Venice Days: Program

18 world premieres, 5 debut films, 12 fictional stories, 6 documentaries, 12 nationalities: Albania, Algeria, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA. Founded six years ago by ANAC and the filmmakers of a.p.i., presided over by Roberto Barzanti, Venice Days return on the Lido from September 3-12, once again directed by Giorgio Gosetti, who succeeds film critic Fabio Ferzetti, today head of the special project 100 + 1. One hundred films and one country, Italy.

In an objectively difficult year, during which local filmmakers and culture industry workers have mobilized in droves against the severe budget cuts to the FUS Culture Fund, Italian cinema is very much and very legitimately represented in our program by highly diverse stories, styles, sensibilities and production approaches: from Poes ia che mi guardi by Marina Spada in the official selection, to Elisabetta Pandimiglio's short film Un giorno di Vito, chosen for its original cinematic language and the strength of its subject (the difficulties of motherhood for incarcerated women), which imposes itself upon our conscience.

"This edition will be very much tied to women," says Delegate General Giorgio Gosetti, "with filmmakers, protagonists and situations that profoundly moved us and the international selection committee that flanked me in the difficult task of making the final decisions. Yet it will also be a program that, while remaining coherent to the identity of Venice Days, will leave much room for provocation, to genre cinema that has been rediscovered by younger filmmakers, to the adaptability of languages and production models, and even to laughter and satire, elements often overlooked at top festivals."

There are 12 feature films in the official selection, includ ing those by illustrious auteurs who make up recent film history yet who this year bring distinctly independent and personal works to Venice. They are Claude Miller, who with his son Nathan surprisingly made the rough and powerful "debut film" Je suis content que ma mère soit vivante; Goran Paskaljevic, who in Honeymoons depicts all the contradictions of his land, at the center of a scandal in a Europe that tries in vain to forget its recent past; Algeria's Merzak Allouache, who in Harragas accompanies his "boat people" (a microcosm of the thousands of faces of his torn country) across the Mediterranean towards an impossible dream of freedom; and Dutch filmmaker Alex van Warmerdam, who in The Last Days of Emma Blank continues his highly personal social satire down a fine line between realism and surrealism.

They will be flanked by debut filmmakers such as Léa Fehner and France's Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher, behind the poli tically incorrect horror film La Horde (a special event at Venice Days and already a cult film on the Internet and market, despite the fact that it will be premiering in Venice); numerous second films; and welcome returns, such as Spain's Daniel Sánchez-Arévalo (DarkBlueAlmostBlack), who will certainly stir up controversy with his ruthless satire, Gordos.

There will be five Films on Reality proposed as a special program created to place special emphasis on a form of expression that is enjoying particular success in Italy today. They are Paola Sangiovanni's passionate Ragazze, Marina Spada's film on poet Antonia Pozzi, the scandalously "normal" love stories captured by Stefano Consiglio, the larger-than-life Vittorio De Sica in Vittorio D. (by Mario Canale and Annarosa Morri), and the disconcerting state of Italian cinema depicted with happy and erratic freedom by Valerio Ialongo in Di me cosa ne s ai.
Last, but certainly not least, are this year's tributes and parallel activities. Some will be announced in the coming weeks, and some in conjunction with evolving initiatives of Italian cinema, for which Venice Days are the most natural and directly involved presentation space. However, we are pleased to already announce the special tribute to animation artist Signe Baumane (a festival favorite, discovered in Venice and celebrated at Sundance and Berlin), who will bring the entire anthology Teat Beat of Sex, with eight brand new episodes (just 2' each) that will screen before the films of the selection.

Also returning is the special project created and directed by Fabio Ferzetti, 100 + 1. One hundred films and one country, Italy, on the eve of its first event organized with the Province of Rome and with support from Cinecittà Luce. Venice will also be an occasion to present the restored print of Francesco Rosi's The Magliari (1959), made possible through a collaboration with the Bologna Cinematheque.


by Sterlin Harjo - USA
International Premiere
The filmmaker's second feature, on the pride and end of the Seminole and Crow Nations, as well as an uncontaminated Oklahoma (literally, the "land of the red people" in the Ponca language). Frankie wants to leave the hospital before dying - to find his daughter and niece and ask their forgiveness. He asks Irene, who was in love with him in the past, for her help. This nostalgic and surprising road movie unfolds among longing, hopes and appeased rancor, amid an ancient landscape that looks on impassively. Produced with support from the Sundance Institute.
Production: Indion Production

by Daniel Monzón - Spain
World Premiere
Two men at the centre o f prison revolt: the ruthless murderer heading it and the novice prison official who finds himself implicated. A genre prison movie that becomes a vehicle for an auteur exploration, as well as a thriller in which each moment could be the last. Not only for the two main characters, because beyond the jail walls there are loved ones, power games and secret agreements, as the margin for negotiations becomes increasingly narrower. Featuring Carlos Bardem (Che), Luis Tosar (Semana Santa) and Antonio Resines (Pan's Labyrinth).
Production: Vaca Films, Morena Films, Telecinco
World Sales: Films Distribution

by Sherry Horman - Germany/Austria/UK
World Premiere
The extraordinary Waris Dirie was a nomad girl from the Somali desert who became a highly successful model and UN ambassador for women's rights. Based on her real life, the film offers a colorful fresco of the contradictions of the contempor ary world and an image-obsessed society, in a narrative mix of social drama and sophisticated comedy. This intense portrait of a woman owes much to the luminous onscreen debut of the beautiful Liya Kebede. Today, Dirie is the face of the campaign against the infibulation of and violence towards African women.
Production: Desert Flower Filmproductions
World Sales: The Match Factory

by Valerio Ialongo - Italy
World Premiere
Why is Italian cinema doing so poorly? After five years of interviews, meetings and exemplary events, this film depicts the tragicomedy of our times, lost memory, the depreciation of culture and artistic solitude. What emerges is an erratic, free account alongside an exploration into private stories. The approach is disenchanted, the tone light, at times comical. The reality, much less so.
Production: Cinecittà Luce, Ameuropa

by Daniel Sánchez-Arévalo - Spain
World Premiere (Second Feature)
The second feature by the director of DarkBlueAlmostBlack tackles a true contemporary evil: obesity. This outrageous and "over-size" comedy centers on a group of overweight people in search of redemption. It is a story of insecurities, phobias, dramas, mistakes, shame, hopes, concessions, love, sex, health and family. The most politically incorrect film on survival. in the "broadest" sense of the word.
Production: Tesela
World Sales: Imagina International Sales

by Merzak Allouache - Algeria/France
World Premiere
The "harragas" (a Spanish term of Arabic origin) are those who burn documents (and borders). They are the illegal immigrants of the sea, from the shores of the Maghreb, searching for better lives across the Spanish border. The greatest Algerian director of our times recounts the odyssey of a grou p of young friends who tempt fate - from Algeria to Gibraltar - and the suicide of one of them. Allouache's acclaimed films include The Other World, Chouchou and the recent Tamanrasset.
Production: Libris Films
World Sales: Doc&Film International

by Goran Paskaljevic - Albania/Serbia
World Premiere
The first Albanian/Serbian co-production is a film on the "Kosovo curse." It looks at two, young newlywed couples in search of freedom, and the paradox of seemingly wide-open borders that are actually lethal traps, be they in Hungary or Bari. The director of Cabaret Balkan offers an ensemble portrait of our times involving his country, atavistic Balkan rivalries, Italy and Europe. The most personal, moving and fierce work of a great master who believes in human beings over passports.
Production: Nova Film

by Claude and Nathan Miller - France
World Premiere (Debut Film)
"Our identities are clothes the shape of which were designed by our childhood," says Claude Miller, in an exploration on what happens when this childhood is denied. Thomas was abandoned by his birth mother at the age of four. Intolerant of his adoptive family, the boy searches for his mother for years. When he finds her, he begins a parallel life at her side, without anticipating the fatal epilogue. The film also unveils a young talent: Vincent Rottiers. Based on a true story narrated by Emmanuel Carrère.
Production: F Comme Films, Orly Films, France 3 Cinéma
World Sales: Coach 14

by Alex van Warmerdam - The Netherlands
International Premiere
Scenes of a class struggle along the banks of the Netherlands coast or a long wait for a new Exterminating Angel? With his own personal and unmistakable surrealism, the director of highly critically acclaimed films such as Abel, The Dress and Waiter continues his exploration of cinematic language and social criticism in this bitter and biting new comedy. In her mansion behind the dunes, the tyrannical Emma Blank awaits death, driving her exasperated servants and relatives to a paradoxical mutiny. Who will win in this theatre of cruelty: the oppressor or those trying to overturn the rules of the game?
Production: Graniet Film
World Sales: Fortissimo Films

by Léa Fehner - France
World Premiere (Debut Film)
In the visiting room of a French prison, the lives of a group of men and women brush up against one another to ultimately influence mutual destinies. A mother of a murdered Algerian, the random double of a dangerous offender, the girlfriend of a young rebel, a doctor who feigns cynicism and a killer's sister have one hour to make amends with life, in the thousand faces of modern society's malaise. The cast includes Reda Kateb, a revelation in A Prophet.
Production and World Sales: Rezo Films
Special Event

by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher - France
World Premiere (Debut Film)
A police squad sets out to settle the score with a gang of fools. But the dilapidated building in which the thugs are holed up is also the favorite destination of a savage horde of violent zombies. Under a high moon, a battle begins across the city. By dawn, only the best will survive. The highly anticipated debut of two young filmmakers, La Horde regains to horror genre its unsettling spirit of rebellion, sarcasm, political incorrectness and unabashed film references. and this time speaks "European."
Production: Capture the Flag
World Sales: Films Distribution
Films on Reality: Special Screening

by Stefano Consiglio - Italy
World Premiere
What does it mean to have a normal, happily scandalous love knowing that it is "different" only in terms of social customs? The loving relationships that Stefano Consiglio sought out throughout Europe speak with the simplicity of children, the colorful animation of Ursula Ferrara and the voice of Luca Zingaretti, of experiences we would all like to have.
Production: BiBi Film, Lucky Red
World Sales: Doc&Film International

Films on Reality: Special Screening

by Marina Spada - Italy
World Premiere
The subtle and modern gaze of the director of As the Shadow here rests upon the youth of poet-photographer Antonia Pozzi, who committed suicide on December 3, 1938, before the Italian Racial Laws were promulgated, in a tense and icy Milan. Her forgotten memory is revived thanks to today's street poets who believe in the power of a verse, of a though t capable of saving the world.
Production: Miro Film
Films on Reality: Special Screening

by Paola Sangiovanni - Italy
World Premiere (Debut Film)
Their names are Alessandra, Liliana, Marina and Maria Paola. They were teenagers in the 1960s, young adults in the following decade when women's lib began. Their public and private lives - from the stage to free radio stations, from feminist collectives to street demonstrations - are intertwined with Italian history and the ideas of utopia of that that time. More than just a black and white memory.
Production: Metafilm
Special Event 100+1

by Mario Canale and Annarosa Morri - Italy
World Premiere
Seventy years after his first film (Red Roses, 1939) and 35 after his death, Vittorio De Sica remains a celebrated, forgotten and perhaps unknown giant of Italian cinema. His irre pressible humanity, versatility as an actor and intransigence as a filmmaker remain in the shadows. This original and different portrait is created through stories from De Sica's children - Emy, Christian and Manuel - alongside artists such as Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, John Landis, Ken Loach and Mario Monicelli.
Production: Surf Film, La7
World Sales: Surf Films
Tribute to Signe Baumane

World Premiere
The series Teat Beat of Sex (produced in Europe), of 15 withering shorts on love and sex, will be presented in its entirety at Venice. A set of eight unseen episodes, world premieres, will screen before films of the Official Selection. One of the most celebrated artists of international animation, in recent years she participated in competition at Sundance and the Berlinale. An illustrator of children's books and theatre animator and regular collaborator of Bill Plympton, Baumane 's objects and installations have been exhibited in art galleries. She has won numerous prizes at top festivals for her six films and countless shorts.
Production: Pierre Poire Productions

In collaboration with International Critics' Week (SIC)
by Erik Gandini - Sweden
World Premiere
In the beginning, there was free TV, then came the orgy of antennas, the rapture of choice, the slow but inexorable mutation of a people's genetic code. Television's autocracy is not particular only to Italy, but only in this country has the "magic box" generated such exemplary protagonists, such an analogous plethora of absurd specimens. To keep this discussion alive, together with the SIC we will present the "other point of view," of Italian/Swedish director Erik Gandini (Sacrificio, Gitmo).
Production: Atmo AB, Zentropa Entertainment7
World Sales: Trust Nordisk

The final films of th e selection and the complete program of events and activities at the Filmmakers Villa will be announced shortly.

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