Venice Film Festival Critics’ Week Lineup Includes ‘Doctor Who’ Star Billie Piper’s Directorial Debut

The Venice Film Festival (Aug 28 – Sept 7) Critics’ Week lineup was unveiled today with seven films playing in competition including UK pic Rare Beasts, the directorial debut of Doctor Who actress Billie Piper.

Piper also stars in the feature about a struggling young writer and mother who comes from a dysfunctional family. Also starring are Leo Bill, Lily James and David Thewlis. UK outfit Western Edge Pictures produces in association with Moffen Media Limited.

Also among the lineup are Saudi title Scales by Shahad Ameen, a magical-realist mermaid movie set during a mythical Arabian past; and All This Victory, a drama set in 2006 in Lebanon during the war between Hezbollah and Israel, directed by Ahmad Ghossein.

Lithuanian pic Parthenon will play in competition as will Chilean title The Prince, a prison-set gay melodrama starring Alfredo Castro. Danish director Marie Grahto will premiere Psychosia while Italy will be represented by Ascanio Petrini’s Tony Driver.

The out-of-competition opener will be Indian animation film Bombay Rose by Gitanjali Rao. The out-of-competition closing film is Mexican director Joshua Gil’s Mexican crime pic Sanctorum.

Among other prizes, all Venice Critics’ Week films will compete alongside titles in the official selection for the festival’s Lion of the Future award worth $100k. The winners of that prize are decided by the public rather than a jury.

The festival’s main competition lineup comes next Thursday.

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