Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in LA LA LAND. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.
Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and Mia (Emma Stone) in LA LA LAND. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.

La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J. K. Simmons, is the opening film, in Competition, of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival taking place August 31 – September 10, 2016.

Damien Chazelle says “On behalf of the cast and crew of La La Land, I am both thrilled and honored by the festival’s invitation. It is deeply humbling for us to join the company of their previous opening night films, and we could not be more excited to share our movie with the audience in Venice”.

La La Land will have its world premiere screening on August 31st in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia.

La La Land is a modern take on the classic Hollywood romance, which is heightened by spectacular song-and-dance numbers, as two dreamers struggle to make ends meet while they pursue their passions in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail piano gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

La La Land is produced by Lionsgate in partnership with Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures, and Marc Platt Productions. The film stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J. K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko, and John Legend. La La Land will be distributed in the USA by Lionsgate on December 16th 2016.

Filmmaker Damien Chazelle most recently wrote and directed the Oscar® winning Whiplash. Released in 2014 by Sony Pictures Classics, Whiplash received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle, and three wins, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. His 2013 short, based on the Whiplash screenplay, won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance, and the following year the feature film took home both the Jury and Audience Awards from the festival.

Chazelle made his first feature film, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, as an undergraduate at Harvard University. The film was named one of the Best Films of the Year by LA Weekly, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Time Out New York, Film Comment, and The Boston Phoenix.

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