Venice Film Festival is a washout: Hollywood continues to shun event amid SAG-AFTRA strike – with just a handful of stars at the Ferrari premiere
Day two of Venice Film Festival proved to be a low-key affair as just a handful of stars turned out for the Ferrari premiere on Thursday.
The festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 Best Director awards at the Oscars went to films that debuted at Venice.
Yet while it usually attracts the biggest name in Hollywood, stars have been shunning the event this year because the SAG-AFTRA strikes has prevented them from promoting their work there.
The writers union, the WGA, went on strike on May 2, and were followed by SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, on July 14.
Ferrari actors (and writers) could attend Venice without breaking the strikes as the film has been given an exemption because it was made by an independent, Neon, not a studio.
Flying solo: Day two of Venice Film Festival proved to be a low-key affair as just a handful of stars turned out for the Ferrari premiere on Thursday (pictured: Georgia May Jagger)
Suited and booted: Adam Driver (left) and Patrick Dempsey attended the premiere for their new movie about Enzo Ferrari, the Italian founder of the car manufacturer Ferrari
So lending their star power alongside a sea of Z listers for the Ferrari premiere were the likes of Adam Driver, Patrick Dempsey and Georgia May Jagger, who walked the red carpet at the uncharacteristically muted event.
Adam plays the titular race car icon in Michael Mann’s Ferrari and turned out on the red carpet for the premiere after throwing his support behind the strikers.
Speaking about the strikes Adam said earlier in the day: ‘Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon or STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for in this pre-negotiation but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?
‘Every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has agreed to these terms — the interim agreement — it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people that they collaborate with, and the others are not.
‘So when this opportunity came up, it seemed like — understanding the interim agreement — a no-brainer for all of these reasons of why you want to support your union.’
Adam previously worked with Netflix for his hugely successful film Marriage Story in 2019, however he has now spoken out against the corporation.
By coming to Venice to support the movie, Adam said he hoped doing so would help ‘stop the bleeding a little bit’ by helping people in AFTRA and SAG to be able to go to work.
The festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera is putting a brave face on the expected disruption and has managed to attract one of the strongest line-ups in recent years, defying dire predictions of a mass no-show by big studio productions.
‘We know that some talent will not be able to attend… but some others will come because they are working in the independent films. So everything is good. It looks very positive.
‘If the strikes last longer, it will have a huge, negative impact on the next (release) season and the awards season as well.’
Working it: The daughter of Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger, 80, and model Jerry Hall, 67, looked incredible as she added some red carpet glamour to the premiere
Who has skipped Venice Film Fest?
Bye: Bradley Cooper, who wrote, produced stars in and directed Maestro, about the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, will not be in Venice to see possibly the defining film of his career premiere. It is by Netflix, who are a struck company
Zendaya and Josh O’Connor’s film Challengers, a tennis and three-somes drama was going to open the festival but that was dropped after the actors went on strike, and the film has since been pushed back to April 2024
The show must go on: Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things will premiere on Friday night but the star Emma Stone will not attend
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and opened on Wednesday with the premiere of Italian World War Two film Comandante, directed by Edoardo De Angelis.
The event will run until September 9 and closes with a Spanish-language Netflix drama Society of the Snow.
According to Variety, a select list of films premiering at Venice have obtained SAG-AFTRA interim waivers since they are independent productions that have not been produced by AMPTP members.
READ MORE: Strikes sink Venice: Toni Garrn leads a not-so-star-studded red carpet as A-list bow out of Film Festival’s opening night
Jessica Chastain is set to attend following her role in Mexican director Michael Franco’s film Memory, her first performance since her Oscar-winning turn in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.
Also set to attend is Mads Mikkelson to promote his performance in Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel’s The Promised Land.
Caleb Landry Jones is also heading to Venice for his appearance in the Luc Besson film Dogman.
Sofia Coppola’s biopic Priscilla will also see much of its cast attend the premiere, including Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, as well as Priscilla Presley herself.
While many Hollywood stars aren’t expected to grace the red carpet, so far only one party has been cancelled, an Armani event in honour of Cate Blanchett.
Bradley Cooper, who wrote, produced stars in and directed Maestro, about the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, will not be in Venice to see possibly the defining film of his career premiere. It is by Netflix, who are a struck company.
A festival spokesman confirmed in July that he would not attend in solidarity with the strike by the actors union SAG-AFTRA.
Challengers, a tennis and three-somes drama starring Zendaya and Josh O’Connor of The Crown, was going to open the festival but that was dropped after the actors went on strike, and the film has since been pushed back to April 2024.
The prestige film Poor Things, an adaptation of a Frankenstein-esque gothic tale starring Emma Stone, will premiere at the festival but star Emma Stone and the rest of the cast will not be there.
The ongoing SAG-AFTRA Strike, which enters its 43rd day of protests, have seen many well-known actors showing solidarity with striking actors by doing one (or several) of the following actions: issuing statements of support of the strikes; joining picket lines in LA, New York City; and donating/handing out water bottles and/or food to the picketers.
Among the well-known names who took part in the picket lines in either Los Angeles or New York City include Jason Sudeikis, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Hudgens, Mandy Moore, Logan Lerman, America Ferrera, and Josh Gad, to name a few.
Glam: Jessica Chastain is set to attend the festival following her role in Michael Franco’s film Memory, one of the few independent productions to obtain SAG-AFTRA interim waivers
Biopic: Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla will also see much of its cast attend the premiere, including Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi, as well as Priscilla Presley herself
Drama! Since July 17, Hollywood has ground to a halt as members of the SAG-AFTRA union joined the Writers Guild Of America in going on strike
The U.K. actors union Equity held rallies in London and Manchester on July 21 in support of SAG-AFTRA Strike. Brian Cox, Jim Carter, Hayley Atwell, David Oyelowo, and Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton, were in attendance.
While there has been little movement in talks between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA, discussions with the WGA appear to have reached a stalemate.
The sides have not met since August 18 when the AMPTP rejected a counter-offer from the WGA, and since then there’s been no move to resume talks.
SAG-AFTRA told members in an email on Sunday that the negotiating committee is ready to return to the table ‘at a moment’s notice,’ but so far there has been little progress.
The Venice Film Festival: Everything you need to know
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, with its 80th edition opening on Wednesday.
Here is everything you need to know…
WHEN IS THE VENICE FESTIVAL?
The festival opens on Aug. 30 with the premiere of Italian World War Two film Comandante, directed by Edoardo De Angelis. The event runs until Sept. 9 and closes with a Spanish-language Netflix drama ‘Society of the Snow’.
WHERE IS IT BEING HELD?
The Festival takes place on the Venice Lido – the so-called beach of Venice — a thin barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, which is a short boat trip from the main city of Venice. Unlike Venice itself, cars have access to the Lido.
WHY IS IT SO CLOSELY WATCHED?
The festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 best director awards at the Oscars went to films that debuted at Venice.
Movie stars and directors traditionally enjoy travelling to the lagoon city to launch their films.
However, this year will offer a bit less sparkle than usual as the Hollywood actors’ strike will prevent many stars from promoting their work.
WHICH MOVIES HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR THE FESTIVAL?
There are several categories making up the official selection of films shown, the top being those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award.
This year’s 23 contenders, in order of their screening, are:
Comandante, Director: Edoardo De Angelis
El Conde Dir: Pablo Larrain
Dogman Dir: Luc Besson
Ferrari Dir: Michael Mann
The Promised Land, Dir: Nikolaj Arcel
Poor Things Dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Finally Dawn. Dir: Saverio Costanzo
Maestro. Dir: Bradley Cooper
Adagio, Dir: Stefano Sollima
Die Theorie Von Allem, Dir: Timm Kroger
The Killer, Dir: David Fincher
The Beast. Dir: Bertrand Bonello
Evil Does Not Exist, Dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Priscilla, Dir: Sofia Coppola
Green Border, Dir: Agnieszka Holland
Enea, Pietro Castellitto
Origin, Dir: Ava DuVernay
Me Captain, Dir: Matteo Garrone
Lubo, Dir: Giorgio Diritti
Holly, Dir: Fien Troch
Woman Of, Dir: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert
Memory, Dir: Michel Franco
Hors-Saison, Dir: Stephane Brize
ARE ANY BIG FILMS BEING SHOWN OUT OF COMPETITION?
Like other festivals, Venice reserves a number of spots for interesting movies that are shown out of competition.
Amongst those on offer this year are The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial by U.S. director William Friedkin, who died this month; Coup de Chance, Woody Allen’s first French-language picture;’The Palace, by Roman Polanski; The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, a short feature by Wes Anderson; Aggro Drift, directed by Harmony Korine and starring rapper Travis Scott.
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