Venice Film Festival Unveils 2022 Competition Line-Up – The Hollywood Reporter

The Venice Film Festival has done it again.

The lineup for the 79th Venice International Film Festival could have been a damp squib after Cannes’ stellar 2022 festival, which featured the likes of Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun: Maverick and Elvis alongside arthouse crowd pleasers, including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness and Park Chan-wook’s South Korean mystery thriller Decision to Leave.

But Venice’s 2022 program, unveiled on Tuesday, stands up to the Croisette razzle-dazzle with an impressive mix of red-carpet-friendly, star-studded features and compelling, politically-charged dramas and documentaries. While there will be nothing to match Top Gun at the Lido this year, it looks like Venice’s position as the launch pad for award-season contenders is still firmly in place.

New features from Alejandro González Iñárritu, Florian Zeller, Noah Baumbach, Luca Guadagnino, Darren Aronofsky, Joanna Hogg and Olivia Wilde will all premiere in Venice. The stars set to boat in for the Italian fest include Timothée Chalamet, Ana de Armas, Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Tilda Swinton, Brendan Fraser, Cate Blanchett, Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine.

Baumbach’s Netflix film White Noise, an adaptation of the 1985 Don DeLillo novel that is starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, will open the 79th Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31, Venice had announced on Monday. It will mark Baumbach’s return to the Lido three years after his Marriage Story premiered in Venice, en route to picking up six Oscar nominations and one win. It’s one of three Netflix features on the Lido this year, with the streamer also taking Blondea fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe from New Zealand director Andrew Dominik, starring de Armas as Monroe, and Iñárritu’s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths to the Lido. Bardo is Iñárritu’s first Mexican film since his 2000 feature debut Amores Perros.

‘White Noise’

Courtesy of Netflix

Other competition highlights include Zeller’s The Sonthe French director’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning drama The Father, starring Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, Vanessa Kirby and Anthony Hopkins, will premiere in competition in Venice. Adapted, like The Fatherfrom his own French-language play, The Son is being produced by See-Saw, the British/Australian banner behind 2021 Venice Festival and 2022 awards season darling The Power of the Dog. Sony Pictures Classic has the rights.

Venice favorite Guadagnino returns to the Lido with competition title Bones and All a US-set feature that reteams the director with his Call Me By Your Name Oscar nominee Chalamet. The film co-stars Taylor Russell as Maren, a young woman living on the margins of society who falls in love with Lee (Chalamet), an intense and disenfranchised drifter. Jessica Harper, Chloë Sevigny, Michael Stuhlbarg and Mark Rylance co-star. MGM has worldwide rights, with United Artists releasing in the US and Vision Distribution handling the Italian bow.

Aronofsky’s The Whale will also premiere in competition, marking his return to the Lido after 2017’s Mother! Aronofsky won the Golden Lion in Venice in 2008 with The Wrestler. His latest stars Sadie Sink, Brendan Fraser and Samantha Morton in the story of a reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity who attempts, one last time, to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter. A24 has worldwide rights.

British author Joanna Hogg will bring The Eternal Daughter, starring Tilda Swinton, to the Venice competition. The same goes for the latest from 2017 Venice Golden Lion winner Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), The Banshees of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell. French director Rebecca Zlotowski’s Other People’s Childrena French feature starring Virginie Efira (Elle, Benedetta) as a childless woman who forms a deep bond with her boyfriend’s young daughter, has also made the Venice competition cut, as has Our Ties from fellow French director Roschdy Zem (Chocolate).

Italian director Andrea Pallaoro, whose 2017 drama Hannahstarring Charlotte Rampling, was part of the Venice competition that year, is set to return with his English-language debut, Monica. The family drama stars Trace Lysette as a woman who returns home to care for her dying mother. Patricia Clarkson, Adriana Barraza and Emily Browning co-star. The Exchange and UTA Independent Film Group are handling world sales. Another Italian feature, Chiara from director Susanna Nicchiarelli, will be representing the home crowd in the Venice competition this year.

No Bearsa film shot in secret by banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi, will also get a Venice competition slot, as will Todd Field’s Tarstarring Cate Blanchett, Vahid Jalilvand’s Beyond the WallAlice Diop’s Saint Omer and Koji Fukada’s Love Life. Beyond the Wallan Iranian drama from Panahi’s countryman Vahid Jalilvand, will also screen in competition, one of four Iranian films in Venice’s official selection this year.

Laura Poitras’ documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed will get a rare competition slot for a non-fiction film, while A Couplea French-shot feature from acclaimed documentarian Frederick Wiseman (City Hall), will also premiere in the lineup.

Other competition titles included Il signore delle formiche from Italian director Gianni Amelio, a portrait of the Italian poet, playwright and director Aldo Braibanti jailed in 1968 under a Fascist-era law criminalizing gay activity; Emanuele Crialese’s Spanish drama Immensity starring Penelope Cruz; and Santiago Mitre’s political period piece Argentina, 1985.

The Hanging Sun, a Sky thriller from director Francesco Carrozzini, based on the Jo Nesbø best-seller, starring Alessandro Borghi, Jessica Brown Findlay, Peter Mullan and Charles Dance, will close the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 10.

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Peter Mullan in ‘The Hanging Sun’

Out of competition, Olivia Wilde’s hotly-anticipated Don’t Worry Darling will have its world premiere on the Lido. The feature stars Pugh, Styles and Pine. A year after Paul Schrader wowed Venice with The Card Counterhe returns with Master Gardenerstarring Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, which will premiere out of competition.

Walter Hill’s new Western Dead for a Dollarstarring Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe, also secured an out-of-competition slot, as did Kim Ki-duk’s Call of Goda feature completed after the Korean director’s death and Dreamin’ Wild from director Bill Pohlad (Love & Mercy), with Casey Affleck, Zooey Deschanel and Walton Goggins, about musical duo Donnie and Joe Emerson.

On the TV side, Venice is looking to amaze and shock with two new series from Danish arthouse scandal magnets Lars von Trier and Nicolas Winding Refn, who will premiere their latest small-screen efforts, The Kingdom and Copenhagen Cowboyrespectively, out of competition on the Lido this year.

Also screening out of competition in Venice are Paolo Virzi’s Italian drama SiccitaTi West’s Pearlstarring Mia Goth and David Corenswet, When The Waves Are Done from Lav Diaz, Living from Oliver Hermanus, plus Oliver Stone’s new, and sure-to-be-controversial, documentary Nuclear.

On the non-fiction side, two Ukraine documentaries, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom from Evgeny Afineevsky — described as an “instant movie”, shot from the beginning of the Ukraine war in February — and The Kiev Trial from Sergei Loznitsa (Babi Yar. Context), will premiere out of competition.

Gianfranco Rossi’s In Viaggioa documentary on Pope Francis, The Matchmakera documentary on western women who joined ISIS, from Benedetta Argentieri will also get Venice debuts, as will non-fiction features Gli Ultimi Giorni Dell’Umantita from Enrico Ghezzi and Alessandro Gagliardo, A Compassionate Spy from director Steve James, Music for Black Pigeons from Jorgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed, and Bobi Wine Ghetto President from Christopher Sharp and Moses Bwayo on the titular Ugandan rapper-turned-politician.

Several short films, including Maid from Lucrecia Martel, Sally Potter’s Look at Mestarring Javier Bardem and Chris Rock, will get an out-of-competition premiere in Venice 2022. Organizers said they are hopeful Rock would attend the fest.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera and Roberto Cicutto, president of La Biennale di Venezia, the umbrella organization that runs the world’s oldest film fest, unveiled the lineup live from the library of the Biennale Historical Archive of Contemporary Arts in Venice in a ceremony that was live -streamed on the festival’s website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Venice was the only major A-list festival not to cancel its in-person event during the coronavirus pandemic, but the 2022 Lido fest looks to be the first since the start of COVID-19 to take place without any restrictions whatsoever after Italy removed its remaining mask rules for cinemas on June 15.

Ahead of the official selection unveiled on Tuesday, Venice announced this year’s lineup for its sidebar sections.

Roberto De Paolis’ Princess will open the 2022 Horizons sections, described as a combination of documentary and fantasy, which explores

Victima Czech drama from the first feature from director Michal Blasko, the Spanish feature On the Fringethe directorial debut of Spanish actor Juan Diego Botto and Trenque Lauquen from Argentine director Laura Citarella will also screen in the sidebar this year. Directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel make their Venice debut in Horizons with Vera

Guy Davidi’s documentary Innocence will also make a Horizons bow this year. The film examines the phenomenon of suicides among Israeli army recruits. David’s 2011 doc 5 Broken Cameras was Oscar-nominated.

Other Horizons features included Blanquita from Chilean director Fernando Guzzoni, For My Country from Rachid Hami, Autobiography from Makbul Mubarak, To the North from Romanian director Mihai Mincan, Kei Ishikawa’s Japanese thriller Manthe Polish debut Bread and Salt from director Damian Kocur, French feature The Sitting Duck from Jean-Paul Salome, starring Isabelle Huppert, the black-and-white Italian feature Ti Mangio Il Curore from director Pippo Mezzapesa, and Luxembourg, Luxembourg from Antonio Lukich, a Ukraine-set comedy.

World War III from Houman Seydei, which will screen in Horizons, is one of four Iranian films to make the cut for Venice this year.

The Happiest Man in the World from Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska, about the siege of Sarajevo, and Sergio Trefaut’s The Brideshot in Iraqi Kurdistan, completes the main Horizons feature.

Origin of Evil from Sebastian Marnier will open Venice’s Horizons Extra section.

Hanging Gardens from Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji and Amanda from Carolina Cavalli, and Red Shoes from Mexican director Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser, all first-time directors, will debut in Horizons Extra.

Soudade Kaadan’s Syrian-set Nezouhthe Italian feature Notte Fantasma from director Fulvio Risuleo, Michal Vinik’s Israeli drama Valeria is Getting Married, Goliath from Adilkhan Yerzhanov, and Arian Vazirdaftari’s Iranian thriller Without Herwill also premiere in Horizons Extra.

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