Pedro Almodóvar's 'Madres Paralelas' to Open Venice Film Festival

by Lindsey Bahr

Associated Press

Monday July 19, 2021

Pedro Almodovar, left, presents Jodi Foster with an honorary Palme d'Or at the opening ceremony of the 74th international film festival, Cannes.
Pedro Almodovar, left, presents Jodi Foster with an honorary Palme d'Or at the opening ceremony of the 74th international film festival, Cannes.  (Source:Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

The Venice International Film Festival will kick off its 78th edition in September with the premiere of Pedro Almodóvar's film "Madres paralelas."

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

Almodóvar 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 honor, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency," Almodóvar continued. "I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it".

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 Sept. 11 on the sleepy beach island Lido.

The festival will also host the premiere of Denis Villeneuve's anticipated adaptation of "Dune," starring Timothée 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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