Venice Film Festival to show Netflix movies

ROME •From westerns to the space race and the latest offerings from Oscar-winning directors, this year's Venice Film Festival will present a rich line-up of premieres, including a host of Netflix movies and an unfinished Orson Welles work, the organisers said.

The 75th edition of the world's oldest film festival kicks off late next month, with some 20 movies competing for the Golden Lion Award.

Unlike May's Cannes Film Festival, which Netflix pulled out of after organisers banned its films from competition for its refusal to release them in cinemas, the Venice event will show several movies by the streaming platform.

"There are many Netflix films this year, five or six," festival director Alberto Barbera told a news conference on Wednesday, adding that lots of film-makers were now turning to new platforms to produce and distribute movies.

Among the Netflix distributed films in competition are the Coen brothers' western The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs and black-and-white family drama Roma by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron.

Jason Bourne director Paul Greengrass will present his Netflix-distributed work 22 July - about the aftermath of the 2011 massacre of 77 people in Norway by far-right militant Anders Breivik.

The star-studded festival begins on Aug 29, kicking off with First Man - the new film from Oscar-winning director of La La Land (2016) Damien Chazelle.

The film, which stars Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, follows the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong in the years leading up to 1969, when he became the first man to walk on the moon.

Not featured in the official selection, but tipped for Oscar success, United States actor Bradley Cooper's directorial debut A Star Is Born will also be shown on the glamorous Lido di Venezia.

Cooper stars in the film alongside US pop star Lady Gaga. The two also wrote and recorded new songs for the film, the fourth remake of the entertainment industry romance classic.

One of the festival's most eagerly awaited events will be the out-of-competition world premiere of Orson Welles' final and previously unfinished film, The Other Side Of The Wind.

The movie was in limbo for decades after initial shooting between 1970 and 1976.

The legal battle over its ownership came to an end only in March last year, when Netflix announced its distribution of the film, enabling a post-production team to finally finish it nearly half a century after shooting began.

The film is a satire of the passing of classic Hollywood film-making and the arrival of the American new wave in the 1970s.

Presiding over the jury this year is Guillermo del Toro, whose movie The Shape Of Water (2017) bagged the Golden Lion last year before going on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year.

In April, organisers announced they would be honouring Canadian director David Cronenberg with its Golden Lion prize for Lifetime Achievement.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2018, with the headline 'Venice Film Festival to show Netflix movies'. Subscribe