Canada’s presence in Venice this year is something to write home about! We’re very excited about the lifetime achievement award that will be delivered to one of Canada’s most renowned filmmakers at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, from August 29 to September 8, 2018. We’re also looking forward to the world premiere of a Canadian documentary, an animated feature and a Belgium-Canada coproduction selected as the closing film of Venice Days, on top of having eight Canadian VR works to show off!

First things first: congratulations to the one and only David Cronenberg. In Venice this year, the Toronto-born filmmaker will take home the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for directors. Cronenberg’s extensive cinematic career includes such acclaimed and provocative features as The Fly (1986), Dead Ringers (1988), Naked Lunch (1991), Crash (1996), A History of Violence (2005), and Maps to the Stars (2014), starring Julianne Moore. The award will be presented on Thursday September 6, followed by a tribute screening of Cronenberg’s 1993 film M. Butterfly. And on September 5, he will give a Masterclass.

Making its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival (out of competition) is a music documentary by Toronto-based Ron Mann. He’s known for such feature-length docs as Go Further starring Woody Harrelson; Altman about filmmaker Robert Altman; and now, screening in Venice, Carmine Street Guitars, about an iconic guitar shop of the same name located in New York City’s Greenwich Village. (Side note: Carmine Street Guitars will make its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.)

Moving along to the independent Venice Days, now in its 15th year, two Canadian films will be in the spotlight. First, Quebec-born filmmaker Félix Dufour-Laperrière’s animated feature Ville Neuve is about an uncertain couple, set in Quebec during the 1990s. The black-and-white movie is animated from ink-on-paper drawings.

And, closing out Venice Days is a Belgium-Canada coproduction that also happens to be a Eurimages project selected for financing in 2017! Screening out of competition is Nicole Palo’s Emma Peeters, starring Quebec actress Monia Chokri. The comedy follows a struggling actress who meets a helpful funeral employee when she decides she’s done with life.

We’re also proud to have eight VR projects at Venice, including two in competition: Elli Raynai and Irem Harnak’s Made this Way: Redefining Masculinity and Steve Miller’s The Great C. Screening in the out-of-competition Best of VR category is Paul Raphaël and Félix Lajeunesse’s Isle of Dogs: Behind the Scenes (Canada/ Great Britain/ USA).

Five more Canadian VR projects in development (including coproductions) will be taking part in the Venice Gap-Financing Market, part of the Venice Production Bridge (August 31 to September 2, 2018).

They are:

  • Sandra Rodriguez’s Chomsky vs. Chomsky
  • Milica Zec and Winslow Porter’s Breathe (USA/ Canada)
  • Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee (Denmark/ Sweden/ France/ Norway/ Canada)
  • Diana Rico Muñoz’s Garden of Vision (Columbia/ Canada)
  • Ben Steiger Levine’s Marco Polo Go Round

See you in Italy!