The president of the jury, Damien Chazelle, who duly opened this festival twice with his films “La La Land” (2016) and “First Man” (2018), has certainly experienced more festive evenings.
“Each artwork has value in its own right and is not just content,” the French-American filmmaker, who wore a T-shirt in support of the strike, said Wednesday during the opening press conference. “Art comes before content,” he emphasized.
The actors’ strike in the US began in July and added to the strike that screenwriters had been on since May.
Both movements raise labor demands before artificial intelligence makes its way into the world of cinema. The powerful trade union SAG-AFTRA bans its members from making films or participating in the promotion of their films.
The Dean of Film Festivals, which Hollywood often uses as a launch pad before awards season, is the first major event of the seventh art to pay the whistler.
The film that was supposed to open the festival, Challengers, starring young American star Zendaya, had to be replaced by Comandante, an Italian film directed by Edoardo de Angelis, due to the protests sweeping Hollywood.
“The impact of the strike will be very limited as we only lost one film (Challengers)”, said Mostra director Alberto Barbera in an interview with AFP. “Some long-awaited stars will be missing, but in the end it’s not that bad,” he said at the press conference.
The screening of Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” will be one of the highlights of the show, as actors Adam Driver and Penélope Cruz were exceptionally able to attend.
David Fincher with “The Killer” or Sofia Coppola with “Priscilla” also compete for the Golden Lion.
“Comandante” with Pierfrancesco Favino will open the festival on Wednesday at the Palacio del Cine on the famous Lido.
The film is based on a little-known episode from World War II, when the commander of an Italian submarine decided to rescue the crew of the Belgian ship he had just sunk off Madeira.