2019 Venice International Film Festival: ‘Joker’ wins the Golden Lion top prize

September 7, 2019

by Carla Hay

Venice Film Festival

“Joker,” director Todd Phillips’ origin story about the DC Comics villain, was awarded the Golden Lion (the top prize) at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. “Joker” stars Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. Warner Bros. Pictures will release “Joker” on October 4, 2019. Movie critics have mostly praised “Joker,” which is a dark and violent film that is a departure for Phillips, who was previously known for directing comedies like “The Hangover” movies and “Old School.” The 76th annual Venice International Film Festival took place from August 28 to September 7, 2019.

The Grand Jury Prize (second place) went to “An Officer and a Spy,” directed by Roman Polanski. The Venice Film Festival got considerable criticism for selecting Polanski’s film to be a part of the festival. Polanski has been a fugitive of the law since 1978, when he fled to France after being convicted of raping an underage girl in the Los Angeles area.

Other winners at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival included Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden” for Best Actor; Ariane Ascaride of “Gloria Mundi” for Best Actress; and “About Endlessness” helmer Roy Andersson for Best Director.

Here is the complete list of winners for the 2019 Venice International Film Festival:


Golden Lion: “Joker,” directed by Todd Phillips

Grand Jury Prize: “An Officer and a Spy,” directed by Roman Polanski

Silver Lion for Best Director: Roy Andersson, “About Endlessness”

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Ariane Ascaride, “Gloria Mundi”

Volpi Cup for Best Actor:  Luca Marinelli, “Martin Eden”

Best Screenplay: “No. 7 Cherry Lane,” written by Yonfan

Special Jury Prize: “The Mafia Is No Longer What It Used to Be,” directed by Franco Maresco

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer:


Best Film: “Atlantis,” directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych

Best Director:  Théo Court, “White on White”

Special Jury Prize: “Verdict,” directed by Raymund Ribas Gutierrez

Best Actress: Marta Nieto, “Madre”

Best Actor: Sami Bouajila, “A Son”

Best Screenplay: “Back Home,” directed by Jessica Palud, Philippe Lioret and Diastème

Best Short Film: “Darling,” directed by Saim Sadiq


Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film: “You Will Die at Twenty,” directed by Amjad Abu Alala


Best Documentary on Cinema: “Babenco – Alguém Tem Que Ouvir O Coração E Dizer: Parou,” directed by Bárbara Paz

Best Restored Film: “Ecstasy,” directed by Gustav Machatý


Best Virtual Reality: 
“The Key,” directed by Céline Tricart

Best Virtual Reality Experience: “A Linha,” directed by Ricardo Laganaro

Best Virtual Reality Story: “Daughters of Chibok,” directed by Joel Kachi Benson

2019 Venice International Film Festival: lineup announced

July 25, 2019

by Carla Hay

Brad Pitt in “Ad Astra” (Photo by Francois Duhamel)

The 76th annual Venice International Film Festival—which takes place August 28 to September 7, 2019 in Venice, Italy—has announced its lineup. The high-profile U.S. releases competing for the festival’s biggest prize (The Golden Lion) are the outer-space drama “Ad Astra,” starring Brad Pitt; the supervillain drama “Joker,” starring Joaquin Phoenix; the romantic drama “Marriage Story,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver; and the political drama “The Laundromat,” starring Meryl Streep and Gary Oldman.

In 2018, the Venice International Film Festival signed the 5050×2020 pledge to have 50 percent of the festival’s films directed by females, by the year 2020. But the male-dominated lineup of directors for the 2019 edition of the festival shows that it has a long way to go in fulfilling that promise. Only 14 of the 64 feature-length films (or 22 percent) announced in the list below have female directors.

Even more disturbing, considering the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, is that the Venice International Film Festival has selected director Roman Polanski’s movie “An Officer and a Spy” as one of the films competing for the festival’s grand prize. In 1977, Polanski was convicted of statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the Los Angeles area. He fled the United States in January 1978, to avoid his prison sentence. He has been a fugitive of the law ever since, and he is currently living in France. In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Polanski. (He won an Oscar for Best Director, for the 2002 film “The Pianist.” ) Convicted rapist Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, who is facing criminal prosecution  and numerous lawsuits for sex crimes, have also been expelled from the Academy. Polanski’s “An Officer and a Spy” stars Oscar winner Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) as a French army office investigating the Dreyfus Affair, an anti-Semitism case in France.

The Venice International Film Festival is one of the most important festivals in the world, and it serves as a launching pad for likely Oscar contenders. In 2018, movies that had their world premieres at the festival that went on to Oscar glory included “Roma,” “The Favourite,” “A Star is Born” and “First Man.”

Some of the high-profile movies that will premiere out of competition in the 2019 edition of the festival include the music documentary “Roger Waters: Us + Them,” director Alex Gibney’s political documentary “Citizen K” and Waiting for the Barbarians,” starring Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson. Mexican actor Gael García Bernal has two movies at the festival: “Wasp Network” (co-starring Penélope Cruz) and “Ema” (co-starring Mariana Di Girolamo).

The festival’s opening-night film is “The Truth,” starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke. It’s the first film from award-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Shoplifters”) to be made outside of his native Japan and with non-Japanese stars. The festival’s closing-night film is “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” an art-heist thriller starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland.

Here is the lineup for the 2019 Venice International Film Festival:


“A Herdade,” Tiago Guedes (Portugal, France)
“Ad Astra,” James Gray (U.S.)
“About Endlessness,” Roy Andersson (Sweden)
“An Officer and a Spy,” Roman Polanski (France)
“Babyteeth,” Shannon Murphy (Australia)
“Ema,” Pablo Larrain (Chile)
“Guest of Honor,” Atom Egoyan (Canada)
“Gloria Mundi,” Robert Guediguian (France)
“Joker,” Todd Philips (U.S.)
“La Mafia non è più quella di Una Volta,” Franco Maresco
“The Laundromat,” Steven Soderbergh (U.S.)
“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach (U.S.)
“Martin Eden,” Pietro Marcello (Italy, France, Germany)
“The Mayor of Rione Sanità,” Mario Martone (Italy, France)
“No. 7 Cherry Lane,” Yonfan (China)
“The Painted Bird,” Vaclav Marhoul (Czech Republic)
“The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia, Germany)
“Saturday Fiction,” Lou Ye (China)
“The Truth,” Kore-eda Hirokazu (France, Japan) – *Opening Film*
“Waiting for the Barbarians,” Ciro Guerra (Italy)
“Wasp Network,” Olivier Assayas (France, Belgium)


“Adults in the Room,” Costa-Gavras (France, Greece)
“The Burnt Orange Heresy,” Giuseppe Capotondi (U.K., Italy) – *Closing Film*
“The King,” David Michod (U.K., Hungary)
“Mosul,” Matthew Michael Carnahan (U.S.)
“Seberg,” Benedict Andrews (U.S.)
“Tutto il mio folle amore,” Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)
“Vivere,” Francesca Archibugi (Italy)


“45 Seconds of Laughter,” Tim Robbins (U.S.)
“Citizen K,” Alex Gibney (U.K., U.S.)
“Citizen Rosi,” Didi Gnocchi, Carolina Rosi (Italy)
“Collective,” Alexander Nanau (Romania, Luxembourg)
“I Diari di Angela – Noi Due Cineasti” Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi (Italy)
“Il pianeta in mare,” Daniele Segre (Italy)
“The Kingmaker,” Lauren Greenfield (U.S.)
“Roger Waters: Us + Them,” Roger Waters (U.K.)
“State Funeral,” Sergei Loznitsa (The Netherlands, Lithuania)
“Woman,” Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Anastasia Mikova (France)

OUT OF COMPETITION – Special Screenings

“Electric Swan,” Konstantina Kotzamani (France, Greece, Argentina)
“Eyes Wide Shut,” Stanley Kubrick (U.S., U.K.)
“Irreversible – Inversion Integrale,” Gaspar Noe (France)
“Never Just a Dream: Stanley Kubrick And Eyes Wide Shut,” Matt Wells (U.K.)
“The New Pope” (Episodes 2 and 7) Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, U.S.)
“No One Left Behind,” Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico)
“ZeroZeroZero,” (Episodes 1 and 2) Stefano Sollima (Italy, France)


“Atlantis,” Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine)
“Bik Eneich – Un Fils,” Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France, Lebanon, Qatar)
“Blanco en Blanco,” Theo Court (Spain, Chile, France, Germany)
“Balloon,” Pema Tseden (China)
“The Criminal Man,” Dmitry Mamuliya (Georgia, Russia)
“Giants Being Lonely,” Grear Patterson (U.S.)
“Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” Sahara Karimi (Afghanistan)
“Just 6.5,” Saeed Roustayi (Iran)
“Madre,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain, France)
“Mes Jours de Gloire,” Antoine De Bary (France)
“Moffie,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa)
“Nevia,” Nunzia De Stefano (Italy)
“Pelican Blood,” Katrin Gebbe (Germany, Bulgaria)
“Revenir,” Jessica Palud (France)
“Rialto,” Peter Mackie Burns (Ireland)
“Shadow of Water,” Sasidharan Sanal Kumar (India)
“Sole,” Carlo Sironi (Italy)
“Verdict,” Raymund Ribas Gutierrez (Philippines)
“Zumiriki,” Oskar Alegria (Spain)

2018 Venice International Film Festival: ‘Roma’ wins the Golden Lion top prize

September 8, 2018

Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival logo

“Roma,” director Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal drama inspired by his childhood in Mexico, was awarded the Golden Lion (the top prize) at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. The 75th annual Venice International Film Festival took place from August 29 to September 8, 2018. “Roma” is the first Netflix film to win a top prize at a major film festival. The movie’s release date is to be announced. “Roma” is Cuarón’s first film since his 2013 outer-space drama “Gravity,” which went on to win seven Oscars, including Best Director for Cuarón. “Gravity” also premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2013, but the movie was screened out of competition.

Other winners at the 2018 Venice International Film Festival included Willem Dafoe (who plays Vincent Van Gogh) in “At Eternity’s Gate” for Best Actor; Olivia Colman (who plays Queen Anne in “The Favourite”) for Best Actress; and “The Sisters Brothers” helmer Jacques Audiard for Best Director.

Here is the complete list of winners for the 2018 Venice International Film Festival:


Golden Lion: “Roma,” directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Silver Lion for Best Director: Jacques Audiard, “The Sisters Brothers”

Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Volpi Cup for Best Actor: Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”

Best Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Special Jury Prize: “The Nightingale” Jennifer Kent

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Young Performer: Baykali Ganambarr “The Nightingale”


Best Film: “Manta Ray,” Phuttiphong Aroonpheng

Best Director: Emir Baigazin, “The River”

Special Jury Prize: “The Announcement,” Mahmut Fazil Coskun

Best Actress: Natalya Kudryashova “The Man Who Surprised Everyone”

Best Actor: Kais Nashif “Tel Aviv on Fire”

Best Screenplay: “Jinpa,” Pema Tseden

Best Short Film: “Kado,” Aditya Ahmad


Luigi De Laurentiis Award for Best Debut Film: “The Day I Lost My Shadow,” Soudade Kaadan, Syria


Best Documentary on Cinema:  “The Great Buster: A Celebration,” Peter Bogdanovich

Best Restored Film: “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” Paolo and Vittorio Taviani


Best Virtual Reality: 
“Spheres,” Eliza McNitt

Best Virtual Reality Experience: “Buddy VR,” Chuck Chae

Best Virtual Reality Story: “Isle of the Dead,” Benjamin Nuel

2018 Venice International Film Festival: complete slate announced

July 25, 2018

The Biennale di Venezia announced today the complete lineup of films that will be at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, which will take place August 29 to September 8, 2018 in Venice, Italy.


“First Man,” Damien Chazelle (U.S.)
“The Mountain,” Rick Alverson (U.S.)
“Doubles Vies,” Olivier Assayas (France)
“The Sisters Brothers,” Jacques Audiard (France, Belgium, Romania, Spain)
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Ethan and Joel Coen (U.S.)
“Vox Lux,” Brady Corbet (U.S.)
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron (Mexico)
“22 July,” Paul Greengrass (Norway, Iceland)
“Suspiria,” Luca Guadagnino (Italy)
“Work Ohne Autor,” Florian Henkel Von Donnersmark (Germany)
“The Nightingale,” Jennifer Kent (Australia)
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Lanthimos (U.S.)
“Peterloo,” Mike Leigh (U.K., U.S.)
“Capri-Revolution,” Mario Martone (Italy, France)
“What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?”, Roberto Minervini (Italy, U.S., France)
“Sunset,” Laszlo Nemes (Hungary, France)
“Freres Ennemis,” David Oelhoffen (France, Belgium)
“Neustro Tiempo,” Carlos Reygadas (Mexico, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweeden)
“At Eternity’s Gate,” Julian Schnabel (U.S., France)
“Acusada,” Gonzalo Tobal (Argentina, Mexico)
“Killing,” Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)



“The Other Side of the Wind,” Orson Welles (U.S.)
“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” Morgan Neville (U.S.)


“My Brilliant Friend,” Saverio Costanzo (Italy, Belgium)
“Il Diario Di Angela – Noi Due Cineasti,” Yervant Gianikian (Italy)


“Una Storia Senza Nome,” Roberto Andò (Italy)
“Les Estivants,” Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (France, Italy)
“A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper (U.S.)
“Mi Obra Maestra,” Gaston Duprat (Argentina, Spain)
“A Tramway in Jerusalem,” Amos Gitai (Israel, France)
“Un Peuple et Son Roi,” Pierre Schoeller (France, Belgium)
“La Quietud,” Pablo Trapero (Argentina)
“Dragged Across Concrete,” S. Craig Zahler (U.S.)
“Shadow,” Zhang Yimou (China)


“A Letter to a Friend In Gaza,” Amos Gitai (Israel)
“Aquarela,” Victor Kossakovsky (U.K., Germany)
“El Pepe, Una Vida Suprema,” Emir Kusturica (Argentina, Uruguay, Serbia)
“Process,” Sergei Loznitsa (The Netherlands)
“Carmine Street Guitars,” Ron Mann (Canada)
“Isis, Tomorrow. The Lost Souls Of Mosul,” Francesca Mannocchi, Alessio Romenzi (Italy, Germany)
“American Dharma,” Errol Morris (U.S., U.K.)
“Introduzione All’Oscuro,” Gaston Solnicki (Argentina, Austria)
“1938 Diversi,” Giorgio Treves (Italy)
“Your Face,” Tsai Ming-Liang (Chinese Taipei)
“Monrovia, Indiana,” Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)


“Sulla Mia Pelle,” Alessio Cremonini (Italy)
“Manta Ray,” Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Thailand, France, China)
“Soni,” Ivan Ayr (India)
“The River,” Emir Baigazin (Kazakistan, Poland, Norway)
“La Noche de 12 Anos,” Alvaro Brechner (Spain, Argentina, France)
“Deslembro,” Flavia Castro (Brasil, France, Qatar)
“The Announcement,” Mahmut Fazil Coskun (Turkey, Bulgaria)
“Un Giorno All’Improvviso,” Ciro D’Emilio (Italy)
“Charlie Says,” Mary Harron (U.S.)
“Amanda,” Mikhael Hers (France)
“The Day I Lost My Shadow,” Soudade Kaadan (Syria, Lebanon, France, Qatar)
“L’Enkas,” Sarah Marx (France)
“The Man Who Surprised Everyone,” Evgeniy Tsiganov, Natalya Kudryashowa (Russia, Estonia, France)
“Through The Holes,” Garin Nugroho (Indonesia, Australia)
“As I Lay Dying,” Mostafa Sayyari (Iran)
“La Profezia Dell’armadillo,” Emanuele Scaringi (Italy)
“Stripped,” Yaron Shani (Israel, Germany)
“Jinpa,” Pema Tseden (China)
“Tel Aviv on Fire,” Same Zoabi (Luxembourg, France, Israel, Belgium)

2018 Venice International Film Festival: Vanessa Redgrave gets Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

July 24, 2018

Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave (Photo by Carla Hay)

The following is a press release from the Venice International Film Festival:

British actress Vanessa Redgrave has been awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (29 August – 8 September, 2018).

The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon recommendation of the Director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera. This is the second Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 75th Venice Film Festival. As already announced, the Golden Lion to a director has been awarded to David Cronenberg. Each year La Biennale assigns two Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival: the first is awarded to a director, the second to an actor or actress.


Vanessa Redgrave declared: “I am astonished and especially delighted to hear that I will be awarded by the Venice Film Festival for a life’s work in film. Last summer I was filming in Venice in The Aspern Papers. Many many years ago I filmed La vacanza in the marshes of the Veneto. My character spoke every word in the Venetian dialect. I bet I am the only non-Italian actress to act an entire role in Venetian dialect! Thank you a million dear Festival!”.


Alberto Barbera declared: “Unanimously considered one of today’s best actresses, Redgrave’s sensitive, infinitely faceted performances ideally render complex and often controversial characters. Gifted with a natural elegance, innate seductive power, and extraordinary talent, she can nonchalantly pass from European art house cinema to lavish Hollywood productions, from the stage to TV sets, each time offering top-quality results. In the sixty years of her professional activity, her performances have displayed authoritativeness and total control over the roles she plays, a boundless and highly sophisticated generosity, and a healthy dose of the courage and fighting spirit which are a hallmark of her compassionate, artistic nature”.


Born into a thespian family, nominated six times for an Oscar (she won in 1977 for her performance in Julia), and the winner of a Volpi Cup in Venice in 1994 for Little Odessa, for 60 years, Vanessa Redgrave has been one of the best-loved and most-sought-after actresses of international art house cinema. A stage actress as well, she has won a Tony Award and an Olivier Award for best actress.

Among her most recent works, in 2018 she performed in The Aspern Papers by Julian Landais, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Joely Richardson; Mrs Lowry & Son by Adrian Noble, with Timothy Spall; and Georgetown by Christoph Waltz, with Annette Bening. In 2017, she directed and starred in Sea Sorrow with Ralph Fiennes and Emma Thompson (produced by Carlo Nero) and she performed at the Young Vic Theatre in The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez, produced by Sonia Friedman and directed by Stephen Daldry.

Redgrave was born in London in 1937 and studied acting at London’s Central School of Music and Dance. Her family has a long and glorious tradition in film and on the stage. Her paternal grandfather, Roy Redgrave, was one of Australia’s most famous silent movie actors. Her father, Michael, and her mother, Rachel Kempson, were members of the Old Vic Theater. Her father, in particular, was also a well-known movie actor. Right from an early age, Vanessa was a successful stage actress and she debuted on the silver screen alongside her father in 1958 in the comedy Behind the Mask. She then dedicated herself to theatre and became a member of the Stratford-upon-Avon Theater Company. This is where she met director Tony Richardson, who, in the early 1960s, became her husband and directed her in Shakespeare plays. In 1966, Redgrave returned to the silver screen in Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, by Karel Reisz, which won her the award for best actress at Cannes and her first Oscar nomination. Always in 1966, she performed in Blow-up by Michelangelo Antonioni. The topic of incommunicability, one of the Italian director’s favorites, found a perfect interpreter in that young, enigmatic woman who can express herself almost without speaking. One year later, Joshua Logan brought her to the United States to shoot Camelot, after which Vanessa returned to Europe for two more films directed by Richardson, The Sailor from Gibraltar, and in 1968, The Charge of the Light Brigade. That same year, she portrayed the non-conformist ballerina Isadora Duncan in Isadora (1968) by Karel Reisz (her second Oscar nomination). In 1971, she played the unlucky queen in Mary, Queen of Scots (1971, her third nomination for an Oscar), a nun in The Devils by Ken Russel,  and a girl confined in a madhouse in Vacation by Tinto Brass, which stars Franco Nero and was presented at the Venice Film Festival. Vanessa Redgrave won an Oscar for her performance as the brave and headstrong Julia (1977), by Fred Zinnemann. In 1984, James Ivory directed her in The Bostonians (another Oscar nomination) and in 1985 she played the lonely teacher in Wetherby (1985) by David Hare. She received her sixth Oscar nomination for her portrayal of sensitive Ruth Wilcox in Howard’s End(1992), once again by James Ivory. In 1994, she received the Volpi Cup in Venice for Little Odessa by James Gray. She played the bitter protagonist in Mrs Dalloway (1997) by Marleen Gorris and in 2007 she starred in Atonement by Joe Wright, the opening film at the Venice Film Festival that year.

2018 Venice International Film Festival: ‘A Star Is Born’ remake will make its world premiere

July 23, 2018

The following is a press release from the Venice International Film Festival:

The Biennale di Venezia announced today that A Star is Born, the much-anticipated directorial debut of four-time Oscar® nominee Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook) and feature film debut of award-winning actor and Oscar®-nominated musical artist Lady Gaga (Best Song, “Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground), will have its out-of-competition world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival.


The premiere screening of A Star is Born, which was also co-written and produced by Cooper, will be held on Friday, August 31st in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Venice Lido. The 75th Venice International Film Festival will take place at the Lido from August 29 to September 8, 2018; it is directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. A Star is Born comes to cinemas this October from Warner Bros. Pictures, in Association with Live Nation Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures.

In this new take on the powerful love story, Cooper plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga).  She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight.  But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

A Star is Born features original songs performed live on-camera by Cooper and Gaga, who wrote a number of tracks together and in collaboration with such musical artists as Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson.  The film’s ensemble cast also includes Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott.

A Star is Born is produced by Bill Gerber, Jon Peters, Bradley Cooper, Todd Phillips and Lynette Howell Taylor.  Ravi Mehta, Basil Iwanyk, Niija Kuykendall, Sue Kroll, Michael Rapino and Heather Parry serve as executive producers.  The screenplay is by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters.  Collaborating with Cooper behind the scenes are Oscar-nominated director of photography Matthew Libatique (Black Swan), production designer Karen Murphy (It Comes at Night), three-time Oscar-nominated editor Jay Cassidy (American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, Into the Wild), and costume designer Erin Benach (Drive).  The film’s music supervisors are Julia Michels (Pitch Perfect) and Julianne Jordan (Edge of Tomorrow).

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with Live Nation Productions, in Association with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, A Jon Peters/Bill Gerber/Joint Effort Production, A Star is Born.  Slated for release beginning October 5, 2018, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

2018 Venice International Film Festival: ‘First Man’ announced as opening-night film

July 19, 2018

Universal Pictures’ First Man, directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) and starring Ryan Gosling,Jason Clarke and Claire Foy, has been announced as the opening film, in Competition, of the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8, 2018), directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. The announcement of the world premiere of the film comes on the eve of 49th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

Barbera declared: “It is a true privilege to present the world premiere of Damien Chazelle’s new, highly-awaited film. It is a very personal, original and compelling piece of work, wonderfully unexpected within the context of present day epic films, and a confirmation of the great talent of one of the most important contemporary directors of American cinema. Our gratitude goes to Universal Pictures for premiering First Manat the 75th Venice Film Festival.”

Chazelle declared: “I am humbled by Venice’s invitation and am thrilled to return. It feels especially poignant to share this news so close to the moon landing’s anniversary. I eagerly look forward to bringing the film to the festival.”

First Man will be shown in its world premiere screening on Wednesday August 29, in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia.

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight SagaThe Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle.  Steven Spielberg, Isaac Klausner, Adam Merims and Singer executive produce.  DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film.

2018 Venice Food & Wine Festival: talent lineup announced

April 17, 2018

Missy Robbins (Photo courtesy of Bravo)

The following is a press release from Marriott International:

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and FOOD & WINE are thrilled to announce the addition of notable talent for the inaugural Venice Food & Wine Festival in Venice, Italy, including award-winning singer and songwriter Emeli Sandé, who will headline the festival’s grand finale concert. Culinary legends, Michelin-starred Chef Missy Robbins, food artist, baker and owner of Flour Shop Amirah Kassem, and Chef and Food Stylist Camille Becerra, have also joined the impressive roster of celebrated and established epicureans.

Tickets are available to the highly-anticipated Venice Food & Wine Festival, which will take place at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa from May 3-6. Hosted by FOOD & WINE Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis, the festival will join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers, and epicurean insiders for a spectacular three-day weekend showcasing the finest Italian cuisines, wines, and spirits, with a focus on local Veneto traditions and the magnetism of the Venetian islands. Guests will have personal access to internationally-celebrated chefs and wine and spirits experts including:

  • Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Perbellini and chef Federico Belluco of JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa’s Michelin-starred Dopolavoro restaurant
  • James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and 2004 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef Scott Conant
  • Michelin-starred chef and owner of Lilia Missy Robbins
  • Food artist, baker and owner of Flour Shop Amirah Kassem
  • 2002 FOOD & WINE Best New Chef and James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Fabio Trabocchi
  • James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman
  • Chef and food stylist Camille Becerra
  • James Beard Award-winning chef Melissa Kelly
  • Award-winning Italian chef Caterina Ceraudo
  • Co-owner and beverage director of Spirited Award-winning 2017 Best American Cocktail Bar Columbia Room and 2016 FOOD & WINE Best New Mixologist JP Fetherston
  • Wine expert Anthony Giglio
  • FOOD & WINE’s Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle
  • FOOD & WINE’s Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis

With leading sponsors such as illy caffè, Barilla, San Pellegrino, Aromatherapy Associates and Electrolux, Venice Food & Wine will feature enriching gastronomic experiences including: ‘Mercado di Rialto,’ a market-themed lunch with live music and lawn games; ‘The Feed,’ a lunch experience inclusive of Instagram and photography tips; ‘Saluti After Dark,’ a daily after hours party with crafted cocktails accompanied by whimsical Flour Shop treats and live music at Rose Bar; ‘Bocce & Bubbles’ tournament and al fresco lunch at the Villa; ‘Michelin-Starred Masters’ dinner party; ‘Curds & Whey’ ricotta-making demonstration; ‘Grown in Veneto’ farm-to-fork dinner; ‘Summertime Risotto & Spritz’ demonstration; ‘The Invention of Italian Cocktails,’ mastering the art of making the perfect cocktail; and interactive culinary workshops led by notable culinary personalities at Sapori Cooking Academy.

“Venice Food & Wine’s newest talent additions will bring an exciting dynamic to our distinguished roster of culinary figures. We are thrilled to showcase the craft of these internationally-acclaimed personalities so all of the festival attendees can experience The JW Treatment,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. “Through JW Marriott’s exclusive partnership with FOOD & WINE, the festival will highlight modern Italian cuisine with the magical JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa as the backdrop.”

Tickets to the Venice Food & Wine Festival are available online and can be purchased by visiting www.jwvenicefoodandwine.com. JW Marriott would also like to thank additional sponsors including Agroittica, Domori, Ferrari, Steelite International, and Umana along with our many festival participants.

About JW Marriott

JW Marriott is part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio and consists of beautiful properties and distinctive resort locations around the world. These elegant hotels cater to sophisticated, self-assured travelers seeking The JW Treatment™ – the brand’s philosophy that true luxury is created by people who are passionate about what they do. JW hotels offer crafted experiences that bring to life the brand’s commitment to highly choreographed, anticipatory service and modern residential design, allowing guests to pursue their passions and leave even more fulfilled than when they arrived. Today there are nearly 80 JW Marriott hotels in over 25 countries and territories. JW Marriott is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. Visit JW Marriott online, and on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.


FOOD & WINE is the ultimate authority on the best of what’s new in food, drink, travel, design and entertaining. FOOD & WINE has an extensive social media following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Snapchat. FOOD & WINE includes a monthly magazine in print and digital; a website, foodandwine.com; a books division; plus newsletters, clubs, events, dinnerware, cookware and a restaurant partnership, Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE. At Food & Wine, we inspire and empower our wine and food obsessed community to eat, drink, entertain, and travel better—every day and everywhere.