The Truth by Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda to open Venice film festival

Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda, who won best film at Cannes last year with "Shoplifters," will open the 76th Venice Film Festival on Wednesday with his French-set family story La vérité (The Truth)  starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke.

The famous cinema event (28 August -7 September) is organized by La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta. “Kore-eda had the privilege of working with two major French film stars. The encounter between the universe of Japan's most important filmmaker today and two beloved actresses like Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, brought to life a poetic reflection on the relationship between a mother and her daughter, and the complex profession of acting. It will be a pleasure to present this movie as the opening film of this year's Venice Film Festival”, Baratta said.

With only two female directors in the running for the top prize out of 21, the festival has been harshly criticized ahead of next week's opening. Director Alberto Barbera said last year that he would rather quit the 11-day event, where three of the last five Oscar best picture winners were premiered, than give in to pressure for quotas. The Venice film festival also faces major backlash for including controversial directors like Roman Polanski and Nate Parker in their line-up this year.

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