July 19 (UPI) -- The 2021 Venice Film Festival will open with Pedro Almodóvar's new film Madres Paralelas.
Organizers said Monday that Madres Paralelas, or Parallel Mothers, will screen during the festival's opening night Sept. 1.
Madres Paralelas is a new drama written and directed by Almodóvar, a Spanish director known for such films as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, All About My Mother, Talk to Her and Pain and Glory.
"I was born as a film director in 1983 in Venice in the Mezzogiorno Mezzanotte section," Almodóvar said in a statement, referencing his film Dark Habits. "Thirty-eight years later I am called to open the festival. I cannot explain the joy and the honor, and how much this means to me without falling into complacency. I am very grateful to the festival for this recognition and hope to be up to it."
Madres Paralelas stars Penélope Cruz, Milena Smit, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Israel Elejalde, Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma. The film follows two mothers (Cruz and Smit) who enter the same hospital ward to give birth.
"I am grateful to Pedro Almodóvar for having given us the privilege of opening the film festival with his new movie, a intense and sensitive portrait of two women as they contend with a pregnancy with unpredictable consequences, women's solidarity, and sexuality that is experienced in full freedom and without hypocrisy, all against the backdrop of a reflection on the ineluctable need for truth that is to be unwaveringly pursued," festival director Alberto Barbera said.
Almodóvar has collaborated with Cruz on six of his films.