In a press conference held in San Sebastian, Spain, to mark the beginning of production on his latest project, Woody Allen announced that he does not plan to retire from moviemaking anytime soon (Via Deadline). The project, previously under the working title “Wasp 2019,” is now titled “Rivkin’s Festival.” The film stars Spanish actors Elena Anaya and Sergi Lopez alongside Gina Gershon, Wallace Shawn, Christoph Waltz and Louis Garrel. Allen’s return is controversial given the allegation of sexual assault made against him by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow.
“I have never thought of retiring,” Allen said during the press conference on Tuesday. “Since I started, I’ve always tried to focus on my work, no matter what happens in my family or with politics. I don’t think about social movements, for example. My cinema is about human relationships, about people. And I try to have humor in them. If I were to die, I would probably die on a film set, which may well happen.”
The forthcoming project is said to be a romantic comedy, following a married American couple (Waltz and Gershon) who attend the San Sebastian Film Festival. While there, the couple are swept up in the magic of the festival, when she has an affair with a French movie director and he falls in love with a local Spanish woman.
The San Sebastian Film Festival is one of the longest-running international film festivals in the world having been founded in 1952 (this year the festival is celebrating its 67th edition). Allen has been a regular presence at the festival over the years, having received the festival’s greatest honor, the Premio Donostia award, in 2004. That year, the director opened the festival with the world premiere of “Melinda and Melinda,” and later screened his eventual Oscar winner “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” there.
Despite his fall from grace in Hollywood, Allen still has friends and supporters.
“It’s a beautiful script; a dream come true,” Gershon said during the same press conference. “These are crazy times; one has to analyze the situation and decide how you feel; I’m delighted to be part of this team.”
“Rivkin’s Festival” is backed by frequent Allen collaborator Mediapro, which will co-handle international sales with FilmNation. Letty Aronson’s Gravier Productions also produces.
With production on “Rivkin’s Festival” beginning, Allen plans to self-release his previous movie, “A Rainy Day in New York,” in U.S. theaters. The movie was originally produced by Amazon Studios and then shelved because of Farrow’s allegation. Amazon’s decision resulted in Allen filing a $68 million lawsuit against the studio. The comedy stars Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Timothée Chalamet, and Jude Law.