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Venice Film Festival watchers and political obsessives got a treat Wednesday night, when former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was spotted at the opening night gala for the 79th edition of the festival.
Clinton walked the Venice red carpet and took in the opening night festivities, including the world premiere of Noah Baumbach’s White Noise, starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, which kicked off the 2022 festival.
But just why was Clinton there? There was speculation of a Netflix connection. The streamer produced Baumbach’s new film and is backing In Her Hands, the first documentary from Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s new production company HiddenLight Productions. The doc, from Tamana Ayazi (Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)) and Marcel Mettelsiefen (Watani: My Homeland) will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 9 and go out globally on Netflix and in select theaters Nov. 16.
But a Netflix representative said the company had nothing to do with Clinton’s red carpet appearance. “Hilary was a guest of the festival’s for the opening night. Not our doing, but of course, we are working with her on In Her Hands which is premiering at TIFF and on Netflix on Nov. 16th,” the rep said.
However, a source later revealed to THR the real reason for Clinton’s trip to the Lido — to present at the DVF Awards on Thursday night.
Created by the designer and the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation in 2010, the DVF Awards honor “extraordinary women who are dedicated to transforming the lives of other women; women who have had the courage to fight, the power to survive and the leadership to inspire.”
The 2022 honorees in Venice include Ava DuVernay, French politician and president of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, Ukrainian entrepreneur Zoya Lytvyn, environmental activist and geographer Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, and 10 women of Afghanistan “who are shining a light from all over the world to ensure a safe and sustainable future” for Afghan women and girls.
Festivalgoers should expect to see a lot more of Clinton in the future. In addition to the In Her Hands premiere at TIFF, she and daughter/production partner Chelsea are set to speak at the Toronto festival this year in support of another HiddenLight project: the Apple TV+ docuseries Gutsy. Apple gave the Clintons a straight-to-series order for their event docuseries, which is based on the Clintons’ The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience and includes intimate conversations with such female VIPs as Megan Thee Stallion, Gloria Steinem, Jane Goodall, Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Kate Hudson, among others.
The Clintons will appear as part of TIFF’s Visionaries industry program, which is supported by The Hollywood Reporter as its official media partner.
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