Venice Film Fest 2017: Complete Lineup

Darren Aronofsky’s horror thriller “mother!” and new films by George Clooney and Guillermo de Toro will world premiere at the 74th Venice Film Fest. There are also titles from France’s Abdellatif Kechiche and Spain’s Fernando León de Aranoa. Aronofsky’s “mother!”, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, had not been expected  to go the festival route “because Paramount was initially afraid of spoilers,” Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera revealed. The horror film is scheduled for release in the U.S. on Sept. 15.

Paramount Trio

Paramount is the only studio that has three films in the festival.

Clooney’s “Suburbicon,” a black comedy starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, and Oscar Isaac, will launch in Venice. The film is one of three Paramount titles destined for competition in Venice, along with “mother!” and festival opener “Downsizing” by Payne.  All three movies will also screen in Toronto.

Fox Searchlight

will also launch two award hopefuls from the Lido, where they are in the main competition: Del Toro’s Cold War-era fantasy “The Shape of Water” and dark thriller “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” directed by Martin McDonaugh (“In Bruges”), which stars Frances McDormand as a feisty middle-aged mother who challenges a small-town police chief, played by Woody Harrelson, after her daughter is murdered and no killer has been found.


Universal will bow “Victoria and Abdul,” a period piece by director Stephen Frears about the real-life friendship between a young Indian Muslim clerk and Queen Victoria, played by Judi Dench. Frears and Dench also collaborated on Oscar-nominated “Philomena,” which launched from Venice in 2013. “Victoria and Abdul” is out-of-competition.

Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete

Another British entry in competition is Andrew Haigh’s Oregon-set “Lean on Pete,” which stars Charlie Plummer (“Granite Flats”) as a teenager who takes a summer job with a washed-up horse trainer, played by Steve Buscemi, and befriends a failing racehorse. New York-based distributor A24 (“Moonlight”) will release “Lean on Pete” in North America.


Amazon Studios will launch competition entry “Human Flow,” Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s take on the global refugee crisis. The movie was filmed in 23 countries over the course of more than a year.

Paul Schrader’s Comeback?

U.S. writer-director Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” starring Ethan Hawke,  is also competing for a Golden Lion. Hawke plays an ex-military chaplain grieving over the death of his son. He becomes entangled with a member of his church (Amanda Seyfried) whose husband commits suicide, and delves into the church’s suspicious affairs.

While the Cannes Film Fest in May did not have any studio pics, this year’s Venice lineup bolsters the Lido’s growing reputation as an awards-season launching pad. “I’m very satisfied,” said Barbera after announcing the lineup. “I have to say that I am 97 percent satisfied in the sense that there are only maybe two or three films that we wanted to have for the festival, and we couldn’t because they will go to other festivals.”

Venice and Telluride

The two major festivals are likely to be sharing as many as 8 titles this year, which is unprecedented. Most, if not all of these, will screen in Venice first.

Entries from Europe include “Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno” (in competition), Kechiche’s follow-up to “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which won the 2013 Palme d’Or, and de Aranoa’s “Loving Pablo,” in which Javier Bardem plays drug lord Pablo Escobar (out-of-competition).

Italian Films

Italian titles competing comprise Paolo Virzi’s English-language dramedy “The Leisure Seeker,” starring Mirren and Sutherland as a runaway couple on a cross-country journey.

Andrea Pallaoro’s “Hannah,” is starring Charlotte Rampling as a woman struggling with her identity after her husband is imprisoned.

Both have major international stars.


Netflix will be in Venice with its first Italian original show “Suburra,” about mobsters and politicians in present day Rome.

The streaming giant will also screen its Errol Morris series “Wormwood,” which is not a world premiere.

Netflix will also bow original film “Our Souls at Night,” starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, who will both receive honorary Golden Lions.

Michael Jackson will have a dedicated special event featuring a reworked 3D version of the “Thriller” music video shot by John Landis, who has overseen the 3D redux, followed by backstage docu “Making of Micheal Jackson’s Thriller,” by Jerry Kramer. Both are financed by the Michael Jackson estate to celebrate the album’s 35th anniversary.

Virtual Reality Competition

Landis will preside over the jury of Venice’s new competitive section dedicated to films made for virtual-reality viewing, which will feature 22 entries and is touted as the first ever competition for V/R works at a major fest.

They include “La Camera Insabbiata” co-directed by Laurie Anderson and Huang Hsin-Chien and “The Deserted” by Taiwan-based auteur Tsai Ming-Liang.

The festival will run August 30-September 9.


“Human Flow,” Ai Weiwei (Germany, U.S.) “mother!” Darren Aronofsky (U.S.)

“Suburbicon,” George Clooney (U.S.)

“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro (U.S.)

“L’Insulte,” Ziad Doueiri (France, Lebanon)

“La Villa,” Robert Guediguian (France)

“Lean on Pete,” Andrew Haigh (U.K.)

“Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno,” Abdellatif Kechiche (France)

“The Third Murder,” Koreada Hirkazu (Japan)

“Jusqu’a La Garde,” Xavier Legrand (France)

“Amore e Malavita,” Manetto Bros. (Italy)

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (U.K.)

“Hannah,” Andrea Pallaoro (Italy, Belgium, France)

“Downsizing,” Alexander Payne (U.S.)

“Angels Wear White,” Vivian Qu (China, France)

“Una Famiglia,” Sebastiano Risio (Italy)

“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader (U.S.)

“Sweet Country,” Warwick Thornton (Australia)

“The Leisure Seeker,” Paolo Virzì (Italy)

“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library, Frederick Wiseman (U.S.)


“Casa D’Altri,” Gianni Amelio (Italy)

“Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D,” John Landis (U.S)

“Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller,” Jerry Kramer (U.S.)


“Our Souls at Night,” Ritesh Batra (U.S.)

“Il Signor Rotopeter,” Antonietta De Lillo (Italy)

“Victoria and Abdul,” Stephen Frears (U.K.)

“La Melodie,” Rachid Hami (France)

“Outrage Coda,” Kitano Takes (Japan)

“Loving Pablo,” Fernando Leon De Aranoa (Spain)

“Zama,” Lucrecia Martel (Argentina, Brazil)

“Wormwood,” Errol Morris (U.S.)

“Diva!”, Francesco Patierno (Italy)

“La Fidele,” Michael R. Roskam (Belgium, France, Netherlands)

“The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” James Toback (U.S.)

“Brawl in Cell Block 99,” S. Craig Zahler (U.S.)


“Cuba And The Cameraman,” Jon Albert (U.S.)

“My Generation,” David Batty (U.K)

“The Devil and Father Amorth,” William Friedkin (U.S.)

“This Is Congo,” Daniel McCabe (Congo)

“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” Stephen Nomura Schible (U.S., Japan)

“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman, and Tony Clifton,” Chris Smith (U.S.)

“Happy Winter,” Giovanni Totaro (Italy)