It starts again tonight: Opening of the Venice Film Festival. Oscar winners Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz are expected to attend the evening gala.

Venice (AP) – The 78th Venice International Film Festival opens this Wednesday with the new drama by Pedro Almodóvar. In the film “Madres Paralelas”, the Spanish director tells the story of two women who fell unexpectedly pregnant.

Oscar-winning actress Penélope Cruz has taken on one of the leading roles. It was still not clear if the Spaniard would come to the opening night gala with her husband, actor Javier Bardem.

Almodóvar’s film “Madres paralelas” is also the first film to compete for the main prizes in this year’s competition. In the days that follow, 20 other works will enter the race for the Golden Lion for best film. These include the drama “Sundown” with Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainsbourg, the satire “Competencia oficial” with Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas and the brother drama “The Power of the Dog” by New Zealander Jane Campion.

Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is also making her directorial debut with “The Lost Daughter”. There is no German competition. However, “Spencer” is a German co-production and shot extensively in Germany. In it, Kristen Stewart plays the legendary Princess Di. The film focuses on a few days when Diana decides to part ways with the British heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

In addition to the competition, some major Hollywood productions are also celebrating their premieres: “Halloween Kills” continues the hit horror film series with Jamie Lee Curtis, while Ridley Scott presents his action show “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Adam Driver at the Lagoon City. “Dune” is also a highly anticipated sci-fi film starring leading stars such as Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Stellan Skarsgård.

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest in the world. In recent years, works have been presented there which have subsequently triumphed at the Oscars, such as “Shape of Water” and “Nomadland”. This year, the main prizes will be awarded on September 11 by an international jury chaired by South Korean Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”).