The 80th Venice International Film Festival is coming to an end. On Saturday evening, the Golden Lion and other festival awards will be presented. For the first time in history, two films directed or co-directed by Polish women were included in one edition of the Main Competition: Agnieszka Holland’s “Green Border” and Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert’s “Woman from…”.
The 80th jubilee edition of the International Film Festival – the oldest event of this type in the world – goes down in history. The Italian cinema festival is one of the so-called Big Five, next to the Sundance festival, Berlinale, Cannes Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
This year’s Main Competition included 23 films, which were evaluated by the jury chaired by the American filmmaker Damien Chazelle. Together with him, the competition titles were looked at by: the respected Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri, the legendary New Zealand filmmaker Jane Campion, one of the most interesting French directors and actresses Mia Hansen-Love, the outstanding British-Irish playwright, director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh, one of the most interesting Argentinian directors and writers Santiago Miter, Italian filmmaker Gabriele Mainetti, Hong Kong-Taiwanese actress and model Shu Qi, and legendary American documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, whose “All That Beauty and Blood” received a Golden Award last year Lion as the second documentary in history (the first was “Roman Halo” directed by Gianfranco Rosi in 2013).
Venice 2023. Strong Polish representation
For the first time in the history of the Venice Main Competition, two films directed or co-directed by Polish women took part in the same race for the Golden Lion: “Green Border” Agnieszka Holland and “Woman with…” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. Both films were very well received by international film critics.
Although this is not Holland’s first film in the Venice competition, she has never won an award before. She had her first chance for the Golden Lion in 1992 with the French production “Olivier, Olivier”. Ten years later, she returned to Lido with the famous drama “Julia Comes Home”.
“Woman with…” by the director duo Szumowska/Englert is their second film together, which was included in the Main Competition of the Venice festival. Three years ago, they fought for the Golden Lion with the tragicomedy “There Will Never Be Snow Again”.
These are not the only Polish accents in the official selection of the 80th Venice International Film Festival. The Out of Competition section includes the 90-year-old’s latest film Roman Polanski “The Palace”. In addition, in the Horizons section, the film “Domakinstvo za pocetnici” by the Australian-Macedonian director Goran Stolevski, co-produced by Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska and Beata Rzeźniczek (Madants), competes for awards.
Venice 2023. Non-obvious debutants, non-obvious debutants
“Priscilla” by Sofia Coppola is this year’s only competition title by a director whose earlier film was already awarded the Golden Lion (her “Somewhere. Between Places” won in 2010).
What’s more, most of the directors make their debut in the Venice Main Competition, although they are highly valued filmmakers. Stefano Sollima, Bertrand Bonello, Edoardo De Angelis, Luc Besson, Pietro Castellitto, Michael Mann, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Fien Troch, Matteo Garrone, David Fincher, Giorgio Diritti, Bradley Cooper, Ava DuVernay, Nikolaj Arcel and Tim Kröger – they make up this large group.
Main photo source: Giorgio Zucchiatti/La Biennale di Venezia/ASAC