Venice Festival: Costa-Gavras to Receive Filmmaker Award

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Costa-Gavras

The acclaimed director of 'Z', 'Missing' and 'Music Box' will screen his latest political drama, 'Adults in the Room,' out of competition in Venice.

Acclaimed political filmmaker Costa-Gavras will receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award at this year's Venice International Film Festival.

A woke director decades before the term was used, the Greek-born Costa-Gavras is best-known for such politically activist features as 1970's Z, which earned him Oscar nominations for best directing and best adapted screenplay, and Missing, winner of the best adapted screenplay Oscar in 1982.

Costa-Gavras' latest feature, Adults in the Room — a look at the Greek financial crisis — will have its world premiere out of competition in Venice on Aug. 31. Christos Loulis, Alexandros Bourdoumis and Ulrich Tukur star in the film, which Costa-Gavras adapted from the book Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment, by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. The book, and film, tell of the human tragedy that played out behind closed doors as a left-wing Greek government tried, and failed, to negotiate a bail out with the International Monetary Fund, European technocrats and the German government that would have spared Greek citizens the extremes of enforced austerity.

The award ceremony for Costa-Gavras will take place just before the film's world premiere in the festival's Sala Grande.

"There are many reasons why Costa-Gavras deserves to be counted among today’s great directors, but there is one reason in particular. He is able to turn politics into a fascinating topic, a subject like any other, not just for the initiated and already convinced few, but as well for the greater public, using every means at cinema’s disposal in order to touch the greatest number of spectators possible,” said Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera in a statement. “This not only enables him to dodge the label of political director, which has always been attached to him — often in a polemical and reductive manner — but also to claim a peaceful and sincerely democratic faith in a type of mainstream cinema that makes the viewer reflect and question, and also sparks deep emotions."

The 76th Venice International Film Festival runs Aug. 28-Sept. 7.