Ad Astra, Joker, The King Debuting At 2019 Venice Film Festival

As always, the announcement of the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival slate took a bite out of Venice’s thunder.  That festival’s designation of “World,” “Canadian,” “International” and “North American” premieres makes it somewhat easy to figure out what films are debuting at the competing Venice and Telluride Film Festivals.  That being said, the 2019 Venice International Film Festival had some surprises up its sleeve.

READ MORE: Nine Things We Learned From TIFF’s 2019 Slate: ‘Judy,’ ‘Marriage Story,’ Hustlers’ & More

The expected debuts in competition were James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundrymart,” Todd Phillips’ “Joker” and Atom Egoyan’s “Guest of Honour.” New titles included Oliver Assayas’ “Wasp Network” with Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramierez, Cico Guerra’s “Waiting for the Barbarians” with Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp and Robert Pattinson, Pablo Larrain’s “Ema” with Gael Garcia Bernal, Lou Ye’s “Lan Xin Da Ju Yuan (Saturday Fiction)” starring Gong Li, Roman Polanski’s “J’Accuse” with Jean Dujardin and Emanuelle Singer, Shannon Murphy’s “Babyteeth” and Yonfan‘s animated “Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao (No. 7 Cherry Lane).”

READ MORE: TIFF 2019 Line-up: New Films By Rian Johnson, Steven Soderbergh, Safdie Brothers, Noah Baumbach & ‘The Joker’ Lands A North American Premiere

Titles that were expected to be part of Venice’s announcement and were not include but are not limited to Fernando Meirelles, “The Two Popes,” James Mangold’s “Ford v. Ferrari” and, potentially, Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women.” . The Playlist can confirm that both “The Two Popes,” “Ford v. Ferrari” and Rupert Goold’s “Judy” were all mistakingly tagged as “Canadian” premieres, which would indicate Venice when they should have been noted as “International” premieres. That likely means they will debut at Telluride.

Out of competition films include Benedict Andrews’ “Seberg” (formerly known as “Against all Enemies,” a much better title ) with Anthony Mackie and Kristen Stewart, Tim Robbins’ “45 Seconds of Laughter,” David Michod’s “The King” with Timothee Chalamet and Joel Edgerton as well as Matthew Michael Carnahan’s “Mosul,” among others.

The festival previously announced it would open with  and close with Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “The Truth” and close with Giuseppe Capotondi’s “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”  

Recent Best Picture winners and contenders that have gotten their start at Venice including “The Shape of Water,” “Roma,” “Spotlight,” “Birdman,” “The Favourite,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “La La Land” and “Arrival.” 

The inclusion of Polanski, three Netflix films and just two women directors in competition (Haifaa Al-Mansour, Shannon Murphy) is already generating some controversy from those on either side of the Atlantic.

The list of films screening at Venice this year are as follows:


The Truth – Hirokazu Kore-eda (France, Japan)
The Perfect Candidate – Haifaa Al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia, Germany)
Om Det Oandliga (About Endlessness) – Roy Andersson (Sweden, Germany, Norway)
Wasp Network – Olivier Assayas (France, Belgium)
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach (USA)
Guest of Honour – Atom Egoyan (Canada)
Ad Astra – James Gray (USA)
A Herdade – Tiago Guedes (Portugal, France)
Gloria Mundi – Robert Guediguian (France, Italy)
Waiting for the Barbarians – Ciro Guerra (Italy)
Ema – Pablo Larrain (Chile)
Lan Xin Da Ju Yuan (Saturday Fiction) – Lou Ye (China)
Martin Eden – Pietro Marcello (Italy)
La Mafia Non E Pieu Quella Di Una Volta – Franco Maresco (Italy)
The Painted Bird – Vaclav Marhoul (Czech Republic, Ukraine, Slovak Republic)
Il Sindaco Del Rion Sanita – Mario Martone (Italy)
Babyteeth – Shannon Murphy (Australia)
Joker – Todd Phillips (USA)
J’Accuse – Roman Polanski (France, Italy)
The Laundrymat – Steven Soderbergh (USA)
Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao (No. 7 Cherry Lane) – Yonfan (Hong Kong)

Out of Competition – Narrative

Seberg – Benedict Andrews (USA)
Mosul – Matthew Michael Carnahan (USA)
Adults in the Room – Costas-Gravas (France, Greece)
The King – David Michod (UK, Hungary)
Vivere (To Live) – Francesca Archibugi (Italy)
The Burt Orange Hersey – Giuseppe Captonidi (UK, Italy)
Tutto Il Mio Folle Amore – Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)

Out of Competition – Documentary

Woman – Yann Arthus-Betrand, Anastasia Mikova (France)
45 Seconds of Laughter – Tim Robbins (USA)
Roger Waters Us + Them – Sean Evans, Roger Waters (UK)
I Diari Di Angela-Noi Due Cineasti. Capitolo Secondo – Yervant Gianikian (Italy)
Citizen K – Alex Gibny
Citizen Rosi – Didi Gnocchi, Carolina Rosi (Italy)
The Kingmaker – Lauren Greenfeld (USA)
State Funeral – Segi Lonznitsa (Netherlands, Lithuania)
Colective (Collective) – Alexander Nanau (Romania, Luxemberg)
Il Pianetra In Mare – Andrea Segre (Italy)


Zumiriki – Oskar Alegra (Spain)
Bik Eneich (Un Fils) – Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France, Lebnanon, Qatar)
Blanco un Blanco – Theo Court (Spain, Chile, France)
Mes Jours De Gloire – Antoine De Bary (France)
Nevia – Nunzia De Stefano (Italy)
Pelikanblut – Katrin Gebbe (Germany, Bulgaria)
Moffie – Oliver Hermanus (South Africa)
Rialto – Peter Mackie Burns (Ireland)
Borotmokmedi (The Criminal Man) – Dmitry Mamuliya (Georgia, Russia)
Revenier – Jessica Palud (France)
Giants Being Lonely – Grear Patterson (USA)
Verdict – Ribay Gutierrez (Philippines)
Qiqiu (Balloon) – Pema Tseden (China)
Metri Shesho Nim (Just 6.5) – Saeed Roustaee (Iran)
Chola (Shadow of Water) – Sasidharan Sanal Kumar (India)
Hava, Maryam, Ayesha – Sahraa Karimi (Afghanistan)
Sole – Carlo Sironi (Italy, Poland)

Special Screenings

No One Left Behind – Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico)
Electric Swan – Konstantina Kotzamani (France, Greece, Argentina)
Irreversible – Inversion Integrale – Gaspar Noe (France)
ZeroZeroZero – Stefano Sollima (Italy)
The New Pope (season 2) – Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, France, Spain)
Never Just A Dream: Stanley Kubrick and Eyes Wide Shut – Matt Wells (UK)
Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick (USA, UK)

The 76th Venice International Film Festival runs from Aug. 28-Sept. 7.