Pedro Almodovar’s first-ever English language project is headed to Italy.
The 70-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning filmmaker’s short film The Human Voice has been added to the Venice Film Festival lineup, as one of the fest’s Out of Competition titles for the Lido event that runs September 2-12.
Almodóvar’s latest, a 30-minute adaptation of the original stage play by Jean Cocteau, was filmed and edited in record time as soon as the lockdown was lifted.
Tilda Swinton, who’s receiving the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award in Venice, stars in Almodovar’s first English-language project. It centers on a desperate woman who waits for the phone call of the lover who has just abandoned her.
“I am very excited about coming back to Venice in such a special year, with COVID-19 as involuntary guest,” says Almodovar. “Everything will be different, and I am looking forward to discovering it in person. It is an honor to accompany Tilda in a year in which she is receiving a very much-deserved award. As a matter of fact, The Human Voice is a festival of Tilda, a display of her infinite and assorted registers as an actress. It’s been a spectacle to direct her.”
“It is an extraordinary pleasure and a great honor to welcome Pedro Almodóvar back to Venice, a year after awarding him the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, with his new film,” said Alberto Barbera.
This will be the first major international film gathering since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In early July, Venice organizers outlined certain changes owing to sanitary protocols imposed by the COVID crisis. The overall number of films in the official selection has been reduced, while the competitive sections will maintain their usual procedures and format, as will the Out of Competition section, and Biennale College Cinema — though social distancing will be imposed.