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2015 Venice Film Festival: Guadagnino, Sokurov, Kaufman, Bellocchio & Fukunaga Compete for Golden Lion

With the exception of Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation and Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, the nineteen other films in Venice Film Festival’s contention for the Golden Lion won’t be mentioned during awards season, but who cares when you have the likes of Aleksander Sokurov, Luca Guadagnino and Marco Bellocchio in the line-up. Not unlike previous years, the 2015 edition has a good numbers of films from Italy and the U.S., with several France co-productions littered throughout and the addition of fresh faces with first time works from composer Piero Messina and artist/musician Laurie Anderson.

While non comp offerings in the shape of Scott Cooper’s Black Mass and Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight are sure to receive a fair amount of trade news attention it’s the docus that are especially rich this year: Frederick Wiseman is joined by Sergei Loznitsa makes back to back years for docu offerings with The Event joining Maidan. Amy Berg is working on a two films per year pace and offers a docu-pic on Janis Joplin while we finally find out what Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s had in the works all this time: a docu on 70’s American auteur Brian De Palma.

And with today’s Lido announcements, we can offcially circle 2016 as the year of release and roll-out dates for the latest from the likes of Kelly Reichardt, Maren Ade, Gerardo Naranjo, Werner Herzog, Abdellatif Kechiche, Christophe Honore, Paul Verhoeven and Terrence Malick and his “other” film.

VENICE FILM FESTIVAL — IN COMPETITION
“Frenzy,” Emin Alper (Turkey, France, Qatar)
“Heart of a Dog,” Laurie Anderson (U.S.)
“Blood of My Blood,” Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
“Looking for Grace,” Sue Brooks (Australia)
“Equals,” Drake Doremus (U.S.)
“Remember,” Atom Egoyan (Canada, Germany)
“Beasts of No Nation,” Cary Fukunaga (U.S.)
“Per amor vostro,” Giuseppe M. Gaudino (Italy, France)
“Marguerite,” Xavier Giannoli (France, Czech Republic, Belgium)
“Rabin, the Last Day,” Amos Gitai (Isreal, France)
“A Bigger Splash,” Luca Guadagnino (Italy, France)
“The Endless River,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa, France)
“The Danish Girl,” Tom Hooper (U.K., U.S.)
“Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson (U.S.)
“L’attesa,” Piero Messina (Italy)
“11 minutes,” Jerzy Skolimowski (Poland)
“Francofonia,” Aleksander Sokurov (France, Germany, Netherlands)
“The Clan,” Pablo Trapero (Argentina, Spain)
“Desde alla,” Lorenzo Vigas (Venezuela, Mexico)
“L’hermine,” Christian Vincent (France)
“Behemoth,” Zhao Liang (China, France)

OUT OF COMPETITION
“Everest,” Baltasar Kormakur (U.S., U.K.) – Opening Film
“Mr. Six,” Hu Guan (China) – Closing Film

FICTION
“Go With Me,” Daniel Alfredson (U.S., Canada, Sweden)
“Non essere cattivo,” Claudio Caligari (Italy)
“Black Mass,” Scott Cooper (U.S.)
“Spotlight,” Thomas McCarthy (U.S.)
“La calle de la Amargura,” Mexico Spain
“The Audition,” Martin Scorsese (U.S.)

NON-FICTION
“Winter on Fire,” Evgeny Afineevsky (Ukraine)
“De Palma,” Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow (U.S.)
“Janis,” Amy Berg (U.S.)
“The Event,” Sergei Loznitsa (Netherlands, Belgium)
“Gli uomini di questa città io non li conosco,” Franco Maresco (Italy)
“L’esercito piu piccolo del mondo,” Gianfranco Pannone (Vatican City State)
“Afternoon,” Tsai Ming-liang (Chinese Taipei)
“In Jackson Heights,” Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)

SPECIAL SCREENING
“Human,” Yann Arthus-Bertrand (France)

GOLDEN LION FOR CAREER ACHIEVEMENT
“La vie et rien d’autre,” Bertrand Tavernier

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top 3 from 2016: Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt), Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve), Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

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