The story of Diana, Princess of Wales’s agonies over divorcing Prince Charles will do battle with an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter and The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s long-awaited return to the big screen, for the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival.

The lineup for the 2021 event in September was announced on Monday by artistic director Alberto Barbera, which, like last year’s edition at the height of the pandemic, will be a primarily in-person event. It will closely follow Cannes, which staged a physical festival earlier this month, having been forced to delay from its traditional slot in mid-May.

Diana’s marital problems is the focus of Spencer, the drama starring Kristen Stewart and set during a Christmas weekend at Sandringham. It is directed by Pablo Larraín, the Chilean film-maker who won multiple plaudits for Jackie, the 2016 biopic of Jacqueline Onassis starring Natalie Portman. The Lost Daughter is adapted from Ferrante’s 2006 novel about a college professor whose childhood trauma is unlocked when she meets a younger mother and daughter on a beach; it stars Olivia Colman and is the directorial debut of actor Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Power of the Dog is Campion’s first completed feature film for 12 years, since 2009’s Bright Star; it is an adaptation of the 1967 novel by Thomas Savage and stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst.

Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar
Penélope Cruz and Pedro Almodóvar (pictured at Cannes in 2019) are reunited in Parallel Mothers at Venice 2021. Photograph: Arthur Mola/Invision/AP

In competing for the festival’s top prize, they will join Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers, starring his regular collaborator Penélope Cruz, which was previously announced as the festival’s opening gala. Other strong names in the competition lineup include Paolo Sorrentino, with a loosely autobiographical drama called The Hand of God, gambling drama The Card Counter from Paul Schrader and New Orleans-set Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon from Ana Lily Amirpour.

Venice will also see screenings of high-profile international films that aren’t in competition for the Golden Lion; these include the world premieres of the big budget adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune, starring Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson and directed by Denis Villeneuve, and Halloween Kills, the 12th in the long-running horror franchise, starring Jamie Lee Curtis (who is being awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion). Adding to the star power on the Venice Lido will be showings of The Last Duel, the medieval set chivalric romance directed by Ridley Scott, and Edgar Wright’s much anticipated horror-thriller Last Night in Soho, starring Anya Taylor-Joy. Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac star in a screening of HBO TV series Scenes from a Marriage, a remake of the Ingmar Bergman miniseries from 1973, while Ruth Wilson is the lead in True Things, the second feature from UK director Harry Wootliff.

The Venice film festival is due to open on 1 September, and run until 11 September.

Full lineup for Venice film festival

Parallel Mothers (dir: Pedro Almodóvar) – opening film
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (dir: Ana Lily Amirpour)
Un autre monde (dir: Stéphane Brizé)
The Power of the Dog (dir: Jane Campion)
America Latina (dir: Damiano D’Innocenzo, Fabio D’Innocenzo)
L’évènement (dir: Audrey Diwan)
Official Competition (dir: Gaston Depart, Mariano Cohn)
Il Buco (dir: Michelangelo Frammartino)
Sundown (dir: Michel Franco)
Lost Illusions (dir: Xavier Giannoli)
The Lost Daughter (dir: Maggie Gyllenhaal)
Spencer (dir: Pablo Larraín)
Freaks Out (dir: Gabriele Mainetti)
Qui Rido Io (dir: Mario Martone)
On The Job: The Missing 8 (dir: Eric Matti)
Leave No Traces (dir: Jan P Matuszyski)
Captain Volkonogov Escaped (dir: Yuriy Borisov)
The Card Counter (dir: Paul Schrader)
The Hand of God (dir: Paolo Sorrentino)
Reflection (dir: Valentin Vasyanovych)
La Caja (dir: Lorenzo Vigas)

Out of Competition – fiction
Il Bambino Nascosto (dir: Roberto Andò) – closing film
Les Choses Humaines (dir: Yvan Attal)
Ariaferma (dir: Leonardo Di Costanzo)
Halloween Kills (dir: David Gordon Green.)
La Scuola Cattolica (dir: Stefano Mordini)
Old Henry (dir: Potsy Ponciroli)
The Last Duel (dir: Ridley Scott)
Dune (dir: Denis Villeneuve)
Last Night in Soho (dir: Edgar Wright)

Out of Competition – nonfiction
Life of Crime 1984-2020 (dir: Jon Albert)
Tranchées (dir: Loup Bureau)
Viaggio Nel Crepuscolo (dir: Augusto Contento)
Republic of Silence (dir: Diana El Jeiroudi)
Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song (dir: Daniel Geller, Dayna Goldfine)
DeAndré#Deandré Storia di un Impiegato (dir: Roberta Lena)
Django&Django (dir: Luca Rea)
Ezio Bosso. Le Cose Che Restano (dir: Giorgio Verdelli)

Out of Competition – TV series
Scenes From a Marriage (episodes 1-5) (dir: Hagai Levi)

Orizzonti (Horizons)
Les Promesses (dir: Thomas Kruithof) – opening film
Atlantide (dir: Yuri Ancarani)
Miracle (dir: Bogdan George Apetri)
Pilgrims (dir: Laurynas Bareisa)
The Peackock’s Paradise (dir: Laura Bispuri)
The Falls (dir: Chung Mong-Hong)
El Hoyo En La Cerca (dir: Joachin Del Paso)
Amira (dir: Mohamed Diab)
A Plein Temps (dir: Eric Gravel)
107 Mothers (dir: Peter Kerkekes)
Vera Dreams of the Sea (dir: Kaltrina Krasniqi)
White Building (dir: Kavich Neang)
Anatomy of Time (dir: Jakrawal Nilthamrong)
El Otro Tom (dir: Rodrigo Pla, Laura Santullo)
El Gran Movimiento (dir: Kiro Russo)
Once Upon a Time in Calcutta (dir: Adita Vikram Sengupta)
Rhino (dir: Oleg Sentsov)
True Things, (dir: Harry Wootliff)
Inu-Oh, (dir: Yuasa Masaaki)

Orizzonti (Horizons) Extra
Land of Dreams (dir: Shirin Nest, Shoja Azari) – opening film
Costa Brava (dir: Mounia Akl)
Mama, I’m Home (dir: Vladimir Bitokov)
Ma Nuit (dir: Antoinette Boulot)
La Ragazza Ha Volato (dir: Wilma Labate)
7 Prisoners (dir: Alexandre Moratto)
The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic, (dir: Teemu Nikki)
La Macchina Delle Immagini di Alfredo C (dir: Roland Sejko)


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Venice film festival 2021 roundup – a formidably good year on the Lido
Big name directors at their best feature alongside daring visionaries from the farther realms of art cinema – but to whom will Bong Joon-ho’s jury award the Golden Lion?

Jonathan Romney

11, Sep, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
The Lost Daughter review – Olivia Colman lights up Elena Ferrante psychodrama
Maggie Gyllenhaal’s accomplished directing debut makes humid, sensual cinema of Elena Ferrante’s novel

Xan Brooks

03, Sep, 2021 @8:00 PM

Article image
The 88 movies we're most excited about in 2015
Think 2014 was a good year for film? Think again. This year is shaping up to be one of the classics. Here’s what’s on our radar

Guardian Film

06, Jan, 2015 @3:23 PM

Article image
Kristen Stewart on Princess Diana: ‘The sad thing was she felt so isolated and lonely’
Stewart explains her admiration for Diana as Spencer premieres at Venice, while the film-makers behind Dune stress its contemporary relevance

Andrew Pulver

03, Sep, 2021 @3:51 PM

Article image
Spencer: first poster released for Kristen Stewart’s Princess Diana film
Ahead of Venice premiere of Pablo Larraín’s biopic, teaser poster appears to show Diana weeping into enormous dress

Guardian film

25, Aug, 2021 @5:07 PM

Article image
Spencer review – Princess Diana’s disastrous marriage makes a magnificent farce
Kristen Stewart’s entirely compelling Di has no escape from the dress-up game of monarchy in Pablo Larraín’s unreverential movie

Xan Brooks

03, Sep, 2021 @2:15 PM

Article image
Parallel Mothers review – Almodóvar delivers Venice film festival a little bundle of joy
Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz open the festival with a boisterous, warm-bodied swapped-at-birth melodrama about two single women who meet in a maternity ward

Xan Brooks

01, Sep, 2021 @5:00 PM

Article image
Princess Diana film debuts at Venice as film industry aims for return to normality
Festival’s reputation as a predictor of award-winning fare seems set with films from Denis Villeneuve, Jane Campion, Edgar Wright, Paolo Sorrentino and Pedro Almodóvar

Andrew Pulver

31, Aug, 2021 @3:33 PM

Article image
Spencer: first trailer shows Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana
The film, set to premiere at the Venice film festival, takes a look at a weekend in the life of Diana from Jackie director Pablo Larraín

Benjamin Lee

26, Aug, 2021 @4:56 PM

Article image
New photo shows Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana ahead of biopic Spencer
Shooting has moved to the UK on the forthcoming film Spencer, as Poldark’s Jack Farthing cast as Prince Charles

Catherine Shoard

26, Mar, 2021 @12:36 PM