Venice Film Festival Unveils 2023 Lineup (Live Update)

Venice Film Festival Unveils 2023 Lineup (Live Update)

The Venice Film Festival unveils the films screened at the 80th Biennale on Tuesday, including films competing for this year’s Golden Lion.

Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera and Roberto Cicutto, president of the Venice Biennale, the umbrella organization that runs the world’s oldest film festival, will unveil the titles in Venice in a ceremony streamed live on the festival websiteas well as on Facebook, Chirping AND Youtube.

Damien Chazelle, who made his debut La La Land AND First man in competition in Venice, presides over this year’s international jury, with directors Jane Campion, Martin McDonagh and Laura Poitras also judging the main titles in competition.

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With the ongoing strike by SAG-AFTRA actors and WGA writers preventing top US talent from doing promotional work, this year’s Venice line-up could look substantially different than it did just two weeks ago. Barbera has already told his staff to prepare a plan B if American films cannot participate in the festival due to strikes.

Luca Guadagnino’s Challengersa tennis drama ménage à trois starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, was set to open the 2023 Venice Film Festival in an out-of-competition slot, but was pulled last week, after MGM announced it would delay the R-rated tennis drama’s release to April 26, 2024. Instead, Commanderan Italian period drama from director Edoardo De Angelis starring Pierfrancesco Favino (The traitor) will open the festival on August 30th. Snow SocietyJA Bayona’s survival thriller, produced for Netflix, will close the Venice Film Festival 2023 on September 9.

But several major studios and streamers that were expected to head to the Lido may follow MGM’s lead Challengers and bow down. With no A-listers strutting down the red carpet, the marketing appeal of a Venice debut is limited. The producers might also fear a backlash if they go ahead with a flashy premiere in the midst of a fierce labor dispute.

Individual films could still get special dispensation from SAG-AFTRA to allow actors to do promotional work. The Toronto Film Festival announced its first batch of 2023 titles on Monday, including several star-studded films including Craig Gillespie Stupid money, with Paul Dano, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley and Seth Rogen; Netflix movies NYAD extension with Jodie Foster and Annette Bening, the film directed by Michael Keaton Knox leaves, in which he stars opposite Marcia Gay Harden and James Marsden; and the directorial debut of Anna Kendrick The woman of the hour.

Venice was hoping to eclipse Cannes with its 80th edition, a tall order, strike or no strike, as the French festival set the bar high this year, with an official selection that included Harrison Ford’s blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Dial of DestinyWes Anderson is star studded City of Asteroids and Todd Haynes may decemberas well as doubling down on international auteurs, with new films from Ken Loach (The Old Oak), Wim Wenders (perfect days) and Hirokazu Kore-eda (Monster).

Barbera has more than held its own in recent years. His 2022 selection included several award contenders: Darren Aronofsky The whale with eventual best actor Oscar winner Brendan Fraser, Todd Field’s Warehouseby Martin McDonagh The Banshees of Inisherin — and plenty of flashy scandals, like the Andrew Dominik drama blondewith Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe, and that of Olivia Wilde Don’t worry honey with the infamous “spit-gate” incident between stars Chris Pine and Harry Styles.

But it will be a challenge to generate the same level of excitement with Hollywood’s A-list from the red carpet and on the picket line.