The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, with its 80th edition opening on Wednesday.
Here is everything you need to know…
WHEN IS THE VENICE FESTIVAL?
The festival opens on Aug. 30 with the premiere of Italian World War Two film Comandante, directed by Edoardo De Angelis. The event runs until Sept. 9 and closes with a Spanish-language Netflix drama ‘Society of the Snow’.
WHERE IS IT BEING HELD?
The Festival takes place on the Venice Lido – the so-called beach of Venice — a thin barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, which is a short boat trip from the main city of Venice. Unlike Venice itself, cars have access to the Lido.
WHY IS IT SO CLOSELY WATCHED?
The festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 best director awards at the Oscars went to films that debuted at Venice.
Movie stars and directors traditionally enjoy travelling to the lagoon city to launch their films.
However, this year will offer a bit less sparkle than usual as the Hollywood actors’ strike will prevent many stars from promoting their work.
WHICH MOVIES HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE FESTIVAL?
There are several categories making up the official selection of films shown, the top being those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award.
This year’s 23 contenders, in order of their screening, are:
Comandante, Director: Edoardo De Angelis
El Conde Dir: Pablo Larrain
Dogman Dir: Luc Besson
Ferrari Dir: Michael Mann
The Promised Land, Dir: Nikolaj Arcel
Poor Things Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Finally Dawn. Dir: Saverio Costanzo
Maestro. Dir: Bradley Cooper
Adagio, Dir: Stefano Sollima
Die Theorie Von Allem, Dir: Timm Kroger
The Killer, Dir: David Fincher
The Beast. Dir: Bertrand Bonello
Evil Does Not Exist, Dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Priscilla, Dir: Sofia Coppola
Green Border, Dir: Agnieszka Holland
Enea, Pietro Castellitto
Origin, Dir: Ava DuVernay
Me Captain, Dir: Matteo Garrone
Lubo, Dir: Giorgio Diritti
Holly, Dir: Fien Troch
Woman Of, Dir: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
Memory, Dir: Michel Franco
Hors-Saison, Dir: Stephane Brize
ARE ANY BIG FILMS BEING SHOWN OUT OF COMPETITION?
Like other festivals, Venice reserves a number of spots for interesting movies that are shown out of competition.
Amongst those on offer this year are The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial by U.S. director William Friedkin, who died this month; Coup de Chance, Woody Allen’s first French-language picture;’The Palace, by Roman Polanski; The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, a short feature by Wes Anderson; Aggro Drift, directed by Harmony Korine and starring rapper Travis Scott.