Venice Film Festival 2020: Competition Light On Studios, Strong On Global Arthouse & Women Directors – Full List

Venice Golden Lion
Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Venice Film Festival

UPDATE, with more detail: As expected, the Venice Film Festival’s 2020 competition lineup is light on studio titles with only Searchligh’s Nomadland and Sony’s The World To Come figuring, though the latter is an international acquisition. Both of those are directed by women (Chloé Zhao and Mona Fastvold, respectively) in what is a much stronger year for female filmmakers than in the past. Last year, Venice faced criticism for having just two women in competition while this year, there are women behind eight of the 18 features. Venice chief Alberto Barbera noted they were “selected exclusively on the basis of their quality and not as a result of gender protocols.”

NOMADLAND Searchlight Pictures

Acknowledging the effects of COVID on Hollywood, Barbera also said in an introductory note, “A few spectacular movies will be missing, blocked by the lockdown which still affects the programming of the most-awaited Hollywood releases.” Venice has had great success as a launchpad in recent years, last year notably playing host to Warner Bros’ Joker which won the Golden Lion and went on to over $1B at the worldwide box office. There are also no Netflix titles in the mix for 2020, despite a cozy relationship between the streamer and the Biennale which in 2019 launched Marriage Story, another Best Picture Oscar nominee along with Joker. Barbera did comment during this morning’s press conference that Nomadland has Oscar potential.

Overall this year, there is a very global/art house sense to the main lineup for the first major international film gathering since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Well-known directors from around the world include France’s Nicole Garcia with Lovers, Israel’s Amos Gitai with Laila In Haifa, Kornel Mundruczo’s English-language Pieces Of A Woman, and Italy’s Gianfranco Rosi with Notturno.


Whether talent will be able to attend is still unclear given border restrictions and general concerns. Already, we know that Nomadland’s Zhao and star Frances McDormand will be chiming in virtually. Bron’s Pieces Of A Woman and The World To Come star Vanessa Kirby could be as ubiquitous on the Lido as Nicole Kidman has sometimes been in Cannes if she turns up for both of her competition titles. Pieces Of A Woman also features Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Snook while The World To Come co-stars Casey Affleck.

Although Sofia Coppola’s On The Rocks had been rumored (and could still figure given Barbera said he is likely to add more titles), it’s her niece Gia Coppola who is returning to Venice with Horizons title Mainstream, starring Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Nat Wolff and Jason Schwartzman.


Offbeat French director Quentin Dupieux makes an appearance out of competition with Mandibules, led by Adèle Exarchopoulos while Notting Hill helmer Roger Michell is also in the out of competition section with Pathé’s The Duke. Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent and Fionn Whitehead star in the comedy based on the true story of a 60-year-old taxi driver who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in 1961.

The out of competition non-fiction section also includes some recognizable names, including Call Me By Your Name’s Luca Guadagnino with Salvatore, Shoemaker Of Dreams. Alex Gibney and Abel Ferrara are also returning with Crazy, Not Insane and Sportin’ Life, respectively.

Also notably running out of competition is Hopper/Welles, an unscripted discussion between Dennis Hopper and Orson Welles that took place in 1970. According to Wellesnet, the footage has been assembled by The Other Side Of The Wind producer Filip Jan Rymsza and editor Bob Murawski.

Scroll down for the full list of Venice titles announced today.

PREVIOUS: The Venice Film Festival is unveiling its lineup for the 77th edition this morning in Rome. This will be the first major international film event to take place physically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and will be held from September 2-12 on the Lido. Cate Blanchett is president of the main competition jury this year. Fest chief Alberto Barbera will run down the roster in the next hour, so check back for updates as we post the titles live below.

The world’s oldest film festival has in recent years cemented its status as the go-to fall launchpad for awards hopefuls, though given the current state of the world, this year is expected to be somewhat muted by a lack of major available Hollywood titles and since travel restrictions could still be in place in early September. On Monday, it was unveiled that Searchlight Pictures (which has a strong track record on the Lido) will world premiere Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland on September 11, simultaneously with Toronto. However, Zhao and star Frances McDormand will be attending virtually. Sofia Coppola’s A24-Apple pic On The Rocks is another U.S. title that has been recently rumored as a potential for the event.

As noted last week, Daniele Luchetti’s Lacci will open the proceedings, a first for an Italian film in over a decade. Venetian director Andrea Segre’s documentary Molecole, made in Venice when it was in lockdown, will be screened as the pre-opening night film on September 1.

In early July, Venice organizers outlined certain changes owing to sanitary protocols imposed by the COVID crisis. The overall number of films in the official selection has been reduced, while the competitive sections will maintain their usual procedures and format, as will the Out of Competition section, and Biennale College Cinema — though social distancing will be imposed.

See below for the films revealed today:

In Between Dying, dir: Hilal Baydarov
Le Sorelle Macaluso, dir: Emma Dante
The World To Come, dir: Mona Fastvold
Nuevo Orden, dir: Michel Franco
Lovers, dir: Nicole Garcia
Laila in Haifa, dir: Amos Gitai
Dear Comrades, dir: Andrei Konchalovsky
Wife Of A Spy, dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Sun Children, dir: Majid Majidi
Pieces Of A Woman, dir: Kornel Mundruczo
Miss Marx, dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli
Padrenostro, dir: Claudio Noce
Notturno, dir: Gianfranco Rosi
Never Gonna Snow Again, dirs: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
The Disciple, dir: Chaitanya Tamhane
And Tomorrow The Entire World, dir: Julia Von Heinz
Quo Vadis, Aida?, dir: Jasmila Zbanic
Nomadland, dir: Chloé Zhao

*Apples, dir: Christos Nikou (Opening film)
*La Troisième Guerre, dir: Giovanni Aloi
Milestone, dir: Ivan Ayr
The Wasteland, dir: Ahmad Bahrami
The Man Who Sold His Skin, dir: Kaouther Ben Hania
*I Predatori, dir: Pietro Castellitto
Mainstream, dir: Gia Coppola
Genus Pan, dir: Lav Diaz
*Zanka Contact, dir: Ismael El Iraki
Guerra E Pace, dirs: Martina Parenti, Massimo D’Anolfi
La Nuit Des Rois, dir: Philippe Lacôte
*The Furnace, dir: Roderick Mackay
Careless Crime, dir: Shahram Mokri
Gaza Mon Amour, dirs: Tarzan Nasser, Arab Nasser
Selva Tragica, dir: Yulene Olaizola
Nowhere Special, dir: Uberto Pasolini
*Listen, dir: Ana Rocha de Sousa
*The Best Is Yet To Come, dir: Wang Jing
Yellow Cat, dir: Adilkhan Yerzhanov
(*Denotes debut features eligible for the Lion of the Future “Luigi De Laurentiis” Award)

The Night Train, dir: Jerry Carlsson
The Shift, dir: Laura Carreira
Workshop, dir: Judah Finnigan
Sogni Al Campo, dir: Magda Guidi
What Probably Would Have Happened, If I Hadn’t Stayed At Home, dir: Willy Hans
The Game, dir: Roman Hodel
Places, dir: Vytautas Katkus
Anita, dir: Sushma Khadepaun
A Fleur De Peau, dir: Meriem Mesraoua
Entre Tu Y Milagros, dir: Marina Saffon
Being My Mon, dir: Jasmine Trinca
Live In Cloud Cuckoo Land, dir: Nghia Vu Minh

Si, dir: Luca Ferri
The Return Of Tragedy, dir: Bertrand Mandico

30 Monedas, Episode 1, dir: Alex de la Iglesia
Princesse Europe, dir: Camille Lotteau
Omelia Contadina, dirs: Alice Rohrwacher, JR

Lacci, dir: Daniele Lucheti (Opening film)
Lasciami Andare, dir: Stefano Mordini (Closing film)
Mandibules, dir: Quentin Dupieux
Love After Love, dir: Ann Hui
Assandira, dir: Salvatore Mereu
The Duke, dir: Roger Michell
Night In Paradise, dir: Park Hoon-jung
Mosquito State, dir: Filip Jan Rymsza

Sportin’ Life, dir: Abel Ferrara
Crazy, Not Insane, dir: Alex Gibney
Greta; dir: Nathan Grossman
Salvatore, Shoemaker Of Dreams, dir: Luca Guadagnino
Final Account, dir: Luke Holland
La Verita Su La Dolce Vita, dir: Giuseppe Pedersoli
Molecole, dir: Andrea Segre
Narciso Em Ferias, dirs: Renato Terra, Ricardo Calil
Paulo Conte, Via Con Me, dir: Giorgio Verdelli
Hopper/Welles: dir: Orson Welles
City Hall, dir: Frederick Wiseman

El Arte De Volver, dir: Pedro Collantes
Fucking With Nobody, dir: Hannaleena Hauru

Vajont, dir: Iolanda Di Bonaventura

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