Where Venice - - Contents -

The Ve­ni­ce Film Fe­sti­val is one of the mo­st gla­mou­rous even­ts on the sho­w­biz ca­len­dar...

(Pri­ze) for the be­st screen­play, the Gol­den Lion Ca­reer Award, won in 2016 by Jea­nPaul Bel­mon­do and Jer­zy Sko­li­mo­w­ski; the Mar­cel­lo Ma­stro­ian­ni Award for the be­st emer­ging ac­tor or ac­tress and the Orizzonti Award for the be­st ori­gi­nal screen­play.


The li­ne-up of films sche­du­led to pre­mie­re at the Ve­ni­ce Film Fe­sti­val was an­noun­ced at the end of Ju­ly, at the ti­me of going to press. In ad­di­tion to mar­king the re­turn of Ita­lian ci­ne­ma, this edi­tion will fea­tu­re an all-star pro­gram of in­ter­na­tio­nal guests in­clu­ding Geor­ge Cloo­ney, Matt Da­mon and Jen­ni­fer La­w­ren­ce. Vy­ing for the Gol­den Lion this year are 21 world pre­mie­res fea­tu­ring do­mi­nant the­mes su­ch as fa­mi­ly and im­mi­gra­tion. In par­ti­cu­lar, fol­lo­wing the opening of the fest wi­th Ale­xan­der Pay­ne's Do­wn­si­zing, other no­ta­ble bloc­k­bu­sters in­clu­de Hu­man Flow di­rec­ted by Ai Wei­wei, and Dar­ren Aro­nof­sky's psy­cho­dra­ma Mo­ther!, star­ring Mi­chel­le Pfeif­fer, Jen­ni­fer La­w­ren­ce and Javier Bardem. Other must-sees are Geor­ge Cloo­ney's Su­bur­bi­con and The Sha­pe of Wa­ter di­rec­ted by Guil­ler­mo del To­ro.

Among the in­no­va­tions an­noun­ced, this year's fe­sti­val will see an unu­sual ro­le re­ver­sal. For the fir­st ti­me in Ve­ni­ce, a pa­tron ra­ther than a pa­tro­ness has been cho­sen to ho­st the fe­sti­val, and this year, af­ter an 11-year run of ma­le pre­si­den­ts, the po­si­tion of Jury President will be held by a wo­man. Ame­ri­can ac­tress, An­net­te Be­ning a four-ti­me Oscar no­mi­nee (The Grif­ters, 1991; Ame­ri­can Beauty, 1999; Being Ju­lia, 2004 and The Kids Are All Right, 2010), has been na­med President of the jury, whi­le Ales­san­dro Bor­ghi, one of the lea­ding fi­gu­res of the new ge­ne­ra­tion of Ita­lian ac­tors, has been cho­sen to ho­st the opening and clo­sing even­ts of the Fe­sti­val. The ad­di­tion of a new com­pe­ti­ti­ve sec­tion ti­tled ‘Ve­ni­ce Vir­tual Rea­li­ty' de­di­ca­ted to films ma­de for vir­tual-rea­li­ty viewing is al­so no­tewor­thy. The Ve­ni­ce Bien­na­le, the um­brel­la un­der whi­ch the Film Fe­sti­val falls, has de­creed that vir­tual rea­li­ty is an emer­ging art form and de­ser­ves bo­th its own com­pe­ti­tion and an ad hoc thea­tre, the ‘VR Thea­tre' crea­ted in 2016 at the Li­do's Pa­laz­zo del Ca­si­nò.


Sin­ce its in­cep­tion, the Ve­ni­ce Film Fe­sti­val has been at­ten­ded by almost eve­ry ma­jor na­me in the world of sho­w­biz and the li­st of anec­do­tes is end­less: from the di­vi­ne Mar­le­ne Die­tri­ch, who gra­ced the red car­pet in 1937, to Sean Con­ne­ry, who in 1967 sped into the


Abo­ve, Ame­ri­can ac­tress An­net­te Be­ning, President of the Jury of the 2017 Com­pe­ti­tion. On the right, Mel Gib­son's re­turn to the Li­do in 2016, wi­th ‘Hack­saw Rid­ge', his fif­th fea­tu­re film as a di­rec­tor. Be­low. Hol­ly­wood screen legends of the Fif­ties im­mor­ta­li­zed in Ve­ni­ce: Bri­git­te Bar­dot (1958) and, at the si­de, An­na Ma­gna­ni wi­th Al­ber­to Sor­di (1956).

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