The Venice Film Festival seems to have an air of prestige about it grater even than that other European juggernaut Cannes. It’s the world’s longest running film festival now in its 84th year.

This morning (Thursday 24th July) Venice Biennale president Paolo Baratta and film festival director Alberto Barbera announced the festival’s line-up and competing films.

Included in the competition are new works by Abel Ferrara, quickly following up the controversial ‘Welcome to New York’ with ‘Pasolini’, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu with the awesome looking ‘Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignornace’, ‘Gattaca’ creator Andrew Nicol with ‘Good Kill’ and underground hero Shinya Tsukamoto with ‘Nobi’.

Showing out of competition sees works by old hands Joe Dante, ‘Burying the Ex’, Barry Levinson ‘The Humbling’ and Peter Bogdanovich ‘She’s Funny That Way’. James Franco follows up his directorial debut ‘Int. Leather Bar’ with ‘The Sound and the Fury’ and Lars Von Trier presents a director’s cut of ‘Nymphomaniac Volume II’.

Bill Murray stars in Lisa Cholodenkos’ ‘Oliver Kitteridge’ which early footage shows him to be on fine grumpy form. Michael Keaton looks fantastic in ‘Birdman…’ which if you haven’t checked out the trailer for please do below. Elsewhere on the festival’s Horizons section ‘Cymbeline’ features Milla Jovovich, Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris, John Leguizamo and Bill Pullman.

The Golden Lion prize is one of cinema’s top honours as it comes from a festival that celebrates cinema as both art and entertainment. Past winners have included great films like ‘The Wrestler’, ‘Lebannon’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’, ‘Vera Drake’, ‘Hana-Bi’, ‘The Battle of Algiers’ and ‘Rashomon’. So whoever wins you will probably want to add it to your collection.

The festival runs from August 27 – September 6th



Fatih Akin The Cut

Roy Andersson A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Ramin Bahrani 99 Homes

Rakhshan Bani-Etemad Ghessha (Tales)

Xavier Beauvois La rancon de la gloire

Saverio Costanzo Hungry Hearts

Alix Delaporte Le dernier coup de marteau

Abel Ferrara Pasolini

David Gordon Green Manglehorn

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Benoit Jacquot 3 Coeurs (Three Hearts)

Andrei Konchalovsky The Postman’s White Nights

Mario Martone Il Giovane Favoloso

Kaan Mujdeci Sivas

Francesco Munzi Anime Nere

Andrew Niccol Good Kill

David Oelhoffen Loin des hommes

Joshua Oppenheimer The Look of Silence

Shinya Tsukamoto Nobi (Fires on the Plain)

Wang Xiaoshuai Red Amnesia



Emir Kusturica and others Words With Gods (other directors: Guillermo Arriaga, Amos Gitai, Mira Nair, Warwick Thornton, Hector Babenco, Bahman Ghobai, Hideo Nakata, Alex de la Iglesia)

Peter Bogdanovich She’s Funny That Way

Peter Ho-sun Chan Dearest

Lisa Cholodenko Olive Kitteridge

Joe Dante Burying The Ex

Edoardo De Angelis Perez

Davide Ferrario La Zuppa Del Demonio

James Franco The Sound And The Fury

Amos Gitai Tsili

Sabina Guzzanti La Trattativa

Ann Hui The Golden Era

Im Kwontaek Make-Up

Barry Levinson The Humbling

Manoel de Oliveira The Old Man of Belem

Gabriele Salvatores Italy In A Day

Ulrich Seidl In The Basement

Anthony Stacchi, Annable Graham The Boxtrolls

Lars Von Trier Nymphomaniac Volume II (long version) Director’s Cut

Naji Abu Nowar Theeb

Salome Alexi Line of Credit

Michele Alhaique Senza Nessuna Pieta

Michael Almereyda Cymbeline

Benoit Delepine, Gustave Kervern Near Death Experience

Renato De Maria La Vita Oscena

Quentin Dupieux Realite

Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala I Spy/I Spy

Hong Sangsoo Hill of Freedom

Duane Hopkins Bypass

Mohsen Makhmalbaf The President

Ami Canaan Mann Your Right Mind

Franco Maresco Belluscone Una Storia Siciliana

Elchin Musaoglu Nabat

Josh Safdie, Ben Safdie Heaven Knows What

Ognjen Sviliviv These Are the Rules

Chaitanya Tamhane Court