Spanish director JA Bayona’s “Society of the Snow,” a reconstruction of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes that forced survivors to take extreme measures, including cannibalism, has been set as the Venice Film Festival’s closing film.
The deeply immersive Spanish-language saga is a Netflix original film shot in Andalusia’s Sierra Nevada, mainland Spain’s highest mountain range, using a 300-person crew. “Society of the Snow” will world premiere on the Lido out-of-competition on Sept. 9th. Its official screening will be held in the Palazzo del Cinema after the awards ceremony.
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In 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which had been chartered to bring Montevideo’s Old Christians Rugby Club team to Chile, crashed at an altitude of 11,712 feet in the Andes. Of its 45 passengers – which consisted mostly of the rugby team, friends and family – 29 survived. Without food, the survivors, who belonged to Uruguay’s elite, were forced to eat the flesh of the deceased to stay alive. 19 survived an avalanche. 72 days after the crash, 16 finally made it out alive.
Venice’s announcement on Saturday that “Society of the Snow” is Friday’s news that the Lido has been forced to pull Luca Guadagnino’s Zendaya-starrer “Challengers,” which had been set as its opening film, due to promotional complications prompted by the SAG-AFTRA strike. Italian World War II epic “Comandante” is replacing “Challengers” as Venice’s opening night film.
The “Society of the Snow” cast features up-and-coming Uruguayan and Argentine actors Enzo Vogrincic (“A Twelve-Year Night”): Matías Recalt (“Apache, la vida de Carlos Tévez”); Agustín Pardella (“Pinamar”) and Felipe González (“El Cazador”).
Directed by Bayona, “Society of the Snow” is produced by Belén Atienza, Sandra Hermida and JA Bayona. Starring Enzo Vogrincic, Matías Recalt, Agustín Pardella, Esteban Kukuriczka and Tomas Wolf. The screenplay is by Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques, and Nicolás Casariego from the novel by Pablo Vierci. The director of photography is Pedro Luque (“Don’t Breathe”).
JA Bayona made his directorial debut with “The Orphanage” (2007) which launched at Cannes and won numerous awards including seven Goyas, which are Spain’s highest film honors. In 2012 he made his first English-language foray with “The Impossible, a harrowing disaster film that grossed $198 million worldwide.
The 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival will run Aug. 30-Sept. 9. The lineup will be announced on July 25.
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