“We’ll try to surprise you a bit, in the din of the film festival, with something unexpected, perhaps not perfect, but something that nonetheless stands out from the crowd”. These were the words of general delegate Giorgio Gosetti on the 14th edition of Giornate degli Autori, which will be held at Venice in parallel to the Venice Film Festival, from 30 August to 9 September 2017.

12 films, including two first works, will battle it out for the Giornate degli Autori award, which will be awarded by a jury of 28 young European cinephiles led by Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf. Three of the films are Italian, and all very different. There’s Il contagio by Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini (marking their return to Giornate degli Autori after Et in terra pax), starring Vinicio Marchioni and Anna Foglietta and based on the book by Walter Siti, L’equilibrio by Vincenzo Marra, a familiar face at Giornate degli Autori, about a Campanian priest having a crisis of faith, and the debut piece by Valentina PediciniDove cadono le ombre, starring Elena Cotta and set in a former orphanage where a eugenics project took place. There’s also a little piece of Italy in the highly-anticipated film by Iranian director Shirin Neshat (named Best Director at Venice in 2009 for Women without Men): Looking for Oum Kulthum, co-produced by Germany and Austria.

Also from Austria comes Life Guidance by Ruth Mader, in which in the near future, an agency takes it upon itself to help those who don’t conform with capitalism, while from France comes another debut piece, M by Sara Forestier, a melodrama of words about an impossible love, with an appearance by Jean-Pierre Léaud. The programme also features Candelaria by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza, co-produced by Colombia, Germany, Norway and Argentina, Samui Song by Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang (also co-produced by Germany and Norway), a satire on the Thai middle-class, a cross between a Hitchcock and Buñuel piece.Also returning to Giornate degli Autori are Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi with Volubilis, a love story that unfolds in a divided and unjust society, and Chinese filmmaker Pengfei (who rose to prominence two years ago with Underground Fragrance) with The Taste of Rice Flower. The competition line-up is completed by Eye on Juliet by Canadian director Kim Nguyen and the only film being shown in its international premiere (the others are all being shown in their world premieres), Israeli film Longing by Savi Gabizon.

Special events include a screening of American biopic Agnelli by Nick Hooker, on the legendary grandson of FIAT founder Gianni Agnelli, Ermanno Olmi’s documentary Il tentato suicidio dell’adolescenza, and Il risoluto by Giovanni Donfrancesco, on child soldiers during the fascist era. Last but not least, there will be a special screening of Raccontare Venezia by Wilma Labate and Claudio Santamaria’s short film The Millionairs, produced by Gabriele Mainetti.

All the films being shown at Giornate degli Autori 2017:

Candelaria – Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza (Colombia/Germany/Norway/Argentina)
Il contagio – Matteo Botrugno and Daniele Coluccini (Italy) 
Dove cadono le ombre – Valentina Pedicini (Italy)
L’equilibrio – Vincenzo Marra (Italy)
Eye on Juliet – Kim Nguyen (Canada)
Longing – Savi Gabizon (Israel)
Life Guidance – Ruth Mader (Austria)
Looking for Oum Kulthum – Shirin Neshat (Germany/Austria/Italy/Morocco) 
– Sara Forestier (France)
Samui Song – Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Thailand/Germany/Norway)
The Taste of Rice Flower – Pengfei (China)
Volubilis – Faouzi Bensaïdi (Morocco/France)

Special events
Agnelli – Nick Hooker (United States)
Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story – James Lester (United States)
La legge del numero uno – Alessandro D'Alatri (Italy)
Il risoluto – Giovanni Donfrancesco (Italy/France)
Thirst Street – Nathan Silver (United States) in partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival 
Il tentato suicidio nell’adolescenza – Ermanno Olmi (Italy, 1968)

Special screenings
I’M – Anne-Riitta Ciccone (Italy)
The Millionairs – Claudio Santamaria (Italy)
Raccontare Venezia – Wilma Labate (Italy/France)

Women’s Tales
Carmen – Chloë Sevigny (Italy, United States)
(The [End) of History Illusion] – Celia Rowlson-Hall (Italy, United States)