With the announcement of this year’s lineup, the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival has promised both major changes to itself along with its position as the first major festival to make a physical return following the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to that, perhaps one of the biggest points of contention around the fest, other than whether or not it should be going ahead at all, was its position on including the films of streaming services in its programme – catching flak for including works produced by Netflix. However, even despite its openness to the inclusion of such films, the ongoing crisis still imposes limits.
Speaking in an interview with Indiewire, Venice festival director Alberto Berra explained why “On The Rocks“, the highly anticipated next film from Sofia Coppola that sees the prolific director reunite with star Bill Murray, didn’t make the cut:
“It was in discussion until a few days ago. Finally, the distributors decided not to take the risk, to postpone the release date. [According to A24, the film has not officially been dated yet.] This was a title that we desperately wanted to have for Venice. We had an ongoing discussion for months about this film, but it’s over.”
Interestingly, a film by Coppola’s niece Gia Coppola, titled “Mainstream”, did make the lineup. When asked how it compares, Berra responded: “It’s a bigger film in terms of budget, it’s more ambitious, and has a bigger cast with Andrew Garfield in the main role. It’s less intimate and personal than the last one, but it’s a topic that is very contemporary. It’s the story of a social media influencer and the way he loses control of his profile. It’s very interesting.”
The Venice Film Festival will run from September 2 to 12 in 2020.