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Controversy to play supporting role alongside blockbusters at Venice Film Festival

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Paolo Baratta and Alberto Barbera pose ahead of announcement of the 76th Venice Film Festival line-up
Paolo Baratta and Alberto Barbera pose ahead of announcement of the 76th Venice Film Festival line-up -
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It is one of the film calendar's most prestigious events and this year's lineup promises some of the year's most hotly anticipated, and controversial films.

A number of features at this year's event will feature narratives about women. Whilst this is progressive, only two female directed films feature in the 21-film field.

The two female-directed films are Haifaa Al-Mansour's "The Perfect Candidate" and "Babyteeth", the directorial debut of Australia's Shannon Murphy.

The who's who of Hollywood will flock to the event in late August with a number of blockbusters being screened including, "Ad Astra," directed by James Gray, features Brad Pitt as an astronaut on a mission to save the solar system from imminent destruction.

Netflix commissioned "The King," an adaptation of several Shakespeare plays with an ensemble cast including Timothee Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, and Lily-Rose Depp will be screening outside of competition following the success of the streaming service's ''Roma'' last year.

The 2019 lineup is certainly not without controversy with Roman Polanski's new film ''An Officer and a Spy'' focusing on the Dreyfus affair likely to cause a stir in light of the #MeToo and Times Up movements.

The director was recently expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences because he continues to evade justice in the Unites States.

Julie Andrews and Pedro Almodovar will also each be awarded a Golden Lion for their lifetime achievements at the Lucrecia Martel-chaired festival.

The 76th Venice Film Festival runs from August 29 to September 7 2019.