Next Wednesday, August 29, the Venice Film Festival gets under way. The fest serves as the starting point for the fall season of serious, award-worthy movies, with "secretive in advance but always well curated" Telluride starting two days later and giant monster fest Toronto (349 freakin' movies!) kicking off the following week. Kim Voynar wrote a lovely, detailed article on these major players, but, as reported by Variety in two different articles, other festivals are clamoring for attention too.

Located on the northern coast of Spain, San Sebastian hosts the 55th edition of their beloved festival, which takes place from September 20-29. Variety lists the 18 films in competition and highlights Nick Broomfield's Battle for Haditha, Wayne Wang's A Thousand Years of Good Prayers and Paulo Barzman's Emotional Arithmetic. The festival opens with David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises and closes with Michael Radford's Flawless.

The Rome Film Festival stormed onto the scene last year to the derision of Venice director Marco Müller , who reportedly snipped that Rome was screening "films that neither we nor Cannes wanted." For this year's edition, Rome scored a possible coup with the already-announced world premiere of Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth. According to the festival site, Coppola told a film magazine: "I think film festivals are a thing of the past, completely obsolete ... On the contrary, in Rome there seems to be a sincere desire to choose and screen films for the audience."

As Variety notes, several just-announced titles will be making their European debuts: Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Hector Babenco's The Past, Julio Medem's Caotica ana, Dario Argento's The Mother of Tears, Silvio Soldini's Days and Clouds and Steven Sebring's Patti Smith: A Dream of Life. Expect more news as the program is finalized; the festival runs from October 18-27.
categories Cinematical