A cluster of unique new films from emerging talents heads up the UK selection at this year’s Venice International Film Festival.
The selected British films include two fiction feature debuts, as well as the eagerly awaited second film by Duane Hopkins. Hopkins returns with Bypass, the story of Tim, a young, working-class man struggling to make ends meet, with his baby son on its way and his health faltering. The Goob is the first feature by Guy Myhill, who started his career in shorts and television. Set during a hot summer in the Fenlands. Newcomer Liam Walpole stars as Goob Taylor, a teenager who helps his mum run a cafeteria for harvest workers, but whose life takes a turn with the arrival of a beautiful young pumpkin picker.
Blood Cells is the first fiction feature of filmmaking duo Joseph Bull and Luke Seomore. Described by the directors as “a journey through landscape, memory and personal bonds in contemporary Britain”, it’s about a man whose becomes estranged from his family after the foot and mouth livestock epidemic of 2001 and lives life as a drifter on the margins of British society. Both Blood Cells and Bypass are from the stable of Third Films, a Newcastle-based production company set up by Duane Hopkins and producer Samm Haillay.
Elsewhere in the Venice programme, there are a number of British co-productions: Theeb is a period adventure set in the Arabian desert in 1916; The President is the new film by Iranian master Mohsen Makhmalbaf, which opens the festival’s Orizzonte section; The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to The Act of Kiling; and Before I Disappear is a nocturnal New York drama from debut director Shawn Christensen.