who goes back home after having been incarcerated for many years after being accused of being a communist.

“Tanna,” by Australian documakers Martin Butler and Bentley Dean, a love story billed as providing a rare glimpse into the culture of one of the last tribal societies on earth – Tanna Island.

China is repped by eclectic four-and-a-half hour work “Jia” (“The Family”), a first work by China-born director Liu Shumin, who has Australian citizenship. “The Family” which will screen out-of-competition as a pre-opener, depicts several days in the lives of an elderly couple in a Chinese city, chronicling transformations in Chinese society.

The closer, also out-of-competition, is “Bagnoli Jungle,” about life on the outskirts of Naples, by Italian veteran Antonio Capuano, who won the section in 1991 with drama “Vito e gli altri.”

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.

The 72nd edition of the Venice fest runs September 2-12. The official selection lineup will be announced on July 29.

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