Egyptian director Mohamed Diab’s ‘Amira’ to premier at Venice Int’l Film Festival

Ahram Online , AP , Monday 26 Jul 2021

The Venice International Film Festival unveiled a starry lineup of world premieres for September


Egyptian director Mohamed Diab will celebrate the world premiere of his new film ‘Amira’ at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in September, competing within the Orizzonti section.

Written by the trio Mohamed, Khaled, and Shereen Diab, ‘Amira’s’ cast includes Saba Mubarak and Tara Abboud from Jordan alongside Palestinian Ali Suliman, Kais Nashif, and Waleed Zuaiter. The film is co-produced by Film Clinic of Mohamed Hefzy alongside other Arab production companies.

The Venice lineup of world premieres also includes Pablo Larrain's ‘Spencer’, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, and Ridley Scott's medieval drama ‘The Last Duel’, featuring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Adam Driver.

The oldest film festival in the world is kicking off its 78th edition on 1 September in the Lido with the premiere of Pedro Almodovar's ‘Madres Paralelas’, starring Penelope Cruz. ‘Spencer’ and ‘Madres Paralelas’ are among 21 features premiering as part of the official competition, which has often helped guide eventual Oscar best picture nominees and even winners.

Other films competing for the Golden Lion include Ana Lily Amirpour's fantasy ‘Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon’, with Kate Hudson and Craig Robinson; Maggie Gyllenhaal's adaptation of Elena Ferrante's ‘The Lost Daughter’, starring Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson; Paul Schrader's crime drama ‘The Card Counter’, with Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, and Paolo Sorrentino's ‘The Hand of God’.

Edgar Wright's stylish psychological thriller ‘Last Night in Soho’, with Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy, will also have its premiere in Venice out of competition before heading to the Toronto Film Festival.

Jane Campion's ‘The Power of the Dog’, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst, and Jesse Plemons; Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of ‘Dune’, starring Timothee Chalamet; and ‘Halloween Kills’ were all previously announced as part of the slate. Campion's film, about brothers in 1920s Montana, is another competition title, and one of two Netflix films debuting at the festival.

Last year, Chloe Zhao's ‘Nomadland’ premiered at the scaled-down but still in-person festival and was awarded the Golden Lion. This year, Zhao will help decide who gets that prize as a member of the main jury led by fellow Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho, who directed ‘Parasite’.

On the heels of the Cannes Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival is expected to mostly return to its full glamour in September. The festival will run through 11 September.

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