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Sofia Coppola’s ‘Priscilla’ Gets Seven-Minute Standing Ovation in Venice as Stars (and Priscilla Presley) Fight Back Tears

Priscilla, one of the buzziest films heading into this year’s Venice Film Festival, finally had its world premiere in competition on the Lido, receiving a rapturous seven-minute 30-second standing ovation for its director Sofia Coppola, young leads and the inspiration herself, Priscilla Presley.

Thanks to an interim agreement arranged just days prior to the festival, alongside director Coppola, stars Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi were able to attend the premiere alongside Priscilla Presley. The biopic details her relationship with Elvis, whom she met as a 14-year-old.

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During the standing ovation, the cast and Presley were seen holding back tears, overcome with the emotion of the event and the reception.

Earlier in the day at the film’s press conference, Presley admitted that watching the movie had been hard. “It’s very difficult to watch a film about you and about your life and about your love,” she said. “But Sofia did an amazing job. She did her homework, and I really put everything out for her that I could.”

Presley also spoke candidly about her time with Elvis and had to stop several times to wipe away tears.

“Elvis would pour his heart out to me. His hopes, his fears, his loss of his mother, and I was the person who really sat there to listen and to comfort him. That was really our connection. Even though I was 14, I was older in life than in years,” she said. “And that was the attraction. People think, ‘Oh, it was sex, it was this.’ Not at all. I never had sex with him. He was very kind, very soft, very loving. But he also respected the fact I was only 14 years old. We were more in mind and thought, and that was our relationship.”

Written and directed by Coppola, Priscilla is based on the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, written by Presley and Sandra Harmon, and was produced by Lorenzo Mieli for The Apartment Pictures, a Fremantle Company, Coppola for American Zoetrope, and Youree Henley. It was financed by Fremantle Group. A24 will distribute in the U.S. and Vision Distribution, a Sky Company, will distribute in Italy.

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