Venice Critics’ Week Adds Chinese Director Vivian Qu’s ‘Trap Street’ to Competition

Qu will compete with six other previously announced debut directors for the RaroVideo Audience Award during the Venice Film Festival, which runs August 28 through September 7.

The Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week has made a surprise late addition to its competition lineup: Chinese director Vivian Qu’s Trap Street (Shuiyin Jie).

Trap Street tells the Kafkaesque story of Li Qiuming, a young trainee at a digital mapping company, who falls in love with a mysterious woman. The search for the girl, who works in a secret laboratory, leads the young man to a journey into nightmare, through the twists and turns of bureaucracy and state control.

It will get its world premiere at the Venice fest on Sept. 1.

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All the films selected for critics' week are their directors' first features. The National Union of Italian Film Critics organizes the section.

Qu will be the only Asian director in competition at the Critics' Week this year. 

Previously announced titles include L’arte della fellcita (The Art of Happiness), an animated feature from Italian artist Alessandro Rak, Las analfabetas (Illiterate) from Chile’s Moises Sepulveda, L’Armee du salut (Salvation Army) from Abdellah Taia of Morocco, Atertraffen (The Reunion) from Sweden’s Anna Odell, Las niñas Quispe (The Quispe Girls) from Sebastian Sepulveda (no relation to Moises Sepulveda), Rok Bicek’s Razredni sovraznik (Class Enemy), Noaz Deshe’s White Shadowand Zoran, il mio nipote scemo (Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot) from Italy’s Matteo Oleotto.

All of the Venice Critics’ week competition titles are eligible for the RaroVideo Audience Award, consisting of $6,655 (5,000 euros). The films in the section will also be eligible for the festival’s Golden Lion of the Future prize, given to the best debut film in an official selection. This prize, consisting of $100,000, is shared between the film’s producer and director.

The 70th edition of the festival takes place from Aug. 28 through Sept. 7.