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Woody Allen And Roman Polanski Headline Venice Film Festival Lineup Although Disgraced In U.S. Film Industry




The prestigious 80th annual Venice Film Festival is set to headline films directed by Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, despite Hollywood’s distaste for the directors due to their histories of sexual misconduct accusations, in its 80th anniversary event this fall, which could also face disruptions due to ongoing writers’ and actors’ strikes.

Key Facts

Only one film to this point—Challengers—has been pulled from the festival due to the impact of writers’ and actors’ strikes, though the event could be far less star-studded than usual if the strike persists for several more weeks.

The 80th Venice International Film Festival will take place from August 30 to September 9.

Key Background

The octogenarians Allen and Polanski have both been accused of sexually abusing minors. Allen was accused of sexually assaulting his then-7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, in 1992 during a custody battle with his ex-wife, Mia Farrow. In May 2023, new documents indicated that Allen met with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein monthly from 2014 to 2015 and had many dinners at Epstein’s home. In 1977, a 13-year-old accused Polanski of drugging and raping her. Upon learning that he would be sentenced to prison time, he fled to Europe and the judge decided years later to dismiss the charges against him. Allen has repeatedly denied the allegations against him and has never been criminally charged.


Due to the allegations, Allen faced issues with the distribution and production of new films. Allen’s four-picture distribution and production deal with Amazon was dropped in 2019 after he expressed sympathy for Harvey Weinstein, a notorious Hollywood sexual abuser and director. This isn’t the first time the U.S. film community has shunned Allen while the European film community has welcomed the director. A Rainy Day in New York was set to be released by Amazon in 2018 when Lucky Red, an Italian film distributor, picked it up a year later. On the other hand, Polanski has directed fourteen highly regarded films since his conviction despite six other women, most of whom were underaged, accusing him of sexual misconduct.

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