VENICE, Italy — The Venice Film Festival is kicking off the fall cinema season with searing drama, serious glamour and a crop of new movies vying for attention, awards and acclaim.
The world’s oldest cinema festival is a key showcase for films hoping to dominate Hollywood’s awards season. In recent years, Venice has been a launch-pad for Oscar winners including “Birdman,” “Spotlight” and “La La Land.”
This year’s edition opens with Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing,” a science fiction-tinged drama starring Matt Damon as a man who hopes to minimize his problems by shrinking himself.
Other films competing for the festival’s Golden Lion prize include George Clooney-directed heist movie “Suburbicon”; Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical “The Shape of Water” and Darren Aronofsky’s secrecy-shrouded thriller “Mother!”
The 74th Venice Film Festival runs Wednesday to Sept. 9.