Which French directors will be in the running for the Golden Lion?
by Fabien Lemercier
- Robert Guédiguian is in pole position for the Venice competition, Olivier Assayas, Philippe Garrel and Costa Gavras are jostling hopefully behind him, while Roman Polanski can only watch and wait
With less than one month to go until the official selection of the 76th Venice Film Festival (running 28 August-7 September) is revealed, there are whispers circulating in Paris (where pre-selectors working for the main upcoming film festivals got together around ten days ago to watch an armful of films) as regards the identity of the French candidates most likely to bag a spot in the Lido-based competition. According to different sources, Robert Guédiguian’s Gloria Mundi will almost certainly enter into the battle for the Golden Lion, a trophy which the director already came close to carrying off in 2017 with The House by the Sea [+see also:
interview: Robert Guédiguian
Rumoured to be on stand-by and awaiting a definitive response is the English-language feature film Wasp Network by Olivier Assayas, who would potentially be making his third trip to compete in Venice should reports prove true (Something in the Air [+see also:
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile] in 2012 and Non Fiction [+see also:
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile] in 2018), Le Sel des larmes by Philippe Garrel (article – sold by Wild Bunch), who would be returning to the competition for the 7th time (after 1991, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2011 and 2013), and Adults in the Room by the French-Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras, which would mark a huge comeback for the director, given that his last appearances in the Venice competition date back to 1979 and 1983.
The fate of An Officer and a Spy, meanwhile, by Roman Polanski, is yet to be decided, depending on whether Gaumont decides to keep its original November release date in France or push it back to spring 2020.
Amongst the other titles most often mentioned by forecasters, it would seem that Proxima by Alice Winocour (article) might be heading in a different direction to Venice. The French production The Truth, on the other hand, by Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-Eda (news – sold by Wild Bunch), has every chance of being unveiled on the Lido.
And finally, Venice may also be hosting - within a few showcase sections other than the main competition - the premières of A Bigger World [+see also:
film profile] by Fabienne Berthaud, My Days of Glory by Antoine de Bary, as well as Cuties by Maïmouna Doucouré (article – likewise sold by Bac Films). Without forgetting, in the co-production line-up, Arab Blues by Manele Labidi and Polish director Jan Komasa’s Corpus Christi [+see also:
film profile]. As for Notre Dame [+see also:
film profile] by Valérie Donzelli, the film is said to be headed for the 72nd Locarno Film Festival (running 7 to 17 August) rather than Venice, but who knows…
The first clarifications will come on 17 July with the press conference for Locarno, and the final verdict will be made public on 25 July at the conference for Venice.
(Translated from French)
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