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Venice Announces 2017 Lineup, Including ‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Suburbicon,’ ‘mother!,’ and Many More

The crowded fall festival season kicks off with the opening of Venice, and this year's lineup looks to be another strong batch of big contenders.

Julianne Moore and Matt Damon, "Suburbicon"

Julianne Moore and Matt Damon, “Suburbicon”

Paramount Pictures

Will 2017 be the year that Venice gets its king-making mojo back? After a steady run of debuting recent best picture winners — from “Spotlight” to “Birdman” — the festival missed out on last year’s big winner, “Moonlight,” which bowed at Telluride. This year’s lineup is a promising one, and while it’s still very early in the process, it’s difficult not to pick through today’s announcement of the festival’s slate and not search for the big contenders.

As was previously announced, the festival will open with Alexander Payne’s social satire “Downsizing,” starring Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig. The festival will also play home to the premiere of the Netflix original “Our Souls at Night,” as part of their planned tribute to stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda. Annette Bening will lead the competition jury, ending an 11-year succession of male jury chiefs.

Venice will debut a slew of awards contenders, including Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” George Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though it’s (extremely) early in the awards race, those titles are the ones already garnering the most buzz, and many of them will also bow at TIFF (and, in some cases, Telluride).

As unsurprising as those picks might be, the competition section does include a few unexpected offerings, including Andrew Haigh’s “Lean on Pete,” Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” and Frederick Wiseman’s doc “Ex Libris — The New York Public Library.”

Other premieres of note include “Woodshock,” the Kirsten Dunst-starring directorial debut of sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, along with Anne Fontaine’s Isabelle Huppert-starring “Marvin,” Nancy Buirski’s in-competition documentary “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” the Errol Morris series “Wormwood,” and a number of compelling out of competition documentary offerings.

Now in its 74th year, Venice is still looking to innovate, and 2017 will mark the first year the festival offers a VR competition, with a jury led by John Landis. The inaugural competition section packs 11 titles.

The Venice Film Festival runs August 30 – September 9 in Venice, Italy. This year’s festival will face two uncomfortable overlaps with its primary competition, as its final days will coincide with the opening of both Telluride (September 1 – 4) and TIFF (September 7 – 17).

As ever, the big fall events will undoubtedly double (or even triple) up on certain titles, but it’s always compelling to see where films hit and where they miss…and how that shapes the awards season to come.

Below are the first additions to the Venice 2017 lineup, including “Downsizing,” “Suburbicon,” “mother!,” and more. Stay tuned for more programming announcements in the days to come.

Opening Night Film

“Downsizing,” dir. Alexander Payne (in competition)

Competition

“Human Flow,” dir. Ai Weiwei
“mother!,” dir. Darren Aronofsky
“Suburbicon,” dir. George Clooney
“The Shape Of Water,” dir. Guillermo del Toro
“Linsulte,” dir.  Ziad Doueiri
“La Villa,” dir.  Robert Guediguian
“Lean On Pete,” dir.  Andrew haigh
“Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno,” dir. Abdellatif Kechiche
“The Third Murder,” dir. Koreeda Hirokazu
“Jusqu’a la Garde,” dir.  Xavier Legrand
“Ammore e Malavita,” dir. Manetti Brothers
“Foxtrot,” dir. Samuel Maoz
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” dir. Martin McDonagh
“Hannah,” dir. Andrea Pallaoro
“Downsizing,” dir. Alexander Payne
“Angels Wear White,” dir. Vivian Qu
“Una Famiglia,” dir. Sebastiano Riso
“First Reformed,” dir.  Paul Schrader
“Sweet Country,” dir. Warwick Thornton
“The Leisure Seeker,” dir. Paolo Virzi
“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library,” dir. Frederick Wiseman

Horizons (Competition)

“Disappearance,” dir. Ali Asgari
“Especes Menacees,” dir. Gilles Bourdos
“The Rape of Recy Taylor,” dir. Nancy Buirski
“Caniba,” dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel
“Les Bienheureux,” dir. Sofia Djama
“Marvin,” dir. Anne Fontaine
“Invisible,” dir. Pablo Giorgelli
“Brutti e Cattivi,” dir. Cosimo Gomez
“The Cousin,” dir. Tzahi Grad
“The Testament,” dir. Amichai Greenberg
“No Date, No Signature,” dir. Vahid Jalilvand
“Los Versos del Olvido,” dir. Alireza Khatami
“The Night I Swam,” dir. Damien Manivel, Igarashi Kohei
“Nico, 1988,” dir. Susanna Nicchiarelli
“Krieg,” dir. Rick Ostermann
“West of Sunshine,” dir. Jason Raftopoulos
“Gatta Cenerentola,” dir. Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Dario Sansone
“Under the Tree,” dir. Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson
“La Vita in Comune,” dir. Edoardo Winspeare

Out of Competition Fiction

“Our Souls At Night,” dir. Ritesh Batra
“Victoria & Abdul,” dir. Stephen Frears
“Il Signor Rotpeter,” dir. Antonietta de Lillo
“La Melodie,” dir. Rachid Hami
“Outrage Coda,” dir. Kitano Takeshi
“Loving Pablo,” dir. Fernando Leon de Aranoa
“Zama,” dir. Lucrecia Martel
“Wormwood,” dir. Errol Morris
“Diva!,” dir. Franceso Patierno
“Le Fidele,” dir. Michael R. Roskam
“Il Colore Nascosto Delle Cose,” dir. Silvio Soldini
“The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” dir. James Toback
“Brawl in Cell Block 99,” dir. S. Craig Zahler

Out of Competition Documentaries

“Cuba and the Cameraman,” dir. Jon Alpert
“My Generation,” dir. David Batty
“Piazza Vittorio,” dir. Abel Ferrara
“The Devil and Father Amorth,” dir. William Friedkin
“This is Congo,” dir. Daniel McCabe
“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” dir. Stephen Nomura Schible
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton,” dir. Chris Smith

Out of Competition Special Events

“Casa d’Altri,” dir. Gianni Amelio
“Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D,” dir. John Landis
“Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983),” dir. Jerry Kramer

Cinema in the Garden

“Manuel,” dir. Dario Albertini
“Controfigura,” dir. Ra di Martino
“Woodshock,” dir. Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy
“Nato a Casal di Principe,” dir. Bruno Oliviero
“Suburra – The Series,” dir. Michele Placido, Andrea Molaioli, Giuseppe Capotondi
“Tueurs,” dir. Francois Troukens, Jean-Francois Hensgens

Special Documentary Screenings

“La Lunga Strada del Ritorno,” dir. Alessandro Blasetti
“Barbiana ’65 La Lezione di Don Milani,” dir. Alessandro G. A. D’Alessandro
“Lievito Madre, Le Ragazze del Secolo Scorso,” dir. Concita de Gregorio, Esmeralda Calabria

Biennale College

“Beautiful Things,” dir. Georgio Ferrero
“Shadeed Martyr,” dir. Mazen Khaled
“Strange Colours,” dir. Alena Lodkina

Venice Classics (Documentary)

“Light Years,” dir. Manuel Abramovich
“Evviva Giuseppe,” dir. Stefano Consiglio
“La Lucida Follia di Marco Ferreri,” dir. Selma Jean Dell’Olio
“L’Utopie des Images de la Revolution Russe,” dir. Emmanuel Hamon
“The Prince and the Dybbuk,” dir. Elwira Niewiera
“La Voce di Fantozzi,” dir. Mario Sesti
“This is the War Room!,” dir. Boris Hars-Tschachotin

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