The illustrious Venice International Film Festival opens tonight, August 31, with its 79th edition running through September 10. The renowned Italian film fest, directed by Alberto Barbera, brings a dazzling lineup of international film stars together for screenings both in and out of competition. The highly sought-after Golden Lion award is given to the top in-competition film at the end of the festival. It’s been 90 years since the event’s inception in August 1932.
This year’s jury is headed by American actress Julianne Moore, whose international jury members include Mariano Cohn (Argentina), Leonardo Di Constanzo (Italy), Audrey Diwan (France), Leila Hatami (Iran), Kazuo Ishiguro (Japan-Great Britain) and Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain).
The festival opens with White Noise, Noah Baumbach’s dark comedy adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel, starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle.
The opening ceremony also will present the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement to the iconic French actress Catherine Deneuve, 78. Denueve says it is “a joy to receive the prestigious award at the Venice film Festival, which I love.” In 1967, Deneuve starred in Belle de jour, directed by Luis Buñuel, who was awarded the Golden Lion that year.
The Golden Lion for lifetime achievement for direction will be awarded to American director Paul Schrader (The Card Counter, Cat People, American Gigolo) during the festival.
Notable films include Penelope Cruz in L’Immensita, directed by Emanuele Crialese; Tilda Swinton in The Eternal Daughter, directed by Joanna Hogg; French actress Virginie Éfira in Les enfants des autres, by France’s Rebecca Zlotowski; and Bones and All, starring Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance and Chloe Sevigny from Italy’s Luca Guadagnino’s (Call Me By Your Name, A Bigger Splash). The film is adapted from the book by Camille DeAngelis.
Canada’s presence includes Dead For A Dollar, a co-production by film companies CHAOS (Carolyn McMaster) and Myriad Pictures (Kirk D’Amico). It stars Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe, Rachel Brosnahan and Benjamin Bratt, and is set in 1897 Mexico. Another homegrown entry is III from Quebec’s Salome Villeneuve (daughter of director Denis Villeneuve), which stars Anne Florence Lavigne-Desjardins, Elliot Desjardins Gauthier and Alexandre Dupras. III will be presented in the Orizzonti Short Films Competition at the Sala Web Theatre.
The festival expects to see young stars on the red carpet such as Chalamet, pop star Harry Styles for his first role in Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling (also starring Wilde, Florence Pugh and Chris Pine), as well as seasoned stars including Anthony Hopkins and Cate Blanchett.
The festival’s outstanding lineup offers films for a wide audience to inspire young and well-seasoned filmgoers alike, all with the elegant background of Venice.
Stay tuned for daily coverage and red carpet photos of international stars as actors, directors, producers and film lovers gather for the 79th Venice International Film Festival.