21 films chasing top prize at Venice Film Festival

By: AFP      Published: 01:09 PM, 11 Sep, 2021
21 films chasing top prize at Venice Film Festival
A scene from Parallel Mothers.

The Golden Lion, the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, will be awarded on Saturday. 

It is being chosen from 21 contenders by a jury led by "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho.

Here are the films in the running:

- Parallel Mothers: Spain -

Two single women prepare to give birth in a maternity ward in Pedro Almodovar's latest film starring Penelope Cruz, which also touches on the trauma of Spain's civil war.

- Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon: US -

Ana Lily Amirpour's fantasy film sees Kate Hudson ditch her rom-com image as a hard-nosed stripper who befriends an escaped patient with supernatural powers in New Orleans. 

- Another World: France -

The last of Stephane Brize's trilogy about the world of work, it stars Vincent Lindon as a boss forced to make tough decisions. 

- The Power of the Dog: New Zealand/Australia -

Two brothers feud on a Montana ranch after one comes home with a new wife, in Jane Campion's film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. 

- America Latina: Italy/France -

Italian twins Fabio and Damiano D'Innocenzo wrote and directed this love story thriller starring Elio Germano.

- Happening: France -

A young woman risks prison as she seeks an abortion in 1960s France in Audrey Diwan's drama.

- Official Competition: Spain/Argentina -

Penelope Cruz stars as a film-maker dealing with two difficult leading men, including Antonio Banderas, in the comedy directed by Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn.

- The Hole: Italy/France/Germany -

Michelangelo Frammartino's film is based on the true story of a group of speleologists who in 1961 discovered a deep cave in a remote area of Italy's south. 

- Sundown: Mexico/France/Sweden -

Tim Roth stars as a wealthy man seeking to walk away from his life while on vacation in Mexican director Michel Franco's latest. 

- Lost Illusions: France -

Xavier Giannoli's film adaptation of the Balzac novel stars Benjamin Voisin, Xavier Dolan and Gerard Depardieu. 

- The Lost Daughter: Greece/US/UK/Israel -

US actress Maggie Gyllenhaal's directorial debut is based on an Elena Ferrante novel and stars Olivia Colman as a woman obsessed with another mother and daughter while on holiday.

- Spencer: Germany/UK -

Chilean director Pablo Larrain explores the collapse of the marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, with Kristen Stewart in the leading role. 

- Freaks Out: Italy/Belgium -

A circus troupe in Rome becomes increasingly desperate with the onset of World War II in Gabriele Mainetti's film.

- The King of Laughter: Italy/Spain -

Toni Servillo stars as Naples' famous turn-of-the-century comedian Eduardo Scarpetta in Mario Martone's biopic. 

- On the Job: The Missing 8: Philippines - 

Erik Matti's action sequel focuses on prisoners-turned-hitmen and corruption in the media.

- Leave No Traces: Poland/France/Czechoslavakia -

The true story of a witness to the fatal beating of a young activist in Warsaw by the militia under the Communist regime by Polish director Jan P. Matuszynski. 

- Captain Volkonogov Escaped: Russia/Estonia/France -

Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov's thriller follows a state interrogator in the former Soviet Union who flees, hoping to repent.

- The Card Counter US/UK/China -

A gambler is haunted by his past as a serviceman in Paul Schrader's revenge thriller starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish and Willem Dafoe.

- The Hand of God: Italy - 

Paolo Sorrentino's highly personal drama is set in the Naples of his youth when he experienced terrible tragedy alongside the excitement of football legend Diego Maradona coming to his city.

- Reflection: Ukraine - 

A Ukrainian surgeon seeks to rebuild his life after witnessing horrifying violence as a Russian prisoner in Valentyn Vasyanovych's drama. 

- The Box: Mexico/US -

A Mexico City teen heads north to collect his father's remains but is drawn into the grim world of sweatshops in Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas' film