Belfast Telegraph

Fundamentalist film opens Venice

Riz Ahmed's new movie The Reluctant Fundamentalist is to open the Venice Film Festival.

Mira Nair's political thriller, which also stars Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland, will have its world premiere screening on August 29.

Riz stars as a young Pakistani man chasing corporate success on Wall Street, who finds himself caught in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family's homeland in the big-screen adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's best-selling novel.

"It was just a real sort of masterclass doing a week with Kate, doing a week with Kiefer and doing a week with Liev, and then starting the whole process again. It was a fantastic dynamic and a great experience," the actor revealed.

Alberto Barbera, director of the 69th Venice Film Festival, said: "The festival's opening night will feature a film that provides much food for thought. It is a choice that intends to highlight the growing role of female creativity in all spheres of culture and contemporary society.

"Mira Nair has made an exemplary film adaptation of a novel that deals with the topical issue of fundamentalisms of any kind or nature. With great sensitivity, subtlety and remarkable sense of cinematic narrative, the director is never reluctant to take a difficult stand, inspired by profound ethical and moral reasons that, although choosing to face reality, still reject its compromises and aberrations."

The other films opening at the festival, which runs from August 29 until September 8, will be revealed in coming weeks.

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