Ivan Ayr’s debut feature Soni has been selected for the Horizons competition section at the Venice Film Festival (August 29 to September 8). The line-up was announced on Wednesday.
Starring Geetika Vidya and Saloni Batra, the Hindi film explores gender politics through the experiences of a Delhi policewoman. Soni was selected for the Work in Progress Lab of the India’s National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar in 2017. Ayr has previously made the short films Lost and Found and Quest for a Different Outcome, which won Best Film at the San Jose Short Film Festival.
Horizons is a section of the festival “dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema”, according to the official description. Soni will compete with 18 other films, including Tel Aviv on Fire by Sameh Zoabi, Sulla Mia Pelle by Allessio Cremonini, Manta Ray by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng and The Man Who Surprised Everyone by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov.
Films listed in the main competition section include Rick Alverson’s The Mountain, Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake and Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite.
Damian Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, starring Ryan Gosling, will open the festival and is also one of the competing films. Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born, starring him with Lady Gaga, will also have its world premiere (out of competition) at the festival on August 31.
Rahi Anil Barve’s upcoming period horror Tumbbad, starring Sohum Shah, is also travelling to Venice next month, where it will open the Critic’s Week, an event that runs parallel to the Venice Film Festival.