(Rome) The 80th Venice Film Festival presented a varied program on Tuesday, despite the strike of American actors, but risks controversy due to the presence of films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen.

The inclusion of new films by Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, both selected out of competition, could spark controversy as both directors have been blacklisted by Hollywood over suspicions of sexual assault.

While Mr. Polanski is caught up in long-running rape charges, Mr. Allen has been the subject of several investigations, but was cleared by the police in the 1990s.

The impact of the American actors’ strike, which began on July 14, on the programming of the Mostra “is very modest”, artistic director Alberto Barbera told the press on Tuesday.

“The only film we lost was the opening film, the very beautiful film Challengers by Luca Guadagnino,” Barbera said.

This film will be replaced by Comandante by another Italian director, Edoardo De Angelis.

“There will be a few fewer stars […] but we hope the red carpet will not be bald,” added Mr. Barbera.

Among the 23 films competing for the Golden Lion, one of the most anticipated is Bradley Cooper’s Maestro about legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. This film, which evokes Mr. Bernstein’s tormented relationship with his wife, is “the biography of an extraordinary genius”, estimated Mr. Barbera.

It was not immediately clear if Bradley Cooper, who also plays the main role, would be present in Venice.

Emma Stone, who plays a Frankenstein-esque creature brought back to life by an eccentric scientist in Poor Things in which she once again teams up with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), is unlikely to come.

But many Hollywood films will be present for a Venice premiere, including Sofia Coppola’s feature film about Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ wife, and Ferrari, Michael Mann’s film about Enzo Ferrari starring Adam Driver in the lead role.

International directors include Frenchman Luc Besson – definitely cleared of rape charges in June by the Court of Cassation – with Dogman, Mexican Michel Franco with Memory with Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard, and Italian Matteo Garrone (Gomorra) with Io Capitano.

On the French side, note the presence in competition of The Beast by Bertrand Bonello, with Léa Seydoux, a Canadian co-production signed Sons of Manual, Xavier Dolan’s production company, and Hors-saison by Stéphane Brizé, with Guillaume Canet.

The festival will conclude with the screening on September 9 after the award ceremony of the film La sociedad de la nieve by Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona, inspired by the crash of the Andes in 1972.