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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

'First Man' by Damien Chazelle to open 75th Venice Film Festival

First Man will chronicle the years leading up to Armstrong successfully leading the Apollo 11 mission to land a man on the moon in 1969

Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle will open the 75h Venice Film Festival. Frederic J Brown / AFP
Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle will open the 75h Venice Film Festival. Frederic J Brown / AFP

La La Land director Damien Chazelle is set to open the Venice Film Festival for a second time with his latest film First Man, which stars Ryan Gosling as first man on the moon Neil Armstrong, and The Crown's Clare Foy as his wife. The film will show at this year's event on August 29.

Click below to watch the trailer:

Chazelle's multi-Oscar winning La La Land previously opened the Venice Festival in 2016 before embarking on an all-conquering run at both box offices and awards ceremonies. The film picked up a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations, a feat matched only by James Cameron's 1997 romance Titanic and Joseph Mankiewicz's 1950 Hollywood classic All About Eve.

First Man will chronicle the years leading up to Armstrong successfully leading the Apollo 11 mission to land a man on the moon in 1969. Chazelle told Variety's Playback podcast in 2017, as he was preparing to enter production on the new movie: “The hook was to think of it less as a biopic but as a mission movie, and to think of landing on the moon as this insane, once-in-history mission that I think we have a hard time even fathoming as a society now. In other words, we take it for granted, I think.

"At least kids of my generation, you grow up, you know that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, you see the picture, it’s all very gleaming and you see the American flag and you feel proud, and that’s kind of it. You accept that it happened. But the challenge or the hope with this would be to try to play a little bit of a rewind and put you in a mindset where it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s the most insane thing that a group has ever come together to do.”

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This year's Venice Film Festival will run from August 29 to September 8. The jury will be headed by this year's winner of the Best Picture Oscar, Guillermo Del Toro, whose The Shape of Water premiered at last year's event. Other Venice openers in recent years include Downsizing, Everest, Birdman, Gravity, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Darren Aranofsky's Black Swan.

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