|Arianna by Carlo Lavagna|
By Vittoria Scarpa for Cineuropa
20 films, 8 debut pieces, 18 global premieres, and 15 countries represented, with special consideration for Italian films, of which 3 will feature among the other films in competition. This is a breakdown of the Venice Days 2015, which will be held from 2 to 12 September as part of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. “The big festivals are always rife with controversy over the representation of national works”, announced Giorgio Gosetti, the General Delegate of the section, when the line-up was revealed earlier today in Rome, “too many German films at the Berlinale, too many French ones at Cannes… This year the Venice Days will be no exception, and we can’t help but be proud of the three Italian films in the running”.
A total of 11 films will be battling it out for the Venice Days Award, which, for the second year running, will be awarded by the jury of young European cinephiles of the 28 Times Cinema project, headed up this year by director Laurent Cantet.The 3 Italian films are: Arianna by first-time director Carlo Lavagna, starring Ondina Quadri, Massimo Popolizio and Valentina Carnelutti, about a nineteen-year-old finding out about his body (a Ring Film production with Rai Cinema); Long Live the Bride by Ascanio Celestini, centring around an eccentric group of travellers whose lives revolve around a bar on the outskirts of Rome, starring Alba Rohrwacher, Salvatore Striano and the director himself (a Malia production in co-production with French production companies Aeternam Films and Les Films du Fleuve headed up by the Dardenne brothers), and First Light by Vincenzo Marra, starring Riccardo Scamarcio, which tells the story of a son being fought over by his Italian father and Chilean mother (produced by Paco Cinematografica with the Chilean production company Jirafa Film).
The opening film, in competition, will be Spanish thriller El Desconocido, the debut film of Dani de la Torre, starring Luis Tosar; closing the section, out of competition, will be another debut piece: The Daughter, a family saga directed by Australian director Simon Stone, starring Geoffrey Rush. The other films featured in the selection, which this year, has the common thread of ‘non places’ of society – and, as was pointed out by the Deputy Director of the Venice Days, Sylvain Auzou, “does not just include serious and dramatic films, but also makes room for cheerful pieces” – are all first films. There’s As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid (France, Tunisia, Belgium), in which an eighteen-year-old rebels through her music just a few short months before the Arab Spring, the Polish film Klezmer by Piotr Chrzan, the story of the Holocaust told in an original tone, French-Chinese co-production Underground Fragrance by Pengfei, which crosses the fates of two young people in modern-day China, Indian comedy Island City by Ruchika Oberoi, and finally, Chilean film The Memory of Water by Matias Bize and Australian-Canadian co-production Early Winter by Michael Rowe. The eleventh film to feature in competition will be announced in due course.
This year the Miu Miu Women’s Tales project will feature Alice Rohrwacher and Agnès Varda. The two directors will unveil their respective short films, De Djess and Les 3 boutons. The programme of special events will include a screening of Alessandro Rossellini’s short film Viva Ingrid!, a journey around Italy through the eyes of Ingrid Bergman, the ‘primitive’ animated film Bangland di Lorenzo Berghella, a sort of Italian version of The Simpsons, Il paese dove gli alberi volano by Davide Barletti and Jacopo Quadri, the unpublished story of Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret he set up fifty years ago, Argentina by Carlos Saura, which maps the diverse musical styles in which the South American country is rooted, and finally, Innocence of Memories by Grant Gee, in which Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk talks about his hometown of Istanbul.