I attended my first Venice International Film Festival at the Cinema del Palazzo complex in Lido this year from the Pre-Opening Night event August 30th through Closing Night September 10th, 2016 as an accredited media entity.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world with a history dating to 1932. This year was the 73rd edition showing little signs of its age. Steeped in glamor and tradition, the festival remains a testament to the cinematic arts with its viewing venues and its programming.
Set in Lido with a plethora of screens each only a score or two steps away, these hallowed cinema grounds created a magical setting adorned with cafes, raised walkways, and abundance of shade trees.
The real magic, however, took place inside the cinema!
Leading the way were the spell-binding performances of Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman in Planetarium from Director Rebecca Zlotowski.
Award-winning, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, took home the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize for Best Film. Nocturnal Animals captured my eye and imagination with it’s captivating story lines, exceptionally rich, mise-en-scene and wildly, powerful acting. Damien Chazelle and crew mesmerized audiences with their dazzling La La Land. The lovely Emma Stone received the Best Actress Silver Lion Volpi Cup for her heartful, soul-revealing performance as Mia.
This year’s Golden Lion for Best Film went to Lav Diaz for his painstaking drama, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), an epic story with a runtime of 226 minutes. The film follows one woman rediscovering her homeland after a 30 year stay in a correctional facility.
For a complete list of winners click here.
Other noteworthy films, not already mentioned, included: Paradise, a Russian Federation film, set amidst the Nazi WWII reign of terror (Director Andrei Konchalovsky garnered Silver Lion for Best Director for his Paradise efforts); Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, winner of the 5th Green Drop Award awarded by Green Cross Italy to films that bring attention to the values of ecology and sustainable development; Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s portrait of the iconic First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Noah Oppenheim won Best Screenplay for Jackie); and Orecchie, a Biennale College – Cinema Production, directed by Alessandro Aronadio and produced by Costanza Coldagelli.
A special note of thanks to this year’s ushers for their efforts in ensuring my safety and well-being at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Until next year, Ciao’!
*Featured photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee