The War Show by Andreas Dalsgaard & Obaidah Zytoon
The War Show by Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon

The Venice Days 2016, an autonomous and independent section of the Venice International Film Festival, will take place in Venice from August 31 to September 10, 2016.

Venice Days 2016 will be opened by an emotional video diary from the heart of Syria, The War Show, by Danish director Andreas Dalsgaard and Syrian filmmaker Obaidah Zytoon.

This year, twenty nationalities will be represented, with seven first works, seven female authors, three Italian films, and eleven titles competing for the Venice Days Award .

This selection is strongly characterized – observes General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti – by the female creativity that flows through most of the films we’ve seen and most of those that have been chosen. It reflects the way that for years now, we’ve placed the female world – also through our work with creative partner Miu Miu on the ‘Women’s Tales’ project – at the centre of our research. But it’s also a strong sign of the vitality and rejuvenation of the art of film, which, by no coincidence, is confirmed in the exceptional number and quality of first and second works we believe in”.

The jury will be presided over this year by Canadian writer, photographer and director Bruce La Bruce, who attended Venice Days back in 2013 with Gerontophilia.

The European films in the selection will compete for the Europa Cinemas Label, which is awarded by a jury of exhibitors, whilst an Audience Award will be awarded by audiences at the Festival.

Last but not least, the debut works screened at Venice Days will compete for the Luigi De Laurentiis award for Best Debut Film, which is awarded to a debut work chosen from those screened across all sections of the Festival.

Many of the most popular genres for telling stories through film will be represented in this year’s selection, albeit with a healthy dose of expressive originality, including documentary (The War Show), coming-of-age (Heartstone and Polina), melodrama (Indivisibili and Pamylia Ordinaryo), suspense thriller (Hounds of Love), western (Pariente), and road-movie (The Road to Mandalay) genres, without forgetting the family drama, reinterpreted through realist (La ragazza del mondo), grotesque (Quit Staring at My Plate), and biographical (Sami Blood) styles.

The series of special events is completed by Venice Days’ partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, which each year brings one of its American titles to Venice in its international premiere (this year Always Shine by Sophia Takal), the short films from the Women’s Tales series, this year by the authors Naomi Kawase and Crystal Moselle, and a surprise film that will be announced at a later date, along with the closing film of the 2016 edition.

Official Selection

The War Show
by Andreas Dalsgaard & Obaidah Zytoon
Obaidah and her friends go on a journey through Syria to take part in the country’s revolution. An experience that will change their lives forever as they witness Syria’s spiral decent into civil war. In a highly personal road movie, we see a patchwork of epic but real human stories.

La ragazza del mondo - Wordly Girl by Marco Danieli
La ragazza del mondo – Wordly Gir by Marco Danieli

La ragazza del mondo – Wordly Girl
by Marco Danieli
Giulia’s world is an ancient one, suspended in time and built on rigour and sacred texts, which fiercely excludes anyone who doesn’t belong to it. Libero’s world is that which is inhabited by everyone else: by those who make mistakes, those who make do as they seek other prospects, and those who love unconditionally. When Giulia meets Libero, she discovers there may be another destiny awaiting her, one she can choose for herself. Theirs is a pure and inevitable love story, as the two young people embark on an intense period in their lives together, a choice that leads to Giulia being completely cut off from the Jehovah’s Witness world she belongs to.

Indivisibili - Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis
Indivisibili – Indivisible by Edoardo De Angelis

Indivisibili – Indivisible
by Edoardo De Angelis
Two conjoined twins and singers manage to support their entire family on what they earn from their performances. All’s well until they discover they can be separated.

Pariente - Guilty Men by Ivan D. Gaona
Pariente – Guilty Men by Ivan D. Gaona

Pariente – Guilty Men
by Ivan D. Gaona
Willington’s only love, Mariana will get married in 8 days with René, Willington’s cousin. With no money for the wedding party, René decides to steal. A demobilization process of an ilegal armed group is taking place in the region, and new strange murders besides the rumor of a stealer, will risk Mariana’s new family. René’s life will depend on Willington.

Hjartasteinn - Heartstone by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
Hjartasteinn – Heartstone by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Hjartasteinn – Heartstone
by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson
A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, it’s time to leave the playground and face the acrimony of adulthood.

Ne gledaj mi u pijat - Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana Jušić
Ne gledaj mi u pijat – Quit Staring at My Plate by Hana Jušić

Ne gledaj mi u pijat – Quit Staring at My Plate
by Hana Jušić
Marijana’s life revolves around her family, whether she likes it or not. They live on top of one another in a tiny apartment, driving one another crazy. Then her controlling father has a stroke and is left completely bedridden, and Marijana takes his place as head of the clan. Soon, she is working two jobs to keep everything afloat, while her mother and disabled brother do their best to scupper the ship. Driven to the edge, Marijana finds comfort in seedy sex with random strangers; and this taste of freedom leaves her wanting more. But now that she has finally found freedom, what’s she meant to do with it?

Sameblod - Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell
Sameblod – Sami Blood by Amanda Kernell

Sameblod – Sami Blood
by Amanda Kernell
Elle Marja, 14, is a reindeer-breading Sami girl. Exposed to the racism of the 1930’s and race biology examinations at her boarding school she starts dreaming of another life. To achieve this other life she has to become someone else and break all ties with her family and culture.

Zai Jian Wa Cheng - The Road to Mandalay by Midi Z
Zai Jian Wa Cheng – The Road to Mandalay by Midi Z

Zai Jian Wa Cheng – The Road to Mandalay
by Midi Z
Lianqing and Guo meet when they illegally crossed into Thailand. Lianqing finds a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant while Guo works in a textile factory in the suburbs. But Guo’s faith in Lianqing is diminishing rapidly; their love is irreversibly doomed.

Polina, danser sa vie by Valérie Muller & Angelin Preljocaj
Polina, danser sa vie by Valérie Muller & Angelin Preljocaj

Polina, danser sa vie
by Valérie Muller & Angelin Preljocaj
Moscow, early 90s. Polina, aged 8, is a gifted ballerina. From a modest background she joins the prestigious school of Professor Bojinsky, who trains dancers for the Bolshoi. He immediately grasps her tremendous potential and makes her work so hard that at only 18 her dream finally comes true and she enters the prestigious Bolshoi. This is when she meets Adrien, a charming French dancer. He will help her to discover not only love but, more importantly, a new form of dance, more contemporary and expressive, a kind of dance that will change her life forever. From Moscow to Aix-En-Provence and Antwerp, from success to disillusion, we follow Polina’s incredible destiny.

Pamilya ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy Jr.
Pamilya ordinaryo by Eduardo Roy Jr.

Pamilya ordinaryo
by Eduardo Roy Jr.
Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets, until fate hits back at them.

Hounds of Love by Ben Young
Hounds of Love by Ben Young

Hounds of Love
by Ben Young
In the mid 1980′ s seventeen year old Vicki Malonie is randomly abducted from a suburban street by a disturbed couple. As she observes the dynamic between her captors she quickly realises she must drive a wedge between them if she is to survive.

Special Events

You Never Had It. An Evening with Bukowski
by Matteo Borgardt

Caffè – Coffee
by Cristiano Bortone

Il profumo del tempo delle favole
by Mauro Caputo

Vangelo
by Pippo Delbono

Rocco
by Thierry Demaiziere & Alban Teurlai

Always Shine
by Sophia Takal

Miu Miu Women’s Tales

Seed – Women’s Tales #11
by Naomi Kawase

That One Day – Women’s Tales #12
by Crystal Moselle

Lux Prize

Toni Erdmann
by Maren Ade
Without a warning a father comes to visit his daughter abroad. He believes that she lost her humor and therefore surprises her with a rampage of jokes.

Ma vie de Courgette – My Life as a Courgette
by Claude Barras
Revolving around a ten-year-old boy nicknamed Zucchini, who is taken to live in an orphanage following his mother’s death, the movie tells the story of how he will overcome the obstacles and fit into this new environment, surrounded by a small group of children who, just like him, have been scarred by life.

À peine j’ouvre les yeux – As I Open My Eyes
by Leyla Bouzid
Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn’t have the same idea. She sings in a political rock band, has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the wishes of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers all too well.

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