ROME -- The Venice Film Festival's independently run Venice Days, modeled on Cannes Directors' Fortnight, has unveiled its lineup of 12 pics unspooling in the official selection which marks a departure from its customary Eurocrentric bent, and sees the U.S. playing prominently thanks in part to a pact with Tribeca.
Venice Days and Tribeca have launched a "cultural exchange" initiative under which Venice Days as a special event will screen a U.S. title chosen by Tribeca - this year Josh and Benny Safdie's docu "Lenny Cooke" - while Tribeca will be showcasing a European pic selected by Venice Days.
These include the world preem of U.S. multi-hyphenate Sean Gullette's "Traitors," (pictured) set amid the punk-rock scene in Tangiers where Gullette, who is an actor, scribe, producer, and longtime Darren Aronofsky collaborator, is based. Also from the U.S. is the international launch of Sundance pic "Kill Your Darlings" by John Krokidas, starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg. Palestinian-American helmer Cherien Dabis (Amreeka) is launching her "May in the Summer," also at Sundance, internationally from the Lido.
Canadian bad boy Bruce LaBruce is bowing his "Gerontophilia,"about an 18-year old male and his close rapport with an 82-year-old man.
Bowing in Venice Days from Israel is Gaza-set political thriller "Bethlehem," by Yuval Adler; Turkish female empowerment drama "Nobody's Home," by Deniz Akcay; buzzed-about Hong Kong-set vampire pic "Rigor Mortis"; and Indian social drama "Siddharth," by Richie Mehta, among other entries.
The reduced Italian presence in Days this year comprises Daniele Gaglianone's docudrama "La Mia Classe," about immigrant students in a Rome school.
Entries from Europe at large include Bulgarian adoption noir "Alienation," by first-timer Milko Lazarov, starring Greek actor Christos Stergioglou (Dogtooth); and Gallic first-timer Jean Denizot's "La Belle Vie," about a father living with his kids whom he kidnapped after losing custody.
From Latin America, "La Reconstruccion," the latest from Argentine helmer Juan Taratuto (A Boyfriend For My Wife) is launching internationally from the Lido section.
At the Rome presser, Venice Days artistic topper Giorgio Gosetti noted that this year's tenth edition is marked both by pics from more countries and also less coin in his budget, which forced him to do away with the Venice Nights section dedicated to Italian docus.
Collaboration between Venice Days and Prada label Miu Miu continues on a micro sidebar titled Women's Tales which this year will feature shorts by Palestinian thesp/helmer Hiam Abbas and U.S. helmer Ava DuVernay.
Venice Days will also screen the three finalists for the European Parliament's Lux prize, which finances subtitles in 23 European languages and EU-wide distribution. They are: Italian thesp-turned helmer Valeria Golino's "Miele," Belgian auteur Felix Van Groeningen's "The Broken Circle Breakdown," and British helmer Clio Barnard's "The Selfish Giant."
Venice fest runs Aug. 28 to Sept. 7. The official selection lineup will be announced July 25.
VENICE DAYS LINEUP
"Alienation," Milko Lazarov (Bulgaria)
"La Belle Vie," Jean Denizot (France)
"Bethlehem," Yuval Adler (Israel)
"Gerontophilia," Bruce LaBruce (Canada)
"Traitors," Sean Gullette (Morocco/U.S.)