Venice Days Unveils Diverse Lineup

'Ma' Still - H 2015
Ian Bloom

Alice Rohrwacher and Agnes Varda are among this year's directors at the independent event during the Venice Film Festival.

Venice Days, an independent event during the Venice Film Festival, on Friday announced the lineup for its 12th edition.

The selection, curated by Giorgio Gosetti, crosses the full spectrum of world cinema, while playing host to a number of Italian films.

The 20-movie lineup includes 18 world premieres, projects from eight female filmmakers, eight debut films and movies from 15 countries. Promoted by the Italian filmmakers’ associations ANAC and 100autori, in association with the Venice Biennale, the program aims to highlight the best in contemporary filmmaking.

Dani de la Torre’s thriller Retribution will open the selection. It is about bank employee Carlos who is driving his kids to school when an anonymous caller tells him that a bomb in the car seat will explode if anyone tries to escape, setting Carlos off on a mad race against time to save himself and his family. 

Other highlights include the world premiere of Carlo Lavagna’s coming-of-age tale AriannaMichael Rowe’s Early Winter, a look at the lack of love and communication in life; and Carlos Saura’s historic and cultural exploration Argentina.

Celia Rowlson Hall brings her finished debut film Ma to Venice Days. It was presented as a work in progress in Tribeca this year. The filmmaker and choreographer imagines a pilgrimage of Saint Mary through the American Southwest.

In another film set for the section, Vincenzo Marra explores paternal love with First Light, starring Riccardo Scamarcio and Daniela Ramirez. Simon Stone’s Australian family saga The Daughter will close the lineup. 

Meanwhile, Miu Miu Tales is once again bringing shorts by innovative female directors to the festival. This year’s entries include films by Alice Rohrwacher, Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner, and Agnes Varda, winner of both the Venice Golden Lion and the only honorary Palme d’Or awarded to a woman.

Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet will preside over the jury. Eleven films will be in the running for the Venice Days Award, which comes with a cash prize of $22,000 to be split between director and distributor.

In celebration of the event's 12 years in existence, Venice Days also will host a grand finale in the middle of the Venetian lagoon at a historic rowing club in Pellestrina. This year's edition runs Sept. 2-12 alongside the Venice International Film Festival.