Universal Pictures’ First Man, directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) and starring Ryan Gosling, Jason Clarke and Claire Foy, has been announced as the opening film, in Competition, of the 75th Venice International Film Festival, directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta.
Barbera declared: “It is a true privilege to present the world premiere of Damien Chazelle’s new, highly-awaited film. It is a very personal, original and compelling piece of work, wonderfully unexpected within the context of present day epic films, and a confirmation of the great talent of one of the most important contemporary directors of American cinema. Our gratitude goes to Universal Pictures for premiering First Man at the 75th Venice Film Festival.”
“I am humbled by Venice’s invitation and am thrilled to return. It feels especially poignant to share this news so close to the moon landing’s anniversary. I eagerly look forward to bringing the film to the festival.”
First Man was shown in its world premiere screening on Wednesday August 29th, in the Sala Grande (invitations) at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia, following the Open Ceremony (the ceremony starts at 7:00 pm).
On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
Written by Academy Award® winner Josh Singer (Spotlight), the drama is produced by Wyck Godfrey & Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga, The Fault in Our Stars) through their Temple Hill Entertainment banner, alongside Chazelle. Steven Spielberg, Isaac Klausner, Adam Merims and Singer executive produce. DreamWorks Pictures co-finances the film. www.firstman.com
Academy Award® winner Damien Chazelle most recently wrote and directed the musical La La Land, which earned fourteen Oscar nominations, winning six awards, including Best Director for Chazelle, who is the youngest director to receive the award. The film also won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes, and was also honored with five BAFTA wins and eleven nominations.
His previous film, 2014’s Whiplash, received five Academy Award nominations and three wins, including Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. His 2013 short, based on the Whiplash screenplay, won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance, and the following year the feature film took home both the Jury and Audience Awards from the festival.
Chazelle made his first feature, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, as an undergraduate student at Harvard University. The film was named one of the Best Films of the Year by The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, LA Weekly, The Village Voice, and others.
Upcoming in TV, Chazelle has a musical drama The Eddy for Netflix, and a straight-to-series order for a drama series for Apple which he will direct and executive produce.