Everything you need to know about the 80th Venice International Film Festival

By Amandine Richard

Photo: Maria Moratti/Getty Images

The prestigious film festival has now begin, running through to 9th September. The announced selection has sparked controversy, and here's why

The Venice Film Festival is a highly anticipated event for cinephiles around the world. For its 80th edition, Damien Chazelle is the Jury President for the main competition, and Italian actress Caterina Murino has been chosen to host. But when the selection of films vying for the famous Golden Lion was announced, the Venice Film Festival was embroiled in controversy, as three directors facing serious accusations were included in the list of winners. They include Woody Allen, Roman Polanski and Luc Besson. Despite the quality of the rest of the selection, the news has not gone down well with the public.


Damien Chazelle. Photo: Jeff Kravtiz / Film Magic

In Competition

Luca Guadagnino was originally scheduled to open the festival with his film Challengers, but due to the strike currently raging in Hollywood, Edoardo De Angelis was finally chosen to open the festivities with Comandante, a film that traces the heroic journey of Commander Salvatore Todaro.

The jury, made up of Jane Campion, Saleh Bakri, Mia Hansen-Love, Gabriele Mainetti, Martin McDonagh, Santiago Mitre, Laura Poitras and Shu Qi, will choose among 23 feature films from a selection that aims to promote international cinema in all its forms, be it art, entertainment or industry, always in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The official list includes David Fincher's The Killer, Sofia Coppola's Priscilla, Michael Mann's Ferrari and Bradley Cooper's Maestro.

On the French side of things, Bertrand Bonello's The Beast, Stéphane Brizé's Out of Season and Luc Besson's Dogman are in the running for the prestigious Golden Lion.

Out of Competition

Here, we find a diverse group of films, once again featuring some of the biggest names in cinema: the prolific Wes Anderson with The Wonderful story of Henry Sugar, Quentin Dupieux's Daaaaaali! in which 6 different actors play the role of the artist, William Friedkin's The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, J. A. Bayona's Society of the Snow, chosen to close the ceremony, On the Pulse by French director Alix Delaporte, and also Coup de Chance by Woody Allen, and The Palace by Roman Polanski, who has officially announced that he will not be present at the ceremony. La Serenissima is thus gearing up for what promises to be a colorful Venice Film Festival, marked by the Hollywood strike and controversy.

Translated by Jack Pownall. Originally published on Vogue France.