The 2021 Venice Film Festival has announced its full lineup, including new titles, actors, actresses, directors, and the jury.
The 78th Venice International Film Festival is looking to out-dazzle Cannes with a 2021 lineup that includes some of the biggest studio films as well as hotly anticipated indie and art house titles.
The Venice Film Festival has unveiled a star-studded lineup full of hotly anticipated new works from Jane Campion, Ana Lily Amirpour, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Denis Villeneuve, Ridley Scott, Paolo Sorrentino, and Edgar Wright — to name a few standouts — that are likely to bolster the Lido’s standing as an awards season kingmaker.
Among the biggest films heading to the Lido, this year will be Denis Villeneuve’s all-star sci-fi epic “Dune”, the Kristen Stewart starring Princess Diana drama “Spencer”, and Pedro Almodóvar’s “Madres Paralelas”, starring Penélope Cruz. The latter will open Venice 2021 on September, 1.
Other major movies picking Venice for their world debut include David Gordon Green’s horror sequel “Halloween Kills”, starring Jamie Lee Curtis; Ridley Scott’s period drama “The Last Duel”, starring Adam Driver, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jodie Comer; and Edgar Wright’s hotly-anticipated “Last Night in Soho” with Anya Taylor-Joy. All three will screen out of the competition.
Venice Film Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera and Roberto Cicutto, president of La Biennale di Venezia, unveiled this year’s lineup in a live-streamed feed Monday. “We were surprised by the average quality [of film submissions] this year,” said Barbera. “As if the [COVID-19] pandemic had inspired creativity. So in this way, I can be optimistic about the state of cinema.”
Female filmmakers, however, may have been more negatively impacted by the pandemic, Barbera said, noting that there were just five female filmmakers in the Venice 2021 competition, compared to eight last year. Barbera said he saw the development as a “temporary setback” and that he hoped the percentage of female directors would bounce back next year.
He welcomed what he said was a “comeback of stars, VIPs” and studio-backed productions to Venice, with films from “Warner Bros., Universal and Disney” in the official selection. “Americans have emerged from their lockdown and they are ready to start [again],” said Barbera. “Something we can only be happy of.”
Indeed, Venice 2021 will be closely watched by the international industry to see how moviegoers respond to the return of blockbuster titles. Warner Bros.’ “Dune” which was shot in Hungary, we are really looking forward to finally seeing it, Disney’s “The Last Duel”, Universal’s “Halloween Kills”, and the Focus Features/Universal “Last Night in Soho” will be looking to use the fall festival as a launchpad for their global rollout and, potentially, awards season run.
As previously announced, “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho will preside over the main jury, which also includes Chloe Zhao whose “Nomadland” launched from Venice last year; French actor Virginie Efira, who most recently starred in Paul Verhoeven’s “Benedetta”; the U.K.‘s Cynthia Erivo, who plays Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s “Genius” series; Canadian actor and producer Sarah Gadon; Italian director Saverio Costanzo and Romanian helmer Alexander Nanau (“Collective”).