The oldest movie festival in the world at Venice – which began its roll in 1932, a good 14 years before Cannes kicked off – will celebrate its 75th edition from August 29 to September 8. Despite Cannes' preeminence as the number one Festival, Venice in recent years has been presenting extraordinarily good cinema, with many of the films making the cut for the Oscars.
Movies such as The Hurt Locker, Birdman, Spotlight, The Shape of Water, Black Swan, Gravity, La La Land and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri have all been in the Oscars race. And they were also riveting.
And this year, here are some of the film that may play on the Lido, the scenic island off mainland Venice that hosts the 11-day Festival. Who knows, they may be picked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars.
If Beale Street Could Talk is Barry Jenkins' adaptation of a black literary masterpiece – about the travails of a pregnant woman whose boyfriend is falsely implicated in a rape case by a racist policeman.
The Sisters Brothers comes from Jacques Audiard. A Western adventure with Joaquin Phoenix and Jake Gyllenhaal is set in the 1850s Oregon where an assassin duo chase a gold inspector. Audiard (whose A Prophet and Rust and Bone were marvellous pieces of work) was tipped to be at Cannes in May.
Peterloo from Mike Leigh, seen as Cannes' biggest miss this year, is also a period plot narrating the 1819 Manchester Massacre. Fifteen people died and 700 wounded when they demanded additional voting rights.
Vision by Naomi Kawase is another work which missed Cannes. A hot Venice tip this Autumn, Vision is an allegorical fantasy with France's Juliette Binoche as a journalist hunting for a mysterious herb that grows every 997 years.
Suspiria was another shocking omission at Cannes. Directed by Italy's Luca Guadagnino, this movie will have Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson in a horror tale.
First Man by Damien Chazelle may well turn out to be as popular as his earlier Venice opener, La La Land, was in 2016. La La Land's Ryan Gosling essays astronaut Neil Armstrong in this latest outing into outer space. We all know that Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon on July 20 1969.
Non Fiction may arrive on the Lido with French stars, Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet, stepping on the red carpet. Unfolding in the Parisian publishing world, this Olivier Assayas' title (after his Personal Shopper and The Clouds of Sils Maria) may rock Venice.
High Life is also targeting the Lido. Helmed by Claire Denis, this first ever English-language film by him will have Binoche (again) and Robert Pattinson who would be part of a criminal gang sent into a black hole in space. There will also be a bizarre sexual experiment here.
Sunset comes from the Hungarian director, Laszlo Nemes, who gave us the poignant and powerful Son of Saul. In Sunset, we have Susanne Wuest returning to Budapest after being raised in an orphanage. She takes up a job in a hat store, once owned by her parents, and out tumbles a family secret.
Radegund, another Terrance Malick title. May be at Venice. A historical drama about an upright objector who was executed by the Nazis for refusing to fight in World War II.
(Author, commentator and movie critic Gautaman Bhaskaran has covered the Venice Film Festival for over 15 years)