Closing ceremony of Venice Film Festival to screen Capotondi’s The Burnt Orange Heresy

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The closing ceremony of the 76th Venice International Film Festival will witness the world premiere of The Burnt Orange Heresy directed by Giuseppe Capotondi on Saturday, 7 September, in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido di Venezia.

The film will be screened after the awards ceremony. Capotondi’s drama thriller film, however, is in the Out of Competition section.

The art world and the underworld collide in Capotondi’s elegant and erotic neo-noir thriller, The Burnt Orange Heresy. Set in present-day Italy, irresistibly charismatic art critic James Figueras (Bang) hooks up with provocative and alluring fellow American, Berenice Hollis (Debicki). He’s a classic anti-hero in the making with a charm that masks his ambition, whilst she’s an innocent touring Europe, enjoying the freedom of being whoever she wishes.

The new lovers travel to the lavish and opulent Lake Como estate of powerful art collector, Cassidy (Jagger). Their host reveals he is the patron of Jerome Debney (Sutherland), the reclusive J.D. Salinger of the art world, and he has a simple request: for James to steal a Debney masterpiece from the artist’s studio, whatever the cost. As the couple spend time with the legendary Debney, they start to realise that nothing about the artist nor their mission is what it seems. But James is a man of deep, lurking ambition and he will do anything, from arson and burglary to murder, in order to further his career.

The Burnt Orange Heresy is produced by David Zander, David Lancaster, and William Horberg. Executive producers include Sienna Aquilini and Peter Touche. Screenplay by Scott B. Smith, from the novel by Charles Willeford. Director of Photography David Ungaro.

After studying philosophy at the University in Milan, Capotondi began directing music videos and TV commercials at the age of 23 and has been doing so relentlessly ever since. He has directed more than 250 TV ads and music videos to date, winning several international awards, including the D&AD and Cannes Lion for advertising.

In 2009, Capotondi’s first feature film The Double Hour premiered in competition at the 66th Venice Film Festival to rave reviews and won its protagonist Kseniya Rappoport the Coppa Volpi award for best actress. Capotondi then went on to direct two documentaries and several TV episodes for shows such as Epix’s Berlin Station, Netflix’s Suburra, and ITV’s Endeavour. In 2019, he directed his second feature, The Burnt Orange Heresy, a contemporary film-noir, starring Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, and Donald Sutherland.

Venice Film Festival’s sections:


Venezia 76
An international competition comprising a maximum of 20 feature-length films, presented as world premieres.

Out of Competition
Some of the most important works of the year will be presented in the non-competing section, for a maximum of 18 films. They may include the works of established authors who have participated in competition in previous editions of the Venice Film Festival, as well as documentaries or films in which the spectacular dimension is accompanied by forms of expressive or narrative originality. Some films Out of Competition may be screened during the midnight slot, if their characteristics make them particularly suitable for showing at this time of night. Only feature films presented as world premieres at the Venice Film Festival will be admitted to the selection.

An international competition reserved for a maximum of 18 films, dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema, with special attention to debut films, young talents who are not yet firmly established, indie features, and lesser-known cinema, as well as works that address specific genres and current production, with the aim of innovating and demonstrating creative originality. The Orizzonti section features a selection of competing short films lasting a maximum of 20 minutes, selected on the basis of criteria, such as quality and originality of language and expression. Only feature-length and short films presented as world premieres at the Venice Film Festival will be admitted to the selection.

Venice Classics
This section features the world premiere screenings of a selection of the finest restorations of classic films carried out over the past year by film libraries, cultural institutions, and productions around the world, committed to the preservation and cultivation of the cinematographic heritage and the rediscovery of neglected or undervalued works of the past. The section may be completed with the presentation of documentaries about cinema or individual authors of last year or today, that can offer innovative elements for historical and critical assessment.

This non-competitive section features a selection of a maximum of 10 works of different genres, lengths, and targets. The Sconfini section may include art-house and genre movies, experimental and artists’ films, TV series, and crossover productions, which may be preceded or accompanied by public encounters and conversations with the directors, actors, and personalities from the world of art and culture. Only films presented as world premieres at the festival will be admitted to the selection.

Venice Virtual Reality

This section will include a maximum of 30 world-premieres or international premieres of VR Immersive Stories of any length and of any VR format (Samsung Gear, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Oculus, Sony Playstation, haptic devices, AR, MR; any other format needs to be discussed with the Director of the Venice Film Festival). The works of the teams participating in the third edition of the Biennale College Cinema-VR, and the previous films of the Venice Production Bridge invited project teams are presented Out of Competition.

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