'Downsizing,' Starring Matt Damon, to Open Venice Film Festival. The film, directed by Alexander Payne, will be released by Paramount in December
- Alexander Payne's Downsizing has been selected to open the Venice Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9. The satire, written by Payne and his frequent collaborator Jim Taylor, stars Matt Damon as a man who decides to shrink himself in order to find a better life. The cast also includes Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Laura Dern and Jason Sudeikis. The Venice berth is a first for Payne, whose films have played Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and Sundance, but not the Italian fest, where Downsizing's opening-night slot should position it for high-profile awards-season bid. Paramount plans to release the film Dec. 22. The studio recently showed off footage from the film at the annual CineEurope international exhibitors convention in Barcelona.