Venice Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Lineup for 72nd Edition

The Danish Girl First Look - H 2015
Courtesy of Working Title Films

The Danish Girl First Look - H 2015

Kristen Stewart, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson are among the stars in movies coming to the world’s oldest major film festival.

The world’s oldest major film festival in Venice, Italy, will once again screen films from new and established directors, with 55 new films set for this year's 72nd edition.

Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera and Biennale president Paolo Baratta unveiled this year's star-studded lineup Wednesday morning at the Westin Excelsior Rome hotel. It includes much-buzzed-about American films, a slew of Italian talent and various voices from world cinema.

In the competition section, a number of U.S. titles are part of the lineup, which Barbera called one of the most diverse in festival. Among U.S. directors, the competition features Laurie Anderson's return to directing with Heart of a Dog, a film about loss, and  Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation, starring Idris Elba as a warlord in the film about child soldiers in Africa, which Netflix bought global rights to for a reported $12 million. 

Also in the competition, Duke Johnson and Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman's animated film Anomalisa, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan, is not for kids. Centered around the crisis of a middle-aged man, the film was partially funded by Kickstarter.   

Tom Hooper’s 1920s drama The Danish Girl is also among the awards season contenders in the Venice competition. It stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo a sex change after his wife Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) began painting him as a woman. 

Drake Doremus' futurisitic love story Equals, starring Kristen Stewart, Jacki Weaver and Guy Pearce, will also compete for Venice's Golden Lion award as will Canadian director Atom Egoyan's thriller Remember, starring Dean Norris and Christopher Plummer

Marco Bellocchio comes to Venice with Sangue del mio sangue, Giuseppe Gaudino with Per amor vostroPiero Messina with L'attesa starring Juliette Binoche, and Luca Guadagnino with A Bigger Splash starring Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Dakota Johnson

Other films in competition include Chinese director Zhao Liang's documentary Behemoth, Argentine director Pablo Trapero's The Clan, and Australian director Sue Brooks' Looking for Grace

Chinese director Hu Guan's big production Mr. Six will close the festival in an out-of-competition screening. It focuses on the conflict between the values of new China and old China. 

As previously announced, Baltasar Kormakur’s disaster epic Everest from Universal will open the festival out of competition. Shot at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, Everest stars Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Robin Wright in the true-life story of climbers battling for their lives after a snow storm ravages the planet’s highest mountain.

Screening out of competition, Scott Cooper’s Black Mass from Warner Bros. stars Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger in the true-life story of the infamous criminal who turned Mafia informant. The film also stars Benedict CumberbatchKevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson.

Another hotly anticipated fall release in an out-of-competition spot, Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight is about the true story of how The Boston Globe revealed a massive cover-up of the child molestation scandal within the local Catholic archdiocese. It stars Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton

Daniel Alfredson's Go With Me, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ray Liotta and Julia Stiles, is also among the out-of-competition fiction lineup. Documentaries including Amy Berg's Janis and Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's De Palma will also screen there. 

Martin Scorsese's comedic short film The Audition, a promotional short for Melco-Crown's movie-themed resort and casino, starring Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, will also screen out of competition. 

The Horizons section represents films from Israel, Mexico, Brazil, France, Greece, Denmark, Iran and Indonesia, to name a few. American director Dito Montiel will screen Man Down, starring Shia LaBeouf, Kate Mara and Gary Oldman

Alfonso Cuaron chairs the Venice festival's international jury alongside Elizabeth Banks, Diane Kruger, Pawel Pawlikowski, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Francesco Munzi, Lynne Ramsay, Emmanuel Carre, and Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Bernard Tavernier will receive a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement. 

The 72nd Venice International Film Festival takes place Sept. 2-12.

Here is the complete Venice lineup:


Emin Alper Abluka (Frenzy)

Laurie Anderson Heart of a Dog

Marco Bellocchio Sangue del mio sangue

Sue Brooks Looking for Grace

Drake Doremus Equals

Atom Egoyan Remember

Cary Fukunaga Beasts of No Nation

Giuseppe M. Gaudino Per amor vostro

Xavier Giannoli Marguerite

Amos Gitai Rabin, the Last Day

Luca Guadagnino A Bigger Splash

Oliver Hermanus The Endless River

Tom Hooper The Danish Girl

Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson Anomalisa

Piero Messina L’attesa

Jerzy Skolimowski 11 minut (11 Minutes)

Aleksandr Sokurov Francofonia

Pablo Trapero El Clan

Christian Vincent  L’hermine

Zhao Liang Behemoth


Baltasar Kormakur Everest (opening film)

Hu Guan Lao pao er  (Mr Six) (closing film)

Daniel Alfredson Go with Me

Claudio Caligari Non essere cattivo

Scott Cooper Black Mass

Thomas McCarthy Spotlight

Martin Scorsese The Audition

Evgeny Afineevsky Winter on Fire

Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow De Palma

Amy Berg Janis

Sergei Loznitsa Sobytie (The Event)

Franco Maresco Gli uomini di questa città io non li conosco

Gianfranco Pannone L’esercito più piccolo del mondo

Tsai Ming-liang Na ri xiawu (Afternoon)

Frederick Wiseman In Jackson Heights



Yann Arthus-Bertrand Human



Merzak Allouache Madame Courage 

Joko Anwar A Copy of My Mind

Alberto Caviglia Pecore in erba

Samuel Collardey Tempete

Brady Corbet The Childhood of a Leader

Renato De Maria Italian Gangster

Vahid Jalilvand Wednesday

Yaelle Kayam Mountain

Tobias Lindholm A War

Vetri Maaran Interrogation

Jake Mahaffy Free in Deed

Gabriel Mascaro Boi Neon

Dito Montiel Man Down

Hadar Morag Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Rodrigo Pla Un monstruo de mil cabezas

Anita Rocha Da Silveira Mate-me por favor

Nicolas Saada Taj Mahal

Yorgos Zois Interruption