The Venice International Film Festival kicks 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 on September 1 as part of the competition.
Almodóvar has a long history with the oldest film festival in the world and said in a written statement that he was “born in 1983 as a film director in Venice”. In 2019 he received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement from the festival.
“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 able to handle it.”
Festival director Alberto Barbera said the film is: “An intense and sensitive portrait of two women struggling with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, female solidarity and sexuality lived in complete freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the background of a reflection on the inescapable need for truth to be unwaveringly pursued.”
The Venice International Film Festival is set for September 11 on the sleepy beach island of 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 coupled with a lifetime achievement award for star Jamie Lee Curtis.