80th Venice International Film Festival and the 50th Annual Telluride Film Festival attendees

The 80th Venice International Film Festival: A Glimpse into the World of Cinema

The Venice International Film Festival, known as the oldest film festival globally, celebrated its 80th edition with grandeur and style. This prestigious event, which opened on August 30th, featured a captivating lineup of films that would leave cinephiles and industry professionals eagerly anticipating the results. In this article, we will delve into the Venice International Film Festival, its significance, the selected movies, and even a peek at some star-studded moments on the red carpet.

A Historic Event: The Venice International Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival is a cinematic extravaganza that holds a unique place in the world of film. It is not only the oldest film festival but also an event that traditionally marks the start of the awards season. This year, the festival commenced with the premiere of the Italian World War Two film “Comandante,” directed by Edoardo De Angelis. It was a momentous beginning for the 80th edition of this iconic festival.

Running until September 9th, the festival promises to captivate audiences with a diverse range of films from all over the world. From thought-provoking dramas to compelling documentaries and avant-garde cinema, the Venice International Film Festival is a melting pot of cinematic excellence.

The Venice Lido: A Picturesque Venue

The festival takes place on the Venice Lido, often referred to as the “beach of Venice.” This thin barrier island, nestled in the Venetian Lagoon, offers a stunning backdrop for the festival’s activities. Accessible by a short boat trip from the main city of Venice, the Venice Lido provides a unique and picturesque setting for this prestigious event.

One notable distinction is that, unlike Venice itself, cars have access to the Lido. This makes it a convenient and accessible location for both attendees and the media covering the festival.

A Launchpad for Oscar Contenders

One of the reasons the Venice International Film Festival garners so much attention is its reputation for launching films that later become favorites during the awards season, including the coveted Oscars. In fact, in the past 11 years, eight best director awards at the Oscars were granted to films that made their debut at Venice.

Movie stars and directors alike relish the opportunity to present their work at this festival. However, this year, the glitz and glamour may be somewhat subdued due to a Hollywood actors’ strike, preventing some stars from actively promoting their films.

The Festival Lineup: A Glimpse into the World of Cinema

The heart of any film festival lies in its selection of movies. The Venice International Film Festival boasts several categories within its official selection, with the most prestigious being those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award. Let’s take a look at this year’s contenders, listed in the order of their screenings:

  1. “Comandante,” Director: Edoardo De Angelis
  2. “El Conde,” Director: Pablo Larrain
  3. “Dogman,” Director: Luc Besson
  4. “Ferrari,” Director: Michael Mann
  5. “The Promised Land,” Director: Nikolaj Arcel
  6. “Poor Things,” Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
  7. “Finally Dawn,” Director: Saverio Costanzo
  8. “Maestro,” Director: Bradley Cooper
  9. “Adagio,” Director: Stefano Sollima
  10. “Die Theorie Von Allem,” Director: Timm Kroger
  11. “The Killer,” Director: David Fincher
  12. “The Beast,” Director: Bertrand Bonello
  13. “Evil Does Not Exist,” Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  14. “Priscilla,” Director: Sofia Coppola
  15. “Green Border,” Director: Agnieszka Holland
  16. “Enea,” Director: Pietro Castellitto
  17. “Origin,” Director: Ava DuVernay
  18. “Me Captain,” Director: Matteo Garrone
  19. “Lubo,” Director: Giorgio Diritti
  20. “Holly,” Director: Fien Troch
  21. “Woman Of,” Director: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
  22. “Memory,” Director: Michel Franco
  23. “Hors-Saison,” Director: Stephane Brize

This eclectic selection promises to offer a diverse range of cinematic experiences, from thrilling dramas to thought-provoking documentaries and everything in between.

Out of Competition Gems

In addition to the competitive lineup, the Venice International Film Festival also reserves space for films shown out of competition. These movies often bring a unique flavor to the festival, providing attendees with a broader cinematic experience. Here are some of the noteworthy out-of-competition films featured this year:

  • “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” by U.S. director William Friedkin.
  • Woody Allen’s first French-language picture, “Coup de Chance.”
  • “The Palace,” directed by Roman Polanski.
  • “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” a short feature by Wes Anderson.
  • “Aggro Drift,” directed by Harmony Korine and starring rapper Travis Scott.

These films showcase the festival’s commitment to presenting a wide array of cinematic styles and genres, making it a truly inclusive celebration of cinema.

Star-Studded Moments on the Red Carpet

While the Venice International Film Festival is a platform for celebrating cinema, it is also a stage where celebrities shine brightly. This year was no exception, as Hollywood actresses Camila Mendes and Lili Reinhart graced the red carpet, adding an extra dose of glamour to the event.

The “Riverdale” co-stars, who arrived together, made a stunning entrance at the festival. Mendes donned a strapless, mermaid-style gown adorned with iridescent sequins, while Reinhart wore a plunging black gown with lettuce-style ruffles on the bust. Both actresses exuded confidence and style as they walked hand-in-hand, delighting fans and photographers alike.

Later in the evening, Mendes, accompanied by her boyfriend, Rudy Mancuso, headed to the famous celebrity hotspot, Harry’s Bar, in Venice. The couple, who made their relationship Instagram official in November 2022, turned heads with their elegant and coordinated looks.

Mancuso looked dapper in a classic white button-down shirt paired with an open blazer and black trousers. The couple’s romantic boat ride to the venue added a touch of cinematic charm to their evening.

Dakota Johnson’s Moment at Telluride Film Festival

In a parallel cinematic universe, another star was making waves at the 50th Annual Telluride Film Festival in Colorado. Dakota Johnson, known for her roles in films like “Suspiria,” graced the event with her presence.

Attending the festival, Johnson showcased her boho chic style in a cream crochet dress that highlighted her toned figure. She was there to participate in a screening of her upcoming movie, “Daddio,” and also addressed the eager crowd.

“Daddio,” directed by Christy Hall, is a drama that explores honest and heartfelt conversations between a woman and a cab driver during a ride from JFK Airport. Johnson’s character, according to Hall, beautifully balances sensuality with innocence and curiosity.

While “Daddio” premiered during Telluride, its wide release date is yet to be announced, leaving audiences eagerly awaiting this promising film.


The 80th Venice International Film Festival and the 50th Annual Telluride Film Festival have showcased the magic of cinema in all its glory. From the historic setting of the Venice Lido to the red carpet moments with Hollywood stars, these festivals continue to celebrate the art of storytelling through film. As the film industry evolves, these festivals remain steadfast, offering a platform for diverse voices and captivating stories to be heard and appreciated by audiences around the world. Whether it’s launching potential Oscar contenders or introducing audiences to thought-provoking dramas, these festivals are a testament to the enduring power of cinema.

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer

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