ROME (AFP) – The Truth, the hotly-awaited new film by award-winning Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, will kick off the 2019 Venice Film Festival, organisers announced on Thursday (July 18).

Starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke, the film tells the tale of a French cinema star whose decision to publish her memoirs prompts a mother-daughter reunion which turns fiery.

“Truths will be told, accounts settled, loves and resentments confessed,” the festival said of the film.

The flick will screen on the first day of the 76th Venice International Film Festival, which runs from Aug 28 to Sept 7.

“It is with great joy that I have learned that my new film, The Truth, has been selected to open the Official Competition of the Venice Film Festival. I am extremely honoured,” Kore-eda said in a statement.

“We shot the movie in ten weeks last fall in Paris. As officially announced, the cast is prestigious but the film itself recounts a small family story that takes place primarily inside a house.

“I have tried to make my characters live within this small universe, with their lies, pride, regrets, sadness, joy, and reconciliation. I truly hope you will like this film,” he added.

Kore-eda won the top prize at the Cannes film festival last year with Shoplifters (2018), about a group of Tokyo misfits and crooks who form a kind of alternative family, called a “modern-day Oliver Twist”.

He has been described as Japan’s answer to Ken Loach, a director whose stories about struggling ordinary people never fail to touch.

“For the first film he has directed abroad, Kore-eda had the privilege of working with two major French film stars,” festival director Alberto Barbera said.

“The encounter between the universe of Japan’s most important filmmaker today, and two beloved actresses like Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, brought to life a poetic reflection on the relationship between a mother and her daughter, and the complex profession of acting,” he added.