Venice 2017: Juries and Critics’ Week Lineup

On Friday, we posted an entry on all that’s known—and speculated—about the seventy-fourth edition of the the Venice International Film Festival running from August 30 through September 9. Over the weekend the festival filled out the juries. Annette Bening will preside over the Venezia 74 jury, which will be awarding the Golden and Silver Lions. Joining her are:

  • Ildikó Enyedi, whose On Body and Soul won the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale
  • Rebecca Hall, who’s worked with Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen, and Antonio Campos
  • Anna Mouglalis, who’s appeared in films by Chantal Akerman, Arnaud Desplechin, and Philippe Garrel
  • Film critic David Stratton
  • Jasmine Trinca, known for her work with Nanni Moretti, Marco Tullio Giordana, Michele Placido and Taviani brothers
  • Edgar Wright, whose Baby Driver is out now
  • Yonfan, director, producer and screenwriter, who’s worked with Maggie Cheung, Chow Yun-fat, and Daniel Wu

The Orizzonti (Horizons) jury:

  • Gianni Amelio, president, a director who’s won the Golden Lion and the Grand Prize of the Jury in Cannes
  • Rakhshan Banietemad, director of Under the Skin of the City (2001) and Our Times (2002)
  • Ami Canaan Mann, director of Jackie & Ryan (2014)
  • Mark Cousins, best known for the television series The Story of Film: An Odyssey (2011)
  • Andrés Duprat, screenwriter, architect, and artistic curator
  • Fien Troch, winner of the Best Director award in Horizons last year for Home
  • Rebecca Zlotowski, director of Grand Central (2013) and Planetarium (2016)

The jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future:

  • Benoît Jacquot, president, winner of the Prix Louis Delluc for Farewell, My Queen (2012)
  • Geoff Andrew, critic and programmer for the BFI
  • Albert Lee, a producer who’s worked with Jiang Wen, Herman Yau, Dante Lam, Benny Chan, and Jeff Lau
  • Greta Scarano, best known to Italian audiences for her work on television
  • Yorgos Zois, screenwriter, director, and former assistant to Theo Angelopoulos

Venice Virtual Reality jury:

  • John Landis, president, whose Into the Night (1985) will be screened in its restored version in Venice this year
  • Céline Sciamma, director of Tomboy (2011) and Girlhood (2014)
  • Ricky Tognazzi, actor and director who’s won the Silver Bear for Ultrà (1991) and the Alfred Bauer Award for Strangled Lives (1996) in Berlin

Critics’ Week Lineup

The Venice International Film Critics’ Week (SIC), the independent and parallel section organized by the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI), has announced the lineup for its thirty-second edition, nine films, all of them world premieres.

Deborah Haywood’s Pin Cushion, screening out of competition, will open the program. From the British Council: “New girl Iona, 13, becomes saliva-swapping best friends (‘besties’) with scene girl Keely, until Iona becomes more popular—and Keely spirals out of control. Shot on location across Swadlincote in Derbyshire, an emotive journey filled with moments of magic realism.”

Diego Olivares’s Poison will be the closing film, also screening out of competition. From Minerva Pictures: “In a small village in the countryside of Naples, a farmer family lives the drama of a violated territory, contaminated by poison that cruel criminal organizations have spread in most of the area. They go through the pain of the disease of the head of their family, Cosimo, and the several conflicts caused by his illness.”

And the competition:

Luca Bellino’s Crater. From Alpha Violet: “Rosario works as a street vendor in fairgrounds in a suburbs of Naples. His dream to get out of poverty focuses on the talent of his daughter Sharon. Fascinated by the video images of his teenager, he turns into an impresario to make her a star of the Italian song. A dystopian story where the ambitions of a father become an obsession against the freedom of his daughter.”

Annika Berg’s Team Hurricane. The Hollywood Reporter’s Ariston Anderson tells us that it’s “about a group of punk teen girls” and that Berg is “the Palme d’Or winning producer of The Square.

Natalia Garagiola’s Hunting Season. From the Torino Film Lab: “Nahuel is finishing high school in Buenos Aires and has recently lost his mother. No one from his closest environment can take charge of him so he is put under his father’s custody for three months until he turns eighteen. Nahuel has an innate violent impulse that he has been gradually learning to control. His father Ernesto is a tough and silent hunter in San Martin de los Andes, a small village near the mountains in southern Argentina, where he has settled with his new family. They barely remember each other after ten years.”

Bertrand Mandico’s The Wild Boys.SensCritique has a synopsis, and evidently, this will be about five teenagers from good families who commit a serious crime. On an island, they eventually turn into young women.

Helena Wittmann’s Drift. The image at the top of this entry and this synopsis come from Wittmann herself: “Two women spend a weekend together at the North Sea. Walks on the beach, fish buns at a snack stand, mobile weather forecasts. Sky, horizon, water. One of them will soon return to her family in Argentina while the other one will try to come a step closer to the ocean. She travels to the Caribbean and the foreign makes her vulnerable. Then, the land is out of sight. On a sailing vessel she crosses the Atlantic Ocean. One wave follows the other, they never resemble. Thoughts go astray, time leaves the beaten track and the swell lulls to deep sleep. The sea takes over the narration.”

Katharina Wyss’s Sarah Plays a Werewolf. Anderson tells us that it’s “about a transformative young stage performer.”

Emre Yeksan’s The Gulf. From Handmade Films: “32-year-old Erkan moves back to his family’s upper-middle class house in Izmir, after a year of misery caused by unemployment and a bitter divorce. Having no plans for the future, he befriends a group of loafers. His aimless drift takes an unexpected turn, when a terrible smell that comes from the gulf starts to spread over the city.”

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