Whit Stillman's 'Damsels in Distress' to Close Venice Film Festival

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Whit Stillman

The Greta Gerwig comedy, the director's first in 12 years, tells the story of three young girls trying to change life at an American university.

ROME – Whit Stillman’s comedy Damsels in Distress, starring Greta Gerwig, will be the Venice Film Festival’s closing film, organizers said Tuesday, while also announcing the full lineup for the Venice Days sidebar and rounding out the lineup for the festival’s Italian sidebar.

Damsels in Distress, Stillman’s fourth feature film and his first in more than a dozen years, tells the story of three young girls trying to change life at a beaten-down American university. It will screen out of competition on Sept. 10 in the festival’s main Sala Grande venue.

Meanwhile, the highly regarded Venice Days sidebar announced its lineup Tuesday, with 12 films with a noted francophone tilt this time around, with eight films either produced or co-produced in Gaul. Among the highlights: Vincent Garenq’s thriller Presume Coupable (Guilty), Love and Bruses from Lou Yi and Another Silence from Santiago Amigorena.

In addition to its competition lineup, Venice Days – which focuses on first, second, or third productions from up-and-coming directors – will host a series of events related to Italy’s efforts to save and make its 101 greatest films available to a large audience, as well as a series of special screenings.

Lastly, Venice also announced that L’arrivo di Wang (Wang’s Arrival) will be the seventh and final film in the full-length feature section of the Contracampo Italiano sidebar for Italian films. The rest of the lineup for the bar had been announced previously. The film, which tells the story of a Chinese interpreter on an unexpected assignment, is directed by Antonio and Marco Manetti.

The Venice festival, which takes place this year Aug. 31-Sept. 10, will announce its full lineup Thursday.