Must See: 6 Anticipated Venice Film Festival Entries Worth Adding To Your Watch List - Arts & Culture

The list includes the Philippines’ lone entry to the Italian film festival. 

Big names in the global movie industry converge annually at the Venice Film Festival. Next to the Cannes and Berlin, this Italian festival is regarded as one of the top tastemakers, setting the tone each year for the world of cinema. 

READ ALSO: Diana Mania: The Teaser Trailer Of Spencer Is Here

Given the pandemic struck last year, the 78th Festival also marks the steady return of cinema in Europe and the US.

As the world’s oldest and most prestigious film festival, the event features a shortlist of motion pictures that compete for the Golden Lion Award. This is the highest recognition given to a film at the Italian Festival.

Here are five of the most talked-about films premiering at the Festival, which runs until tomorrow, September 11. From a well-known actress’ directorial debut to a movie that reunites two Oscar winners for another screenwriting gig, these films can be added to your watch list before the year ends.  


Yet another film depiction about Princess Diana and Prince Charles 1996 divorce is hitting the big screen, and its release is nothing short of anticipated.

With Chilean director Pablo Larrain, the same man responsible for Jackie (2016), at the helm of this biopic, we can expect another emotional roller coaster ride. 

Spencer follows Diana (Kristen Stewart) over the course of three days while at the British royal family’s Sandringham House during Christmas in 1991. While on holiday at the estate, it’s when the princess decides to leave Prince Charles. 


This one’s for the sci-fi lovers. Dune is an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 20th-century novel about a son from a noble family who must protect an asset regarded as the galaxy’s most valuable element. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this year’s Dune will be the first of the two part franchise. 

Timothee Chalamet stars opposite Zendaya here along with Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac, and Dave Bautista. 

Becoming Led Zeppelin

The official documentary revolves around Led Zeppelin, the legendary British rock band best known for the song “Stairway to Heaven.” The two hour film traces the individual and collective journey of its four members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonhan, and John Paul Jones. 

Rare footage and interviews of the musicians through the sixties and seventies make up a big chunk of this film, which took years to make.

The Last Duel

Ridley Scott, the director of Blade Runner (1982), Gladiator (2000), and The Martian (2015), directs this period film. The story recounts France’s last sanctioned duel in the 14th-century. 

Matt Damon plays a knight whose wife (Jodie Comer) accuses his best friend (Adam Driver) of rape. However, when no one believes the wife’s accusation, her husband challenges his friend to a trial by combat. 

Oscar winners Damon and Ben Affleck reunite after 24 years as co-screenwriters for the historical drama. Their last screenwriting project together was for Good Will Hunting (1997), which bagged them an Academy Award.

The Lost Daughter

The film based on Elena Ferrante’s 2008 novel serves as actress Maggie Gyllenhall’s directorial debut.

In the drama, a British college professor named Leda (Olivia Coleman) is forced to confront her traumatic past when she meets a woman and her daughter while on vacation in Italy. 

In an interview with ScreenDaily, Maggie Gyllenhall shared that she was “afraid” before venturing out to produce, write, and direct the film.

However, when asking Ferrante’s permission to make a film adaptation, the 48-year-old said that the author told her, “I will give you the rights to adapt it. But all of this will be null and void unless you direct it.”

Gyllenhall continued saying that Ferrante’s vote of confidence was what she needed at the time to push through with the large task of directing a Hollywood film.

On The Job: The Missing 8

The Philippines’ lone entry for the Italian film festival is Erik Matti’s On the Job: The Missing 8. The sequel of the 2003 action “On the Job” casts local thespians Christopher De Leon, Lotlot De Leon, Dante Rivero, and Agot Isidro.

In an Instagram post, Matti shared the tedious process of completing the film, which combines historical footage, shot scenes, and motion graphics.

He says in the post’s caption shared last June, “[we] started this mix since December. Seven months of completing all the sound and [visual effects for a] three hour 28 minute cut of film.

This is the last day, but we still have a final viewing of the locked picture and sound this coming Monday. Hopefully, that’ll be the last viewing before we are ready for the world.”

Banner photo from @labiennale on Instagram.

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