Jane Campion, Pedro Almodovar and Pablo Larrain in the race for the Venetian Golden Lion

Photo Credits : Comi Simone/IPA/ABACA / Abaca Press; Geisler-Fotopress / Alamy; Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP; ©SGP / SGP (Profimedia

The world’s oldest film festival hopes to, after a reduced release in 2020, welcome Hollywood celebrities this year.

New Zealand director Campion, best known for the film ‘The Piano’, will present her drama in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays a sadistic ranch owner in a campaign against a young widow played by Kirsten Dunst in the 1920s in the US state of Montana.

Netflix’s production, ‘The Power of the Dog’ at the Cannes Film Festival was invited to have a screening outside of competition but instead, the production opted for screening at the Venice Film Festival, which unlike its French rival does not require a theatrical release for films vying for the top prize.

Spanish director Almodovar has re-hired one of his favorite actresses, Penelope Cruz, in the film ‘Parallel Mothers’, and ‘Spencer’, by Chilean director Pablo Larrain, focuses on one weekend in the early 1990s when Diana decided to separate from Prince Charles.

They are among 21 films in the main competition, including director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut ‘Lost Daughter‘, based on Elena Ferrante’s novel, and Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘Hand of God‘ – one of five Italian titles hoping to win the Golden Lion.

Ridley Scott’s medieval epic ‘The Last Duel’, starring Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Ben Affleck, and Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated sci-fi story ‘Dune’, with Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, will premiere in Venice out of competition.

Festival Director Alberto Barbera welcomed the return to the Lido of ‘American studies and A-list stars that were missing last year’.

Due to the resurgence of the contagion, last year’s restrictions against covid-19 remain in place, including the festival audience capacity which has been halved to 4,000 spectators.

By: Amber V. – Gossip Whispers

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