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Eleven films will compete in the 2019 Venice Days, or Giornate degli Autori, the independent sidebar that runs parallel to the Venice Film Festival. The lineup features four debut features, as well as six films directed by women.
Dominik Moll’s Only Beasts, starring Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, will open the competition. The new thriller follows five suspicious people after a woman mysteriously disappears after an intense snowfall in an Alpine village.
Standout competition films include the first feature from self-taught Sudanese filmmaker Amjad Abu Alala, You Will Die at 20, about a man who grows up haunted by the village prophesy marking his death. The pic is the first Sudanese film in Venice.
The lone American film is Isabel Sandoval’s third feature, Lingua Franca, about a transgender Filipino immigrant (played by Sandoval) who falls in love with a local Russian boy in Brighton Beach.
Graphic novelist Igort makes his directorial debut with 5 Is the Perfect Number, starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Buccirosso and Valeria Golino.
And Fabienne Berthaud’s A Bigger World stars Cecile de France as an anthropologist who journeys through Mongolia after losing the love of her life.
Other films in competition include Javro Bustamante’s The Weeping Woman, Dag Johan Haugerud‘s Beware of Children, Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi, Mattie Do’s The Long Walk, Manele Labidi Labbe’s Arab Blue and Jo Odagiri’s They Say Nothing Stays the Same.
The winner will receive a $22,000 grand prize, chosen by 28 young film enthusiasts from around Europe.
Among the sidebar’s special events, Philip Youmans’ Burning Cane, which won best film honors at the Tribeca Film Festival, will screen out of competition. The 19-year-old New Orleans filmmaker made the movie while he was still in high school.
Time of the Untamed by Barabas will conclude the festivities out of competition, featuring a montage of equestrian shows in Paris.
As usual, Miu Miu returns to the fold with two female-directed short films that typically feature a variety of new looks straight from the racks of the Prada-owned fashion house. This year, the label will debut Lynne Ramsay’s Brigitte, about French fashion photographer Brigitte Lacombe, and Hailey Gates’ short Shako Mako, starring Alia Shawkat, which premiered online in January.
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