VENICE-The Venice Film Festival has unveiled its lineup amid the ongoing Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers strike. Among the films premiering at the 2023 Biennale are new offerings from Bradley Cooper, Sofia Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Michael Mann and Ava DuVernay. Opening the festival on August 30 is “Comandante,” an Italian period drama from director Edoardo De Angelis starring Pierfrancesco Favino, who starred in “The Traitor.” “Society of the Snow” from J.A. Bayona will close the festival on September 9. Cooper’s second directorial effort, “Maestro,” will play, although it is unclear if Cooper will attend. Ava DuVernay will compete with her new feature, “Origin.” “Poor Things,” starring Emma Stone as a woman brought back to life by a 19th-century scientist, is set to compete.
“La La Land” director Damien Chazelle will head up this year’s international jury, with directors Jane Campion, Martin McDonagh, and Laura Poitras also judging. While the movie lineup is filled with A-list actors and big-name directors, it remains unclear which talent will be allowed to actually attend the festival amid the strike. Festival director Alberto Barbera said in his opening speech if the strike is still ongoing there will likely be premieres without the film’s cast on the red carpet. In the meantime, producers can apply for SAG-AFTRA waivers so the stars of their films can attend and not break strike rules. He added the independent and foreign films are unlikely to be impacted by the strike and will be able to have their talent participate. Barbera promised overall the red carpet “will not be empty” of talent.