Online screenings of films selected for the 71st Venice International Film Festival

Io sto con la sposa (On The Bride's Side) - Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry

Io sto con la sposa (On The Bride's Side) - Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry

The Venice International Film Festival is one on my wish list of film festival I'd like to attend. The 71st edition of the festival starts today, but sadly I won't be attending this year.

But I was quite pleased to hear some of the films selected for the festival will be screened online (EUR 4 per film) for a limited period for the first 400 people who buy a ticket.

Full details and schedule can be found here. I've already booked my tickets, so will be enjoying a mini Venice International Film Festival at home. There are 11 films in total, here are my top 5: 

The President - Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Playing from 27th August - 1st September 2014

In an imaginary village in the Caucasus, a President is on the run with his five-year-old grandson following a coup d’état. The two travel across the lands that the President once governed.

Now, disguised as a street musician to avoid being recognized, the former dictator comes into contact with his people, and gets to know them from a different point of view.

Book here:

H. - Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia

Playing from 28th August - 2nd September 2014 

H. is a modern interpretation of a classic Greek tragedy in which two women, each named Helen, live out their mirrored lives of one another in the town of Troy, NY. The first Helen is in her 60s, lives with her husband Roy, and takes care of a small, extremely lifelike baby doll called a “Reborn Doll,” which she cares for as a living baby.

The second Helen is in her 30s, has a successful art career with her partner Alex, and is four months pregnant. One night, something falls out of the sky and explodes over the town. In the aftermath of this event, bizarre and unexplainable things begin to happen.

Many people in the town go missing—Helen’s husband being one of them—and unnatural cloud formations begin appearing in the sky. Meanwhile, the two Helen’s find themselves, and their lives spinning out of control.

Book here:

Blood Cells - Joseph Bull, Luke Seomore 

Playing from 29th August - 3rd September 2014

Britain, the present. Adam, the son of Irish immigrant parents, was expected to grow up and settle into the security of his family’s farm. The Foot and Mouth livestock epidemic of 2001 destroyed all of that. After the catastrophe, Adam’s family imploded and he abandoned his home.

He has spent the years since on the nomadic fringes of British society, cycling through transitory jobs and transitory relationships, adrift from his family and past. When his younger brother Aiden reaches out to him to announce the birth of his first child—Adam is about to become an uncle—there is an ultimatum attached: come home now, or never come home again.

Adam embarks on a journey home that is at once tortured and exhilarating, a panoramic tour through the broken and beautiful margins of Britain. As eruptions from his secret past begin to emerge, Adam attempts to break free from a self-imposed exile that must now end before it swallows him for good.

Book here:

Bypass - Duane Hopkins

Playing from 2nd - 7th September 2014 

The story of Tim, a young man from the English working class. He needs to earn money, he is expecting a son, he has just lost his mother.

He is ill, but it is not clear just how ill. As the pressure mounts, the illness worsens and one day he wakes up in a hospital bed. But in the meantime, his son is born.

Book here:

Io sto con la sposa (On The Bride's Side) - Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry

Playing from 4th - 9th September 2014 

This is the one I am looking forward to the most, ever since I read "These guys faked a wedding to smuggle refugees and filmed it" a couple of months ago. 

A Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria. They decide to help them complete their journey to Sweden – and hopefully avoid getting themselves arrested as traffickers – by faking a wedding.

With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and a dozen or so Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, they cross halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of three thousand kilometres.

This emotionally charged journey not only brings out the stories and hopes and dreams of the five Palestinians and Syrians and their rather special traffickers, but also reveals an unknown side of Europe – a transnational, supportive and irreverent Europe that ridicules the laws and restrictions of the Fortress in a kind of masquerade which is no other than the direct filming of something that really took place on the road from Milan to Stockholm from the 14th to the 18th of November 2013.

Book here: