Commencing the loaded week of Venice Film Festival announcements (Golden Lion hopefuls are being released tomorrow and the Giornate degli Autori section is dropping on Thursday) we first begin with Settimana Internazionale della Critica or known as Venice Critics’ Week. Delegate General Beatrice Fiorentino’s line-up includes a good dose of docu items, and we even find a small gift among the shorts (perhaps a sign for a great Lido for the filmmaker) in a digitalized 1960 film from Liliana Cavani. The line-up puts the spotlight on seven competition titles — a 7+2 debut film format selected from five hundred plus submitted titles, and unlike previous years, we’re actually in the know on a quartet of the competition films.
Luna Carmoon (#140 in our most anticipated films of ’23) will see Hoard have its world premiere on the Lido. Starring Saura Lightfoot Leon, Joseph Quinn and Hayley Squires, close bond between a mother and daughter. Also from the United Kingdom, we find Moin Hussain‘s Sky Peals which is tipped as a sci-fi about a motorway service station worker’s life-changing discovery. Hussain previously splashed in the Cannes Critic’s Week with his short film, and this feature was supported by the Cannes Atelier.
Taiwanese actor Lee Hong-Chi who we discovered as an actor in in Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and Ho Wi-ding’s Cities of Last Things moved behind the camera for a project he also wrote and stars in. Love is a Gun tells the story of Sweet Potato, who has has been content with running a small business with meagre earnings by the seaside, heedless of others people’s advice against it. He is pulled into the whirlpool of his past when his old “boss” (whom he has never met), his mother (who thrusts all her debts upon him), and his buddy Maozi all re-appear into his life….
Adrien Beau was on our radar with Le Vourdalak and his cast comprised of Ariane Labed, Kacey Mottet Klein, Grégoire Colin and Vassili Schneider. There really isn’t a synopsis but this is the description they are working with: “My children,” says Gorcha before leaving, “wait six days for me. If, after those six days, I have not returned, say a prayer in my memory of me, for I shall have been killed in battle… But if ever, and may God preserve you, I were to return after six days have passed, I enjoin you to refuse me entry whatever I may say or do. For then, I shall be no more than an accursed Vourdalak.”
Here is the line-up for the 38th edition.
About Last Year (doc) – Dunja Lavecchia, Beatrice Surano, Morena Terranova / Italy
Hoard – Luna Carmoon / United Kingdom
Life is Not a Competition, But I’m Winning – Julia Fuhr Mann / Germany
Love is a Gun – Lee Hong-Chi / Hong Kong, Taiwan
Malqueridas (doc) – Tana Gilbert / Chile, Germany
Sky Peals – Moin Hussain / United Kingdom
The Vourdalak – Adrien Beau / France
OUT OF COMPETITION
God is a Woman – Andrés Peyrot / France, Switzerland, Panama – OPENING FILM
Vermin – Sébastien Vaniček / France, Morocco
SPECIAL SCREENING (in collaboration with the Venice International Film Festival and Giornate degli Autori)
Passione Critica – Simone Isola, Franco Montini, Patrizia Pistagnesi Italy