Society of the Snow, J.A. Bayona’s survival thriller and the director’s first Spanish-language feature in 16 years, is set to bring the 2023 Venice Film Festival to a shivering close.
The Netflix feature will get its world premiere out of the competition on the Lido on Sept. 9 after the festival’s awards ceremony.
Set in 1972, Society of the Snow follows the story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which had been chartered to fly a rugby team to Chile but crashed in the heart of the Andes. Only 29 of its 45 passengers survived the accident. Trapped in one of the most hostile and inaccessible environments on the planet, they have to resort to extreme measures to stay alive.
The news comes as fall festivals brace for the impact of the SAG-AFTRA strike and just a day after Venice lost its original opening night film. Challengers, Luca Guadagnino’s R-rated tennis drama starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor and Mike Faist, was set to lift the curtain on the 80th edition of the festival ahead of a Sept. 15 release, but the industrial action has forced MGM to push the film to April 2024, meaning it will miss Venice altogether.
In its place, Edoardo De Angelis’ Comandante now takes the opening night slot.
Last week, Venice director Alberto Barbera said he was working on a plan B should American films not participate in the festival due to the strike, telling programmers that it “will be a Pan-European festival,” according to sources. It seems plan B is now in operation.
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