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VENICE 2021 International Critics’ Week

Venice’s International Critics’ Week line-up sees Europe playing a leading role in the increasingly global nature of films


- New general delegate Beatrice Fiorentino will deliver a post-pandemic edition full of fruitful co-production endeavours, courtesy of the Old Continent

Venice’s International Critics’ Week line-up sees Europe playing a leading role in the increasingly global nature of films
They Carry Death by Helena Girón and Samuel M Delgado

“To start over with a new outlook, in Year One of the pandemic. To start over with a focus on the relationship between the viewer and the film”. This is how Beatrice Fiorentino sums up her duties as the new delegate general of International Critics’ Week, whose 36th edition is set to unspool within the Venice Film Festival scheduled for 1 – 11 September. It’s an edition which will inevitably bear the signs of recent experiences. Chosen in association with the selection committee from amongst almost 600 registered candidates hailing from over 75 countries (a surprising number given initial expectations and past experience), the films will come to form a programme consisting of 7 first works in competition and 2 special screenings, all in world premieres and of various origins, and all in the form of unusual yet fruitful co-production endeavours, sending a clear signal that film is becoming an increasingly global affair.

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Europe has a presence in almost all of these titles, starting with the well-seasoned Spanish filmmaking duo Helena Girón and Samuel M Delgado, who will present the Spanish-Colombian co-production They Carry Death, followed up by: Hungary’s Gábor Fabricius, who is offering up his powerful debut film Erasing Frank; Italy’s Alessandro Celli with his first work Mondocane, and Matteo Tortone with the documentary Mother Lode (a co-production between France, Italy and Switzerland); Russia’s Ekaterina Selenkina with Detours (Russia/the Netherlands), and Brazil’s Alex Carvalho with his feature film debut The Salamander (Brazil/France/Germany). Arsalan Amiri’s Iranian film Zalava is set to close the Competition section. The opening film of the overall event will be Karmalink by Jake Wachtel (Cambodia/USA), while the closing slot is entrusted to Gianluca Matarrese’s Italian-French co-production La Dernière séance.

The seven feature films in competition will be battling it out for a main prize worth €5,000, the winner of which is set to be decided upon by an international jury composed of Claudio Cupellini, Vanja Kaludjercic and Sandrine Marques. The films selected within International Critics’ Week will also compete for the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award for Best First Film.

The selection is as follows:


They Carry Death - Helena Girón, Samuel M Delgado (Spain/Colombia)
Erasing Frank - Gábor Fabricius (Hungary)
Mondocane - Alessandro Celli (Italy)
Mother Lode - Matteo Tortone (France/Italy/Switzerland)
Detours - Ekaterina Selenkina (Russia/the Netherlands)
The Salamander - Alex Carvalho (Brazil/France/Germany)
Zalava - Arsalan Amiri (Iran)

Special Screenings

Karmalink - Jake Wachtel (Cambodia/USA) (opening film)
La Dernière séance - Gianluca Matarrese (Italy/France) (closing film)

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(Translated from Italian)

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