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2022 Venice Film Festival: 70 Predictions (Part II) Aroonpheng, Lindholm, Hogg & Rolf de Heer

2022 Venice Film Festival: 70 Predictions (Part II) Aroonpheng, Lindholm, Hogg & Rolf de Heer

Only hours before TIFF unveil what should be a sizeable amount of their line-up (and in the same sweeping motion confirm a lot of Venice titles), while Venice will likely steal a lot of thunder we believe that distributors might opt out or favor a Toronto world premiere. Florian Zeller’s The Son, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking, Benjamin Caron’s Sharper, Maria Schrader’s She Said and Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling might go solo rather than double or triple dip. Scott Cooper’s The Pale Blue Eye could opt for a Telluride-Toronto drop, while Noah Baumbach, Yorgos Lanthimos and Darren Aronofsky might be leaning towards a 2023 drop. Here are the second half of our Venice Film Festival predictions.

Caravaggio’s Shadow
Michele Placido
His fourteenth film will drop domestically in Italy on November 3rd with the Rome Film Festival folks contending for that world preem status. Starring Riccardo Scamarcio, Isabelle Huppert and Louis Garrel, this historical drama depicts the struggles of the notorious Renaissance painter as he’s investigated by the Vatican. Having participated as one of the Venezia 70 Future Reloaded films in 2013, Placido has competed for Golden Lion on three occasions.
Prediction: Out of Competition.

Monica
Andrea Pallaoro
The only logical outcome for an Italian filmmaker (living in the U.S.) is for his third feature to follow the film fest premiere script that is the Lido. His first feature Medeas (2013) preemed in the Orizzonti section, while his masterwork Hannah won the Volpi Cup for Charlotte Rampling. Pallaoro’s third stars Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson, Anna Paquin and Adriana Barraza and tells the story of a woman who returns home to care for her dying mother.
Prediction: Competition.

Morrison
Phuttiphong Aroonpheng
Formerly titled Diversion, the Thai director saw his debut film Manta Ray crowned Best Film in the Orizzonti section back in 2018. His sophomore feature is produced by Charles Gillibert and tells the tale of Jimmy, a 40-year-old former popstar turned engineer, who is sent to the region of his childhood to supervise the renovation of an old hotel. Once settled, Jimmy finds out the once flamboyant hotel has become a ruin, a maze of narrow corridors and a relic of a bygone era, which still bears the scars of the American occupation. Hugo aka Chulachak Chakrabongse toplines.
Prediction: Competition.

My Policeman
Michael Grandage
After debuting Genius at the Berlinale in 2016, Grandage moved to another book-to-film project with Harry Styles toplining. An Amazon Studios project that will drop on October 21st, this is about Tom, a policeman in 1950s Britain, falls in love with a schoolteacher on the Brighton coast. However, he soon begins a passionate same-sex affair with a museum curator, in spite of homosexuality being illegal.
Prediction: Out of Competition.

Nezouh
Soudade Kaadan
Employing the services of cinematographer Hélène Louvart, for her second fiction feature – a Cannes Cinéfondation / TorinoFilmLab workshopped project, Kaadan looks back at the Syrian conflict in Damascus. We find a young woman named Zena and her family reside in a zone that is about to be bombed. Her father takes the firm stance to stay home. With little time left, Zena and her mother Hara face a very tough decision. The filmmaker brought The Day I Lost My Shadow to the Orizzonti section (where she won the Lion of the Future award).
Prediction: Competition.

No Bears
Jafar Panahi
Today’s soul-crushing news means that Panahi’s surprise 2022 film will either be shown or will be reserved for a later date. This tells two parallel love stories in which the partners are thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power. Back in 2000, the Iranian filmmaker won the Golden Lion for The Circle.
Prediction: Competition.

Opponent
Milad Alami
We thought the Iranian born, Swedish-based filmmaker was a better bet for Cannes, so we are now circling a September date. This follows Iman, a professional wrestler, and his family who are forced to flee Iran in the aftermath of a devastating rumor and end up in a run-down hotel in Northern Sweden.
Prediction: Venice Days.

Padre Pio
Abel Ferrara
When there was no mention of this latest film by Ferrara named for the next Locarno edition, we only reconfirmed that Venice is the likely world premiere destination. Shot in November of 2021 with Shia LaBeouf toplining, this is set in Italy in post World War I, and centers on the younger years of Italian Saint Padre Pio – a monk from Puglia. Lido has preemed a ton of his fiction and non-fiction films so this will definitely have a parking space reserved in his name.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

Passages
Ira Sachs
A surprise no-show for Cannes due to it not being ready, we imagine the extra couple of months was ample time for Sachs to get ready for Italy – making this his very first appearance with a feature film there. This is about two men (Ben Whishaw, Franz Rogowski) who’ve been together for more than a decade, and one of them has an affair with a woman (Adèle Exarchopoulos).
Prediction: Competition.

Pedagio
Carolina Markowicz
We’ve been part of the hype machine on piece of micro cinema from Brazil and as filming was only completed in November of last year it’s still possible that this debut only sees the light of day in 2023. Markowicz tells the story of Suellen, a toll booth attendant who starts using her job to help a gang of thieves steal watches from people driving to the coast. But only for a noble cause: to send her son to an expensive gay conversion workshop.
Prediction: Venice Days.

Perro
Vinko Tomicic
A Cinéfondation Résidence fellow production wrapped in October and Venice would be the more logical pathway as the project benefitted from the Venice Biennale College Cinema in 2018. Martin, a 14-year-old shoeshine boy from La Paz who has lived his entire life on the streets, begins to suspect that one of his best clients is his father, Mr. Novoa, a lonely tailor whose only emotional bond is his dog. Martin, anguished by this presentiment, devises a plan to kidnap the dog. And worth noting: the presence of Alfredo Castro.
Prediction: Venice Days.

Pour la France
Rachid Hami
Selected for the Venice’s Out of Competition premiere for his second feature La mélodie, Hami got to enlist the services of thesps Shaïn Boumedine (Mektoub, My Love), Karim Leklou, Lubna Azabal and Laurent Lafitte for a personal story. This is about a 23-year-old officer of Algerian origin. During an integration ritual in the prestigious French military school of Saint-Cyr, he loses his life. His big brother Ishmael, the black sheep of the family, finds himself at the forefront of the fight to organize the funeral.
Prediction: Venice Days.

Profeti
Alessio Cremonini
Cremonini premiered his second feature film On My Skin: The Last Seven Days of Stefano Cucchi as the opener at the festival’s Orizzonti section. Could he be moving up into the competition with another politicized drama? Starring Jasmine Trinca, Ziad Bakri, Mehdi Meskar, this is the story of an encounter and a confrontation between Sara, an independent Italian journalist who was kidnapped in Syria by ISIS while she was working on a war news report in 2015, and Nur, the young foreign fighter, wife to a soldier of the Caliphate who holds Sara in custody in a building located in the middle of a training camp.
Prediction: Competition.

Saint Omer
Alice Diop
Docu and short film filmmaker made the move into fiction in 2021 going into production on a feature that should rock the boat. Starring Kayije Kagame and Guslagie Malanda, this is about a young novelist Rama who attends the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter by abandoning her to the rising tide on a beach in northern France. But as the trial continues, the words of the accused and witness testimonies will shake Rama’s convictions and call into question our own judgement. Look for TIFF to try and get their hands on this as well.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

Siccità
Paolo Virzì
Not as popular as his Italian peers when it coms to preeming in his own backyard, Virzì has nonetheless been at the fest as far back as Hardboiled Egg (1997) and as recently as The Leisure Seeker (2017). Monica Bellucci, Sara Serraiocco, Silvio Orlando and Sara Lazzaro star in a Rome backdrop where it has not rained in three years. It’s being pitched as an apocalyptic comedy. This went into post in May of 2021, so this is more than ready.
Prediction: Out of Competition.

Solitary
Nate Parker
When the film festival circuit canceled the filmmaker while making the rounds for Birth of a Nation, Venice stepped in and offered a premiere home for his subsequent film, American Skin. Starring David Oyelowo, Olivia Washington, Barry Pepper and Jimmie Fails. Oyelowo will play a wrongfully imprisoned man who’s been released after seven years of solitary confinement. Production took place in the fall of 2020, so this is definitely ready.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

Sparta
Ulrich Seidl
We were shocked, and delightfully surprised to learn that Wicked Games almost turned into was into the Paradise trilogy. The atom was split into two here with Rimini preeming at the Berlinale and we thought Cannes would be the logical next stop – but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the Comp. His 2001 film Dog Days won a Grand Special Jury Prize at the fest, he preemed part two in his Paradise trilogy and also showcased docs In the Basement (2014) and Safari (2016). This film would focus on Georg Friedrich’s character of Ewald.
Prediction: Competition.

Tár
Todd Field
It’s been a long dozen years between films number two and number three — and if selected it would be the first trip as filmmaker. Starring Cate Blanchett – who was the president of the jury in 2020, this is based in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár. widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. Venice have stamped this with an October 7th release, and Toronto programmers will want this one as well.
Prediction: Competition.

The Banshees of Inisherin
Martin McDonagh
2017’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri caught lightning in a bottle on the Lido prior to the added TIFF buzz directly after. Set for an October release, McDonagh reteamed with his In Bruges team of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson plus Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon. Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them. We think this won’t break in the comp.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

The Beast in the Jungle
Patric Chiha
The Austrian-born filmmaker actually debuted his first Domaine (with Béatrice Dalle) at the festival’s Critics’ Week section in 2009. Now on his fifth feature which went into production in November, he reteams with Dalle and adds Anaïs Demoustier and Tom Mercier for a project that he co-wrote with Axelle Ropert. Based on an Henry James’ eponymous short story originally published in 1903 – it’s a mystery film.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

The Eternal Daughter
Joanna Hogg
Filmed in late 2020 in Wales with Tilda Swinton, Carly-Sophia Davies and Joseph Mydell, this A24 film has been waiting to get out of the gate for quite some time. It tells the tale of a middle-aged daughter and her elderly mother who must confront long-buried secrets when they return to their former family home, a once-grand manor that has become a nearly vacant hotel brimming with mystery. Hogg was at the fest as a jury member in 2020.
Prediction: Competition.

The Good Nurse
Tobias Lindholm
A lieu where his output is welcomed, Lindholm has been at the fest in 2012 for A Hijacking, was asked to contribute to Venezia 70 – Future Reloaded in 2013 and returned for A War in 2015. The Darren Aronofsky produced, Netflix film has a line-up that includes Jessica Chastain, Eddie Redmayne, Nnamdi Asomugha, Noah Emmerich and Kim Dickens and essentially tells the tale of a nurse who assists in the capture of another nurse, who has killed upward of 300 patients. Jody Lee Lipes was the cinematographer on the project.
Prediction: Competition.

The Hanging Sun
Francesco Carrozzini
The photographer and music video helmer will at times put out docu items such as his 2016 docu feature (Franca: Chaos and Creation) which was shown in the “Cinema Nel Giardino” category in Venice. This is Carrozzini’s first foray into fiction. An adaptation of “Midnight Sun” by Jo Nesbø, filming took place in Norway in October of 2021 with the likes of Peter Mullan and Charles Dance. The noir thriller follows John — a man on the run because he has betrayed his powerful crime-lord father, Dad. To escape from his family, John heads north and takes refuge deep in the forest near an isolated village.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

The Melting
Veerle Baetens
The Belgian actress best known internationally for her work in The Broken Circle Breakdown moved behind the camera for her debut feature. The book to film project follows a young woman who returns to her childhood village with a block of ice in her car with a plan to settle old scores with those who wrecked her adolescence.
Prediction: Venice Days.

The Mountain
Rolf de Heer
Ever since we got wind of this project we had the sense that this will be a return of sorts (its been a decade since his last fiction feature) for the Aussie filmmaker. The logline is simple – a woman who is abandoned in a cage in the middle of the desert. Mwajemi Hussein, Deepthi Sharma, and Darsan Sharma star. De Heer has been in comp with Bad Boy Bubby (which won both the Jury Prize and the Critics’ Prize) in 1993 and, The Tracker in 2002.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

The Owner
Yury Bykov
It was a bit difficult to follow the production history of this latest Bykov film, but we are confident that the team has been in post for a while. The Menshovs helps a man named Rodin to escape from an road accident. Rodin turns out to be an official from the Federal Security Service. A friendship is struck, which, however, soon becomes a source of enormous problems for the Menshovs. This is Bykov’s seventh feature film.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

The Store
Ami-Ro Sköld
It’s the type of film that we do not want to rush but the progress reports have been encouraging for Swedish filmmaker’s stop motion + live action (Swedish/Italian dialogue) short to feature length film project. Part of Cannes’ Cinéfondation Atelier in 2020 and the Venice Gap Financing Market in 2021, this is about a homeless women live off salvaging food from the dumpster of a discount grocery store. Meanwhile, the store’s employees struggle under hardening working conditions. Complex relationships, conflicts and dependencies arise between the groups.
Prediction: Venice Days.

The Wonder
Sebastián Lelio
Lelio might finally make a first appearance on the Lido with the book-to-film Netflix project toplined by Florence Pugh. This is a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil. Ari Wegner is the cinematographer here.
Prediction: Competition.

Ti mangio il cuore
Pippo Mezzapesa
A filmmaker that is a bit of an unknown for us, Mezzapesa shored up on the Lido’s Venice Days section with My Own Good (Il bene mio) back in 2018. For his third outing, we find ourselves in the Gargano region that is run by gangsters and a forbidden love forms between the Malatesta heir Andrea, and the Camporeale boss’s beautiful wife Marilena – which reawakens the long-standing hate between the two rival families.

Une comédie romantique
Thibault Segouin
Known for Guy – the 2019 César nominated for Best Original Screenplay with Alex Lutz, the scribe turned first time filmmaker reteamed with the actor — production took place in Paris last summer with Golshifteh Farahani also headlining. This is the story of César, who resurfaces in Salomé’s life after having vanished overnight and discovers he’s the father of a three-year-old girl. This time, he will do everything he can to make the grade when it comes to their relationship.
Prediction: Venice International Film Critics’ Week.

Untitled Hong Sang-soo
It would not be for the first time that an unknown Hong Sang-soo project surfaces at a major film festival. In 2022, Hong Sang-soo released The Novelist’s Film at the Berlinale and we are making a baseless claim here — it’s also not that unusual for the filmmakers to give cinephiles two offerings in the same year. Apparently his 29th feature is in post-production.
Prediction: Competition.

Vanishings At Caddo Lake
Celine Held/Logan George
The directing tandem saw their feature debut break into Venice’s Critics’ Week back in 2020 with Topside getting a healthy film fest circuit life. They quickly got back into the director chairs in September of last year for a Dylan O’Brien, Eliza Scanlen and Lauren Ambrose in a tale about a 8-year-old girl who mysteriously vanishes on Caddo Lake, with a series of past deaths and disappearances begin to link together, forever altering a broken family’s history. Produced by M. Night Shyamalan.
Prediction: Venice Days.

Vazaha
Robin Campillo
I was more surprised by all the number of title changes than this being a Cannes no-show. The French filmmaker’s fourth feature was a complex period film with different timelines and weighed down by the pandemic. The coming-of-ager is set at the beginning of the 70s, in Madagascar, where a few armed forces and their families live in one of the last French military bases abroad, a relic of the ending French colonial empire. 10-year-old Thomas is the film’s protagonist. This might not be ready for Venice, so Berlin and Cannes 2023 are the next logical options.
Prediction: Competition.

Voices in Deep
Jason Raftopoulos
The Greek-Australia filmmaker had his directorial debut West of Sunshine premiered in the Orizzonti section back in 2017. For his sophomore film, we have newbie Hannah Sims in the lead as an Australian humanitarian. Shot in Athens, this will “explore ideas of time, desperation, identity and freedom.” Greek Weird Wave starlet Angeliki Papoulia is also in the project.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

Voyages en Italie
Sophie Letourneur
With picture lock occurring this summer, the mostly Rotterdam filmmaker and Jean-Vigo Prize winner moves in front of the camera alongside singer-actor Philippe Katerine for her fifth feature in just a bit over a decade of filmmaking. This is a relationship film set in the backdrop of Sicily.
Prediction: Orizzonti.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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