Joker chosen for competition at Venice Film Festival

It would appear that Warner Bros. is fairly serious about making Joker a film festival staple this year. While we already knew the Todd Phillips’ movie is headed for the Toronto International Film Festival, news arrived Thursday morning it is also headed to the Venice Film Festival. And not only that, but it will be in competition.

Every fall, the studios begin to ramp up the films that they hope have the best shots at awards season. To begin those runs, they put them onto what is known as the festival circuit. The studio will trot out the film, along with their stars, to the major film festivals around the world in hopes of picking up early buzz for the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards. It isn’t always necessarily about increasing box office results as it is about picking up some trophies along the way.

Films considered ‘in competition’ at the VFF can be up for multiple awards such as the Golden Lion which is awarded to the best film screened, the Silver Lion for best direction, the Volpi Cup for the best actor and actress, and so on. A film is competing in multiple categories and can hope to potentially win multiple prizes.

The fact that Warner Bros. is putting Joker out there at all is a huge vote of confidence in the film. To put it into the competition category is an even bigger one. This means it is inviting dissection well before its theatrical run.

As we draw closer to the release of Joker, it sure seems things are getting even more intriguing as to what we’re about to see.

The Venice Film Festival will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7. Joker goes into general release on Oct. 4.



  • “The Truth,” Kore-eda Hirokazu (France, Japan) – OPENING FILM
  • “The Perfect Candidate,” Haifaa Al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia, Germany)
  • “About Endlessness,” Roy Andersson (Sweden)
  • “Wasp Network,” Olivier Assayas (France, Belgium)
  • “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach (U.S.)
  • “Guest of Honor,” Atom Egoyan (Canada)
  • “Ad Astra,” James Gray (U.S.)
  • “A Herdade,” Tiago Guedes (Portugal, France)
  • “Gloria Mundi,” Robert Guediguian (France)
  • “Waiting For The Barbarians,” Ciro Guerra (Italy)
  • “Ema,” Pablo Larrain (Chile)
  • “Saturday Fiction,” Lou Ye (China)
  • “Martin Eden,” Pietro Marcello (Italy, France, Germany)
  • “La Mafia non è più quella di Una Volta,” Franco Maresco
  • “The Painted Bird,” Vaclav Marhoul (Czech Republic)
  • “The Mayor of Rione Sanità,” Mario Martone (Italy, France)
  • “Babyteeth,” Shannon Murphy (Australia)
  • “Joker,” Todd Philips (U.S.)
  • “An Officer and a Spy,” Roman Polanski (France)
  • “The Laundromat,” Steven Soderbergh (U.S.)
  • “No. 7 Cherry Lane,” Yonfan (China)


  • “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” Giuseppe Capotondi (U.K., Italy) – CLOSING FILM
  • “Seberg,” Benedict Andrews (U.S.)
  • “Vivere,” Francesca Archibugi (Italy)
  • “Mosul,” Matthew Michael Carnahan (U.S.)
  • “Adults in the Room,” Costa-Gavras (France, Greece)
  • “The King,” David Michod (U.K., Hungary)
  • “Tutto il mio folle amore,” Gabriele Salvatores (Italy)


  • “Woman,” Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Anastasia Mikova (France)
  • “Roger Waters: Us + Them,” Roger Waters (U.K.)
  • “I Diari di Angela – Noi Due Cineasti. Capitolo Secondo. Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi (Italy)
  • “Citizen K,” Alex Gibney (U.K., U.S.)
  • “Citizen Rosi,” Didi Gnocchi, Carolina Rosi (Italy)
  • “The Kingmaker,” Lauren Greenfield (U.S.)
  • “State Funeral,” Sergei Loznitsa (The Netherlands, Lithuania)
  • “Collective,” Alexander Nanau (Romania, Luxembourg)
  • “45 Seconds of Laughter,” Tim Robbins (U.S.)
  • “Il pianeta in mare,” Daniele Segre (Italy)

OUT OF COMPETITION – Special Screenings

  • “No One Left Behind,” Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico)
  • “Electric Swan,” Konstantina Kotzamani (France, Greece, Argentina)
  • “Irreversible – Inversion Integrale,” Gaspar Noe (France)
  • “ZeroZeroZero,” (Episodes 1 and 2) Stefano Sollima (Italy, France)
  • “The New Pope” (Episodes 2 and 7) Paolo Sorrentino (Italy, U.S.)
  • “Never Just a Dream: Stanley Kubrick And Eyes Wide Shut,” Matt Wells (U.K.)
  • “Eyes Wide Shut,” Stanley Kubrick (U.S., U.K.)


  • “Pelican Blood,” Katrin Gebbe (Germany, Bulgaria)
  • “Zumiriki,” Oskar Alegria (Spain)
  • “Bik Eneich – Un Fils,” Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France, Lebanon, Qatar)
  • “Blanco en Blanco,” Theo Court (Spain, Chile, France, Germany)
  • “Mes Jours de Gloire,” Antoine De Bary (France)
  • “Nevia,” Nunzia De Stefano (Italy)
  • “Moffie,” Oliver Hermanus (South Africa)
  • “Hava, Maryam, Ayesha,” Sahara Karimi (Afghanistan)
  • “Rialto,” Peter Mackie Burns (Ireland)
  • “The Criminal Man,” Dmitry Mamuliya (Georgia, Russia)
  • “Revenir,” Jessica Palud (France)
  • “Giants Being Lonely,” Great Patterson (U.S.)
  • “Balloon,” Pema Tseden (China)
  • “Verdict,” Raymund Ribas Gutierrez (Philippines)
  • “Just 6.5,” Saeed Roustaee (Iran)
  • “Shadow of Water,” Sasidharan Sanal Kumar (India)
  • “Sole,” Carlo Sironi (Italy)
  • “Madre,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain, France)
  • “Atlantis,” Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine)