Venice Film Festival 2017 lineup includes Thornton’s ‘Sweet Country’, Clooney, del Toro, Aronofsky

Sweet Country

You know it’s a big year at the Venice International Film Festival when films by Kitano Takeshi, Errol Morris, and Abel Ferrara are playing out of competition.

Headlining the 74th Venice Film Festival are world premieres of Darren Aronofsky’s horror thriller Mother! and new films by George Clooney (Suburbicon) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water). Australia’s Warwick Thorton, also returns with the premiere of Sweet Country. It will have its Australian debut at the Adelaide Film Festival in October.

Australia is well represented in the selection, with Jason Raftopoulos’ Melbourne-shot West of Sunshine (formerly known as Father’s Day) making its international debut in the Orizzonti section. Alena Lodkina’s Strange Colours is the first Australian film to screen at the festival as part of the 2016/2017 Biennale College – Cinema selection. Additionally, Australian short film The Knife Salesman, from Golden Moss Films, has is one of only 12 short films competing for the Orizzonti Short Film Prize. 

Other highlights that are competing for the Golden Lion, from a jury led by Annette Bening, are Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, which will open the festival in competition, and the always impeccable Koreeda Hirokazu’s The Third Murder.

Out of Competition, it is notable that Netflix will feature Our Souls at Night, Errol Morris’ Wormwood, and their first Italian production with a series based on Suburra. This is not a new relationship for Venice, but it is certainly a statement following the controversy at Cannes this year over Okja. By contrast, Amazon Studios has Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow in competition.

Kitano Takeshi’s latest yakuza film Outrage Coda will close the festival. A complete list of films in and out of competition, including documentaries and special events, can be found below.


Human Flow, Ai Weiwei

Mother!, Darren Aronofsky

Suburbicon, George Clooney

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro

L’insulte, ZIad Doueiri

La Villa, Robert Guediguian

Lean on Pete, Andrew Haigh

Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno, Abdellatif Kechiche

The Third Murder, Koreeda Hirokazu

Jusqu’a la Garde, Xavier Legrand

Ammore e Malavita, Manetti Brothers

Foxtrot, Samuel Maoz

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Hannah, Andrea Pallaoro

Downsizing, Alexander Payne

Angels Wear White, Vivian Qu

Una Famiglia, Sebastiano Riso

First Reformed, Paul Schrader

Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton

The Leisure Seeker, Paolo Virzi

Ex Libris – The New York Public Library, Frederick Wiseman


Our Souls at Night, Ritesh Batra

Il Signor Rotpeter, Antonietta de Lillo

Victoria & Abdul, Stephen Frears

La Melodie, Rachid Hami

Outrage Coda, Kitano Takeshi

Loving Pablo, Fernando Leon de Aranoa

Zama, Lucrecia Martel

Wormwood, Errol Morris 

Diva!, Franceso Patierno

Le FIdele, Michael R. Roskam

Diva!, Franceso Patierno

Il Colore Nascosto Delle Cose, Silvio Soldini

The Private Life of a Modern Woman, James Toback

Brawl in Cell Block 99, S. Craig Zahler


Cuba and the Cameraman, Jon Alpert

My Generation, David Batty

Piazza Vittorio, Abel Ferrara

The Devil and Father Amorth, William Friedkin

This is Congo, Daniel McCabe

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, Stephen Nomura Schible

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. The Story of Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman and Tony Clifton, Chris Smith

Happy Winter, Giovanni Totaro


Casa d’Altri, Gianni Amelio

Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D, John Landis

Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1983), Jerry Kramer


Disappearance, Ali Asgari

Especes Menacees, Gilles Bourdos

The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski

Caniba, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel

Les Bienheureux, Sofia Djama

Marvin, Anne Fontaine

Invisible, Pablo Giorgelli

Brutti e Cattivi, Cosimo Gomez

The Cousin, Tzahi Grad

The Testament, Amichai Greenberg

No Date, No Signature, Vahid Jalilvand

Los Versos del Olvido, Alireza Khatami

The Night I Swam, Damien Manivel, Igarashi Kohei

Nico, 1988, Susanna Nicchiarelli

Krieg, Rick Ostermann

West of Sunshine, Jason Raftopoulos

Gatta Cenerentola, Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, Dario Sansone

Under the Tree, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson

La Vita in Comune, Edoardo Winspeare


Manuel, Dario Albertini

Controfigura, Ra di Martino

Woodshock, Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy

Nato a Casal di Principe, Bruno Oliviero

Suburra – The Series, Michele Placido, Andrea Molaioli, Giuseppe Capotondi

Tueurs, Francois, Troukens, Jean-Francois Hensgens


Light Years, Manuel Abramovich

Evviva Giuseppe, Stefano Consiglio

La Lucida Follia di Marco Ferreri, Selma Jean Dell’Olio

The Russian Revolution Through its Films, Emmanuel Hamon

The Prince and the Dybbuk, Elwira Niewiera

La Voce di Fantozzi, Mario Sesti

This is the War Room!,  Boris Hars-Tschachotin


La Lunga Strada del Ritorno, Alessandro Blasetti

Barbiana ’65 La Lezione di Don Milani, Alessandro G. A. D’Alessandro

Lievito Madre, Le Ragazze del Secolo Scorso, Concita de Gregorio, Esmeralda Calabria


Beautiful Things, Giorgio Ferrero

Martyr, Mazen Khaled

Strange Colours, Alena Lodkina