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Pedro Almodóvar’s Madres Paralelas to open 78th Venice film festival

Starring Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit and Israel Elejalde, the film will be screened on 1 September.

Our Correspondent

Pedro Almodóvar’s film Madres Paralelas, starring Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Israel Elejalde and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, has been declared the opening film, in Competition, at the 78th Venice International Film Festival within La Biennale di Venezia. The festival will be held from 1–11 September 2021.

Speaking about the film’s selection, festival director Alberto Barbera said, “I am grateful to Pedro Almodóvar for having given us the privilege of opening the film festival with his new movie, an intense and sensitive portrait of two women as they contend with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, women's solidarity, and sexuality that is experienced in full freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the backdrop of a reflection on the ineluctable need for truth that is to be unwaveringly pursued. This is a very welcome return to Venice in Competition for the recipient of our 2019 Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, many years after the success of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, the movie that marked his definitive triumph on the international scene.”

Madres Paralelas is about two pregnant women, Janis and Ana, who meet in a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis is middle-aged and overjoyed with the pregnancy while Ana is an adolescent who is scared and traumatized. The two forge a close link which becomes complicated and ends up changing their lives.

Pedro Almodóvar

One of the more well-known international filmmakers, Almodóvar gained worldwide recognition with Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown in 1988. He won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film for All About My Mother (1999), winning the award again, this time for Best Script, in 2002 for Talk To Her. In 2004, his film Bad Education was the opening film at the Cannes Festival and in 2006, Volver won the Best Screenplay award and Best Actress award at the festival.

“I was born as a film director in 1983 in Venice," said Almodóvar, "in the Mezzogiorno Mezzanotte section. Thirty-eight years later I am called to open the festival. I cannot explain the joy and the honour, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency. I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it.”

Madres Paralelas will be screened on 1 September in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema (Lido di Venezia) on the opening night of the festival.

Related topics

Venice International Film Festival