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Pedro Almodovar movie to kick off Venice International Film Festival

Madres Paralelas will be the curtain raiser for the world’s oldest film festival.

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Looking across to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (John Walton/PA)

Looking across to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (John Walton/PA)

Looking across to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (John Walton/PA)

The Venice International Film Festival will kick off its 78th edition in September with the premiere of Pedro Almodovar’s film Madres Paralelas.

Organisers said on Monday that the film about two, single and pregnant women starring Penelope Cruz, Milena Smit and Israel Elejalde will debut as part of the competition slate on September 1.

Almodovar has a long history with the oldest film festival in the world and said in a written statement that he was “born as a film director in 1983 in Venice”.

In 2019, he was given the Festival’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

“I cannot explain the joy and the honour, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency,” Almodovar continued.

“I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it.”

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Pedro Almodovar (Ian West/PA)

Pedro Almodovar (Ian West/PA)

PA

Pedro Almodovar (Ian West/PA)

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Festival director Alberto Barbera said the film is “an intense and sensitive portrait of two women as they contend with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, women’s solidarity, and sexuality that is experienced in full freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the backdrop of a reflection on the ineluctable need for truth that is to be unwaveringly pursued”.

The Venice International Film Festival is scheduled to run through September 11 on the sleepy beach island Lido.

The festival will also host the premiere of Denis Villeneuve’s anticipated adaptation of Dune, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, as well as David Gordon Green’s Halloween Kills in conjunction with a lifetime achievement award for star Jamie Lee Curtis.


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