Magazine article Screen International

Venice 2016: Competition

Magazine article Screen International

Venice 2016: Competition

Article excerpt

ARRIVAL (US)

DIR DENIS VILLENEUVE

A film from the French-Canadian director of Sicario, Prisoners and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel has become a major event. Arrival sparked a Cannes bidding war in 2014, when Paramount snapped up North American and Chinese rights for $20m, so hopes are high. The film stars Amy Adams as a linguist assigned to solve the mystery of an alien visit. FilmNation and Lava Bear financed Arrival and produced with 21 Laps.

Contact: FilmNation, cleopard@wearefilmnation.com

THE BAD BATCH (US)

DIR ANA LILY AMIRPOUR

Following her debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, director Amirpour returns with this cannibal romance set in a dystopian US. The film was produced by Megan Ellison through her Annapurna Pictures banner, along with Danny Gabai of Vice Films and Sina Sayyah, who produced A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. The A-list cast includes Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Suki Waterhouse, Diego Luna and Jason Momoa.

Contact: Annapurna International, samanthad@annapurnapics.com

THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ (FR-GER)

DIR WIM WENDERS

Wenders has adapted a play by his Wings Of Desire co-writer Peter Handke for relationship drama The Beautiful Days Of Aranjuez, starring Reda Kateb and Sophie Semin, with a cameo by Nick Cave. The 3D film reunites the director with Portuguese producer Paulo Branco, who co-produced Wenders' Golden Lion winner The State Of Things in 1982. Wenders' winning streak on the Lido includes The Goalkeeper's Fear Of The Penalty (1972) and Beyond The Clouds (1995), which both won the Fipresci prize, and Land Of Plenty (2004), which won the Unesco award.

Contact: Alfama Films, andrea.alfamafilms@orange.fr

THE BLIND CHRIST (CHILE-FR)

DIR CHRISTOPHER MURRAY

This is the film to watch and Murray is the real deal, said Venice head Alberto Barbera ahead of the festival. Set in the Chilean desert, The Blind Christ is the story of an impoverished man (Michael Silva) who has believed since childhood that he is Christ. Produced by France's Ciné-Sud Promotion with Augusto Matte's Chilean company Jirafa, The Blind Christ is Murray's third film following Manuel De Ribera (2010) and doc Propaganda (2014).

Contact: Film Factory, info@filmfactory.es

BRIMSTONE (NETH-GER-BEL-FR-UK-SWE)

DIR MARTIN KOOLHOVEN

In this dark western, Dakota Fanning plays a mute whose life is threatened by the appearance of a mysterious reverend (Guy Pearce). Brimstone is the English-language debut of Dutch director Koolhoven, whose most recent film was the 2008 war drama Winter In Wartime. Co-starring Game Of Thrones favourites Kit Harington and Carice van Houten, Brimstone is produced by Uwe Schott, executive producer on Cloud Atlas and the Oscar-winning Amour.

Contact: Embankment Films, info@embankmentfilms.com

THE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN (ARG-SP)

DIRS MARIANO COHN, GASTON DUPRAT

Argentinian film-making duo Cohn and Duprat return with black comedy The Distinguished Citizen, about a Nobel prize-winning author who returns to the home town that has been the inspiration for his books, where the use of real people as characters in his novels comes back to haunt him. Oscar Martinez, star of Wild Tales and Paulina, takes the central role. Duprat and Cohn previously won the cinematography award at Sundance for dry comedy thriller The Man Next Door in 2010.

Contact: Latido Films, latido@latidofilms.com

FRANTZ (FR-GER)

DIR FRANCOIS OZON

Marking the third time French auteur Ozon has been in the running for Venice's Golden Lion - following 2004's 5x2 and 2010's Potiche - Frantz stars Paula Beer (4 Kings) as a young German woman mourning her fiancé, killed in the First World War, and César award-winner Pierre Niney (Yves Saint Laurent) as the Frenchman who also lays flowers at the grave. The film is produced by Ozon's regular producers, Eric and Nicolas Altmayer of Mandarin Cinéma, and will be distributed in France by Mars Distribution. …

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