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2022 Venice Film Festival

Film Festivals

2022 Venice Film Festival: Alice Diop, Poitras, Panahi & Iñárritu Among Front-Runners for the Golden Lion!

2022 Venice Film Festival: Alice Diop, Poitras, Panahi & Iñárritu Among Front-Runners for the Golden Lion!

With only one title left to be unveiled (for the time being, let’s call it the August 30th pre-opener as it will be actually shown outside the festival’s dates), Venice Film Festival topper Alberto Barbera has, with no surprises here, loaded up the Golden Lion competition with heavily anticipated American film titles along with the usually high numbers of Italian and French productions. In the same sweeping motion we have also confirmed that status of films we believed might drop at Toronto and what will be ready for the Berlinale and Cannes in 2023.

So the good news for Toronto folks is that TIFF might have scored the world preem for Sarah Polley’s Women Talking. Plus the latest by Sebastián Lelio, Sam Mendes, Fatih Akin and quite possibly, William Oldroyd’s Eileen could be unveiled. Hong Sang-soo and Ulrich Seidl are likely going to be in the comp for the Golden Bear in February while Lisandro Alonso, Amat Escalante, Robin Campillo and Ira Sachs will pace themselves in post gunning for a shot at the Palme d’Or.

Among the Golden Lion offerings that come as a surprise, we are especially enthusiastic to see a fiction feature debut by young docu-helmer Alice Diop. Her Saint Omer tells the story of a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter and a novelist named Rama who questions her own convictions and judgement. Other “French” films that caught us off guard is Frederick Wiseman moving into fiction with A Couple, a portrait on Sophia and Leo Tolstoy who had a relationship that was full of love and hatred. Roschdy Zem returns to directing with (his fifth feature) Les miens which stars Sami Bouajila, Maïwenn, and the director himself. Zem will also be in Rebecca Zlotowski‘s Other People’s Children. Other titles not on our radar — Laura Poitras‘ docu All The Beauty and The Bloodshed takes a deeper look at photographer Nan Goldin’s battle against big-pharma Sackler family and we also have Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jalilvand (who makes it three for three in Venice) with Beyond The Wall. We also have Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths clocking in at the 3 hour mark!

In the out of competition fiction features it is the latest (and last film) from Kim Ki-duk caught me by surprise. The director passed away due to covid but gave instructions on the edit he wanted for his last film, Call Of God.  A surprise, extremely rare non-world premiere in the Sundance preemed Living by Oliver Hermanus will be making an appearance. We predicted that Walter Hill would be at the fest with Dead For a Dollar at it is indeed part of the line-up while a film we saw heading to TIFF in Dreamin’ Wild by Bill Pohlad will begin its festival journey in Italy as well.

And let’s not forget the Biennale College Cinema selections. This year there are four films (and future talents) to watch out for: Monica Dugo‘s Come le tartarughe, Tahmina Rafaella‘s Banu, Eldar Shibanov‘s Mountain Onion and Hanna Västinsalo‘s Palimpsest.

We’ll be putting a deep dive focus on the Horizons section as there’ll be a ton of nuggets found here. We will be at the Venice Film Festival next month. Make sure to come back here for our reviews! Here is the comp line-up and more.

COMPETITION
“White Noise,” Noah Baumbach (U.S.) – Opening Film
“Il Signore Delle Formiche,” Gianni Amelio (Italy)
“The Whale,” Darren Aronofsky (U.S.)
“L’Immensità,” Emanuele Crialese (Italy)
“Saint Omer,” Alice Diop (France)
“Blonde,” Andrew Dominik (U.S.)
“TÁR,” Todd Field (U.S.)
“Love Life,” Kôji Fukada (Japan, France)
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Mexico)
“Athena,” Romain Gavras (France)
“Bones and All,” Luca Guadagnino (U.S.)
“The Eternal Daughter,” Joanna Hogg (U.K.)
“Beyond The Wall,” Vahid Jalilvand (Iran)
“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Martin McDonagh (U.K., U.S.)
“Argentina, 1985,” Santiago Mitre (Argentina, U.S.)
“Chiara,” Susanna Nicchiarelli (Italy)
“Monica,” Andrea Pallaoro (Italy)
“No Bears,” Jafar Panahi (Iran)
“All The Beauty and The Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras (U.S.)
“A Couple,” Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)
“The Son,” Florian Zeller (U.K.)
“Our Ties,” Roschdy Zem (France)
“Other People’s Children,” Rebecca Zlotowski (France)

OUT OF COMPETITION – FICTION
“The Hanging Sun,” Francesco Carrozzini (Italy) – Closing Film
“When The Waves Are Gone,” Lav Diaz (Philippines, France, Portugal, Denmark)
“Living,” Oliver Hermanus (U.K.)
“Dead For a Dollar,” Walter Hill (U.S.)
“Call Of God,” Kim Ki-duk (Estonia, Kirighistan, Lettonia)
“Dreamin’ Wild,” Bill Pohlad (U.S.)
“Master Gardener,” Paul Schrader (U.S.)
“Siccitá,” Paolo Virzì (Italy)
“Pearl,” Ti West (U.S.)
“Don’t Worry Darling,” Olivia Wilde (U.S.)

OUT OF COMPETITION – NON-FICTION
“Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom,” Evgeny Afineevsky (Ukraine, U.K., U.S.)
“The Matchmaker,” Benedetta Argentieri (Italy)
“Gli Ultimi Giorni Dell’Umanità,” Enrico Ghezzi, Alessandro Gagliardo (Italy)
“A Compassionate Spy,” Steve James (U.S.)
“Music For Black Pigeons,” Jørgen Leth, Andreas Koefoed (Denmark)
“The Kiev Trial,” Sergei Loznitsa (The Netherlands, Ukraine)
“In Viaggio,” Gianfranco Rosi (Italy)
“Bobi Wine Ghetto President,” Christopher Sharp, Moses Bwayo (Uganda, U.K., U.S.)
“Nuclear,” Oliver Stone (U.S.)

OUT OF COMPETITION – SERIES
“The Kingdom Exodus” (Episodes 1-5), Lars Von Trier (Denmark)
“Copenhagen Cowboy” (Episodes 1-6), Nicholas Winding Refn (Denmark)

HORIZONS
“Princess,” Roberto De Paolis (Italy) – Opening Film
“Victim,” Michal Blasko (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany)
“On The Fringe,” Juan Diego Botto (Spain)
“Trenque Lauquen,” Laura Citarella (Argentina, Germany)
“Vera,” Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel (Austria)
“Innocence,” Guy Davidi (Denmark, Israel, Finland, Iceland) – Documentary
“Blanquita,” Fernando Guzzoni (Chile, Mexico)
“For My Country,” Rachid Hami (France, Taipei)
“A Man,” Key Ishikawa (Japan)
“Bread and Salt,” Damian Kocur (Poland)
“Luxembourg, Luxembourg,” Antonio Lukich (Ukraine)
“Ti Mangio il Cuore,” Pippo Mezzapesa (Italy)
“To The North,” Mihai Mincan (Romania, France, Greece, Bulgaria, Czech Republic)
“Autobiography,” Makbul Mubarak (France, Germany, Qatar)
“The Sitting Duck,” Jean-Paul Salomé (France)
“World War III,” Houman Seyiedi (Iran)
“The Happiest Man in the World,” Teona Strugar Mitevska (Bosnia, Belgium, Denmark)
“The Bride,” Sergio Trefaut (Portugal)

HORIZONS EXTRA
“Origin of Evil,” Sébastien Marnier
“Hanging Gardens,” Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji
“Amanda,” Carolina Cavalli
“Red Shoes,” Carlos Eichelmann Kaiser
“Nezouh,” Soudade Kaadan
“Notte Fantasma,” Fulvio Risuleo
“Without Her,” Arian Vazirdaftari
“Valeria Is Getting Married,” Michael Vinik
“Goliath,” Adilkhan Yerzhanov

Biennale College Cinema
Come le tartarughe – Monica Dugo
Banu – Tahmina Rafaella
Mountain Onion – Eldar Shibanov
Palimpsest – Hanna Västinsalo

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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