‘Happening’, the winner of Venice’s Golden Lion, to compete in the Official Section

  • Directed by French filmmaker Audrey Diwan’s, the film adapts Annie Ernaux’s homonymous novel where the author describes the clandestine abortion she underwent in 1963.

‘Happening’ (‘L’événement’), the winner of the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival, will compete in the Official Section of the 66th Valladolid International Film Festival, which will take place from October 23 to 30. The film’s premiere in Spain will therefore take place during the first weekend of the festival.

‘Happening’, the second feature by French director Audrey Diwan, adapts for the big screen the homonymous novel by French writer Annie Ernaux, in which she describes the clandestine abortion which she had to undergo in 1963 in France, when this practice was banned and legally punished.

Set in 1963 France, the film follows Anne, a bright young student with a promising future. But when she becomes pregnant, her chances of finishing her studies and escaping the limitations imposed by her social background vanish before her eyes. As her final exams approach and her belly keeps growing, Anne decides to act: even if she has to face shame and pain; even if she risks jail time or losing her own life.

Born in 1980, Audrey Diwan is a French film director of Lebanese origin who became a screenwriter after studying Journalism and Political Science. She wrote the screenplay for The Connection (Mariana Saffon, 2014), a film starring Jean Dujardin. She is also a special contributor to the magazine ‘Stylist’ and a member of Collectif 50/50, a French NGO that promotes equality between men and women in the film industry.

Her directorial debut, Mais vous êtes fous, premiered in 2019, and her second feature film, Happening (2021), recently won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice Film Festival.

The film, which is distributed in Spain by Caramel Films, was invited to participate in the Official Section by Seminci’s selection committee three months before its international premiere at the Venice Film Festival, a choice now endorsed by the accolade in the Italian competition.

The rest of the titles that make up the Official Section of the Valladolid International Film Festival will be announced this coming Wednesday, September 15.

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