Category Archives: Venice International Film Festival

Last call for the Biennale College Cinema International

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Biennale College – Cinema has now reached its 8th edition: a strategic programme for training new filmmakers from all around the world, which was already operating in the Dance, Music, Theatre departments of La Biennale di Venezia.

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Biennale College fosters new talents, allowing them to work in contact with masters in order to develop “creations”.

This is a project of crucial importance and the Cinema department of La Biennale di Venezia has been revitalized and given a brand new configuration: a program of permanent activities “after and beyond the Festival” with a strong commitment to developing new creative energies channeled into producing art.

Biennale College – Cinema is supported by Ministero per i Beni e le attività culturali.

The primary goal is to supplement the Venice International Film Festival with an advanced training workshop for the development and production of micro-budget audio-visual works, open to teams of directors and producers from around the world.

The challenge is to be able to create – at the end of a year-long series of activities that cover the entire spectrum of filmmaking including the conception, development, production, marketing, audience engagement, sales and distribution of films – up to 3 feature length micro-budget audio-visual works – among which 1 Italian – that will be presented during the Venice International Film Festival and also have an on-line screening on the “Sala Web”, the virtual theatre added to the traditional theatres that house the screenings for the public and pass holders in the Lido.

An essential element of the initiative is the combination of not only training and production finance but also the screening of the completed film at the Venice International Film Festival giving the selected filmmakers much needed visibility – the lack of which is one of the major problems of today’s independent cinema.
Biennale College – Cinema also aims to advance research on micro-budget productions, which have become, in times of economic crisis, one of the few opportunities that new talents have to make the leap into producing and directing full feature films.

The eighth edition includes two different calls, one Italian (open 20th February until 15th April 2019) and one International, until 1st July. Click here for Registration.

For each call, Biennale College Cinema is looking for feature-length audio-visual concepts that can be made with € 150.000,00 to be completed, developed, produced, edited and screened at the Venice International Film Festival in 2020.

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(Sourced from Biennale Press)


Venice News: David Cronenberg to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Posted by Larry Gleeson

David Cronenberg will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for directors at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8, 2018).


Accepting the award, David Cronenberg declared: “I’ve always loved the Golden Lion of Venice. A lion that flies on golden wings –that’s the essence of art, isn’t it? The essence of cinema. It will be almost unbearably thrilling to receive a Golden Lion of my own.”

The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, who espoused the proposal made by the Festival Director, Alberto Barbera.

With regard to this prize, Alberto Barbera declared: “Although Cronenberg was originally relegated to the margins of the horror genre, right from his first, scandalously subversive movies, the director has shown that he wants to take his audiences well beyond the cinema of exploitation, as he constructs an original and highly personal structure, movie after movie. Revolving around the inseparable relationship of body, sex, and death, his universe is populated by grotesque deformities and terrifying couplings, a horror which reflects the fear of mutations inflicted on bodies by science and technology, of disease and physical decay, of the unresolved conflict between spirit and flesh. Violence, sexual transgression, confusion between what is real and what is virtual, the image’s deforming role in contemporary society: these are a few of the recurring themes which have helped make him one of the most daring and stimulating filmmakers ever, a tireless innovator of forms and languages.”

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Guillermo del Toro President of the 75th Venice International Film Jury

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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The Jury will assign the Golden Lion for Best Film as well as other official awards.


Director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) will be the president of the International Jury of the Competition at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8, 2018). The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, who embraced the recommendation of the Director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera.

Upon accepting the proposal, Guillermo stated: “To serve as president in Venice is an immense honor and responsibility that I accept with respect and gratitude. Venice is a window to world cinema and the opportunity to celebrate its power and cultural relevance.”

Del Toro participated in the Competition of the recent 74th Venice International Film Festival 2017 with The Shape of Water, which won the Golden Lion for Best Film, awarded by the Jury chaired by Annette Bening.

On the final night (September 8, 2018) of the upcoming 75th Venice Film Festival, the International Jury will assign the following official prizes to the feature-length films in the Competition:

  • Golden Lion for Best Film
  • Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize
  • Silver Lion – Award for Best Director
  • Coppa Volpi for Best Actor
  • Coppa Volpi for Best Actress
  • Award for Best Screenplay
  • Special Jury Prize
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress.

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*Featured photo – Director Guillermo del Toro  (Photo credit: La Biennale di Venezia)


Call for Film Submissions – Venice International College Program

Posted by Larry Gleeson

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The Venice International Film Festival’s Biennale College –Cinema International is open for submissions on the college cinema website through July 1st, 2018.

The Call for the Biennale College – Cinema International is open to teams composed of directors making their first or second film, associated with producers who have made at least three audio-visual subjects, or one feature-length fiction film, or a documentary, distributed and/or presented at Film Festivals.

Nine micro-budget projects will be selected and invited to participate in a preliminary developmental workshop, to be held between October 6th and 15th 2018 in Venice, together with the three projects selected from the Italian call (Biennale College – Cinema Italia).

Of these twelve projects, three (including one from the Italian section) will be selected to receive a supporting grant from the Biennale that will cover the production costs (which must not exceed 150,000 euro). The three feature-length films produced during this process will be presented at the 76th Venice International Film Festival 2019. They will also be screened online in the Sala Web, the virtual theatre that coexists with the traditional screening venues of the Venice Film Festival on the Lido.


The complete official text of the Biennale College – Cinema International is available online at



Venice International Film Festival Celebrates 75th Edition This Year

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the most prestigious. The Festival was organized for the first time in 1932, under the auspices of the President of the Biennale, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the sculptor Antonio Maraini, and Luciano De Feo and obtained a great popularity, so as to become an annual event from 1935 onwards.

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The Venice Film Festival is today a prestigious event that presents every year a selection of world-class films, bringing some of the most successful directors and actors of our time on the red carpet at Lido di Venezia, continuing the tradition that adds the glamour and charm that always marked the Festival as a high artistic value program.

About 75th Venice International Film Festival

The 75th Venice International Film Festival is organized by La Biennale di Venezia, and will take place at Venice Lido from August 29th to September 8th, 2018. This year’s President of the International Jury of the Competition is Guillermo del Toro. The Festival is officially recognized by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Association).

The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and dialogue. The Festival also organizes retrospectives and tributes to major figures as a contribution towards a better understanding of the history of cinema.

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Director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone) will be the president of the International Jury of the Competition at the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29 – September 8, 2018), which will assign the Golden Lion for Best Film as well as other official awards. (Photo credit:La Biennale di Venezia)


Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates Cinema in Venice with a Gala Night

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Official sponsor of the Venice International Film Festival for over a decade, Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated its commitment with a Gala Dinner held on the 5th of September in the Arsenal of Venice.

Venezia 74

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Deputy CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre Geoffroy Lefebvre and Rebecca Hall wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso One High Jewelry
Diane Kruger wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Joaillerie 101 Reine watch
Catherine Deneuve chose a Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Secret watch


Jaeger-LeCoultre Deputy CEO Geoffroy Lefebvre welcomed friends of the Maison and an array of prestigious guests: Catherine Deneuve, Diane Kruger, jury member of the Film Festival Rebecca Hall, Italian actresses Cristiana Capotondi and Eva Riccobono, international talents Ann Hsu, Shi Ke, Geng Le and director Vivian Qu.

During the evening, Jaeger-LeCoultre honoured Catherine Deneuve for her unparalleled contribution to the art of filmmaking. A long-time friend of the Brand actress Diane Kruger presented her the award on behalf of the Maison.

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Ann Hsu wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Moon in white gold
Andrea Pezzi and Cristiana Capotondi wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Night & Day watch
Matteo Ceccarini wearing a Reverso Classic and Eva Riccobono wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy in white gold
Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Sonatina “Séduction” (left) and “Amour” (right) celebrated at the Gala Dinner

The three new Rendez-Vous Sonatina “Séduction”, “Romance” and “Amour” on display were emblematic of this Gala Night that celebrated cinema and the power of emotions that it triggers.


Since 1833, Jaeger-LeCoultre has remained dedicated to the legacy of watchmaking traditions while maintaining its expertise for invention in creating authentic, fine watchmaking legends.

Committed to a constant quest for excellence and supported by a unique inventive spirit, Jaeger-LeCoultre has a long-standing engagement in supporting the appreciation and preservation of film.

For more than a decade, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been closely associated with the best artistic film festivals around the world, including Venice, Shanghai, and San Sebastian, and in turn pays tribute to the creative talent of filmmakers by annually awarding the Glory to the Filmmaker Award.

Through its close affinity with the world of film, Jaeger-LeCoultre has found shared values and a common mission: each second bears the imprint of a moment of eternity.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts Gala Dinner At Arsenale In Venice: Arrivals - 74th Venice International Film Festival
Soo Joo Park arrives for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gala Dinner during the 74th Venice International Film Festival at Arsenale on September 5, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Jaeger-LeCoultre)

The feminine Rendez-Vous watch is with you in all the precious moments and adapts to every new role. Jaeger-LeCoultre invites every woman to express the actor within her, by capturing an iconic moment or scene from the movies.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Hosts Gala Dinner At Arsenale In Venice: Arrivals - 74th Venice International Film Festival
Ana Brenda Contreras arrives for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gala Dinner during the 74th Venice International Film Festival at Arsenale on September 5, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Jaeger-LeCoultre

Live a uniquely emotional moment and share it with everyone.


(Press materials provided by


Venice Movie Stars Lounge, September 6th, 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017, the Venice Movie Stars Lounge hosted the national and international press activities of the actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, the only Spanish actors to win an Academy Award with both obtaining Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively.


They came to present the director’s, Fernando León de Aranoa, new film, “Loving Pablo” that narrates about the relationship between the Colombian drug dealer, Pablo Escobar, and his lover, the TV journalist, Virginia Vallejo. The couple, not only in real life but even on set, after carrying out the TV interviews during the morning, had lunch inside the Villa, and then moved on more interviews answering the questions of the journalists.

Stay tuned for more on the glamor, the fashion and the filmmaking of the 74th Venice International Film Festival!

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Official Sponsors of the Venice Movie Stars project are Lamborghini, Palazzina G, Area Stile, Diamond Ice Noble Vodka, Sant’Anna, Safilo, Giaquinto, Corradi, along with the technical partners Forno d’Asolo, Bevande Futuriste, Consorzio Tutela Piave DOP, Hausbrandt, Prosecco Vigna Belvedere, Barbero Davide, Smania, Sixtema, Ethimo, Ideal Lux, Movidos, Banca Fideuram, Round Studio, H&A associati srl


(Source: Press release provided by Immagicgroup, marketing leader in providing spaces for press activities at the Festivals of Cannes and Berlin, and during the 74 Venice International Film Festival)

Venice dedicates entire island to VR

Posted by Larry Gleeson

If you thought that the Venice Film Festival had lost its relevance, think again. Since 2013 the oldest film festival in the world has become the launching pad for the Oscars and now embraces the future of cinema by hosting the biggest and boldest presentation of Virtual Reality ever seen at any film festival.

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The island, Lazzaretto Vecchio, pictured above, will be transformed into a virtual reality paradise during the Biennale from August 31st to September 5th, 2017.

And they do it in a way that only Venice can – with an immaculate sense of style and aplomb. The main big news is that Venice will dedicate an abandoned island in the lagoon to the presentation of the world’s best VR productions.

Located less than 50 meters from the Lido, where the festival takes place, sits Lazzaretto Vecchio. enice VR will literally be just a stone’s throw from the heart of the Festival and The PalaBiennale, which is one of the largest screening venues. This small, abandoned island used to be a leper colony and a quarantine transit island between the 15th and 17th century. The island alone is worth the short trip comments Michel, “There’s so much history in this place.”


About a decade ago, the hospital and the adjoining buildings on the island were partly renovated to house a future Museum of Archeology, which has not materialized to date. Now, Lazzaretto Vecchio has found a new purpose.

VR Theater

Venice VR also features a dedicated VR theater with 50 revolving leather seats located in a huge hangar from the 16th century. Visitors can see three programs in competition. Highlights include the first VR piece, The Deserted (55′), by internationally renowned Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang. Additionally, there will be an Out of Competition program featuring previous VR pieces by directors who are part of this year’s Venice Production Bridge – the pitch market of the Festival.

A fifth program features three pieces from this year’s premiere edition of the Venice Biennale College Cinema – Virtual Reality which will be presented out of competition. The Venice Biennale College is a two-part pressure cooker-style training program that preps participants for a bright 360° interactive immersive future. Two projects (out of ten projects developed during this year’s College) have been made with support from Sony are presented alongside the third piece, a VR spinoff from Beautiful Things, which is one of the three “flat” films produced this year by the Biennale College Cinema.

A small PSVR tie-in piece to the TV-series Snatch on Crackle – Sony’s free, ad-supported media streaming service. A tie-in to Guy Ritchie’s crime comedy from 2000, Snatch is a game where you need to crack the code of a chest.


Venice VR Competition at a glance

A major selection criterium of Venice is that all pieces have to be international or world premieres. The second criterium is of course the quality of the piece. 103 submissions were sent in from all over the world for Venice’s first VR competition. Among the 22 VR pieces that were selected are six room-scale installations, six Oculus and three Vive stand ups.

Three of the former hospital’s extended hallways and galleries will offer plenty of space for Venice’s ambitious VR program. “We will have something like 4000 square meters to just do the installations,” says Michel Reilhac. But it’s not just about the space, he adds. The atmosphere on the island is “simply magical.” This will be the very first time ever that the island is opened to visitors.


Venice Virtual Reality: Installations in Competition

There will be six installations that allow visitors to interact with the space and sometimes with actors. There are a couple of pieces that fall in the category of Reactive Theater; interactive VR experiences that use live performers, also referred to as “reactive actors.” Draw Me Close by the National Theatre and the NFB is a VR installation in which the actors “play” with the audience making the piece more immersive.

For a more complete listing click here!

An impressive VR-teaser for a very ambitious Hollywood-style movie about a futuristic destroyed city.

(Source:, extracted from article by Remco Vlaanderen)


Jane Fonda and Robert Redford to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Jane Fonda and Robert Redford each will be awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.

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In addition, there will be a screening of The Electric Horseman (1979) directed by Sydney Pollack, one of the four movies in which the two great actors performed together.

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The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement will be given to Jane Fonda and Robert Redford on Friday, September 1st in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema (Lido di Venezia), before the Out of Competition screening of the Netflix movie Our Souls at Night, directed by Ritesh Batra and starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, who also produced the film with his company Wildwood Enterprises, Inc.

The 74th Venice International Film Festival, which will be held from August 30th to September 9th at the Lido di Venezia, is directed by Alberto Barbera and is organized by the Biennale, chaired by Paolo Baratta.

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The International Juries of Venezia 74

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The selection is complete for the members of the four Juries of the 74th Venice International Film Festival.


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The Presidents of the four Juries are: 

Venezia 74 – Annette Bening 

Orizzonti – Gianni Amelio

Venice Virtual Reality – John Landis

Premio Venezia Opera Prima “Luigi De Laurentiis” – Benoît Jacquot


Stay tuned for more on this developing feature about the world’s oldest and by far one of the today’s most prestigious and glamorous film festivals!




The members of the International Jury of the Orizzonti section are:

· The Italian director Gianni Amelio (President of the Jury). He debuted in feature films with Colpire al cuore (1982), which participated In Competition in Venice, where he won the Golden Lion in 1998 with Così ridevano; he returned to Venice three more times. Other films of his include The Stolen Children (Grand Prize of the Jury in Cannes in  1992), Lamerica and The Keys to the House. This year, La tenerezza received the Silver Ribbon for Best Film.

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Rebecca Zlotowski (Photo courtesy of ASAC/La Biennale di Venezia)

· Rebecca Zlotowski is a French screenwriter and the director of three feature films. Her first movie,  Belle épine, was presented in 2010 in Cannes, where she returned in 2013 with Grand Central in Un Certain Regard. Planetarium, her 2016 film starring Natalie Portman, was presented Out of Competition in Venice.

· Rakhshan Banietemad is one of Iran’s most important filmmakers, the director of numerous documentaries and fiction films such as Under the Skin of the City and Our Times, fundamental works of Iranian cinema. In 1995, The Blue Veiled won the Bronze Leopard in Locarno, while Taleswon Best Screenplay at Venice 71.

· The American director Ami Canaan Mann. She has directed three feature films. She debuted in 2001 with Morning; in 2011 she presented Texas Killing Fields In Competition in Venice, where she returned three years later with Jackie & Ryan, selected for the Orizzonti section. She has directed episodes for several TV series such as Robbery Homicide Division and, most recently, Shots Fired and Sneaky Pete.

· The Irish-Scottish director, screenwriter and curator Mark Cousins. He has made many documentaries and is particularly famous for his monumental The Story of Film: An Odyssey, a 930-minute journey through the history of cinema. He has also made short films and experimental works, and is a university professor and essayist. He directed his first fiction film, Stockholm, My Love, in 2016.

· The Argentine screenwriter, architect and artistic curator Andrés Duprat. He wrote the screenplays of El artista (2008), El hombre de al lado(2010), Querida voy a comprar cigarrillos y vuelvo (2011) and El ciudadano ilustre (2016), all of which were directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat. El ciudadano ilustre allowed Oscar Martínez to winthe Coppa Volpi in Venice. Duprat is the curator of the Pavilion of Argentina at the 57thInternational Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia.

· The Belgian director and screenwriter Fien Troch. She debuted in feature films in 2005 with Someone Else’s Happiness, presented in Toronto, where she returned with her next film, Unspoken. Her most recent movie, Home, won Best Director in the Orizzonti section in Venice in 2016.

The Jury of the Orizzonti section will award the following prizes, with no ex-aequo permitted:

Orizzonti Award for Best Film; Orizzonti Award for Best Director; Special Orizzonti Jury Prize; Orizzonti Award for Best Actor; Orizzonti Awardfor Best Actress; Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay; Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.


The members of the International Jury of the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future are:

· The French director and screenwriter Benoît Jacquot (President of the Jury). He has participated several times In Competition at the Venice Film Festival, with Le septième ciel in 1997; Pas de scandale in 1999; L’intouchable in 2006, for which the film’s protagonist Isild Le Besco received the Marcello Mastroianni Award; and 3 coeurs in 2014.

Benoit Jacqout (Photo courtesy of ASAC/La Biennale di Venezia)


· The British author, professor, interviewer and film programmer Geoff Andrew. He has been the editor and lead writer of Time Out and a regular contributor to Sight & Sound for many years. Andrew was the head programmer at the National Film Theatre (now BFI Southbank) and a programming consultant for the London Film Festival.

· Albert Lee is one of the most experienced and versatile figures in Hong Kong’s film industry. He has worked as producer with directors such as Herman Yau, Dante Lam, Benny Chan and Jeff Lau. He is well-known for his long-standing collaboration with the Chinese director Jiang Wen, which began in 2007 with The Sun Also Rises, presented In Competition in Venice.

· The Italian actress Greta Scarano. She starred in the film Senza nessuna pietà by Michele Alhaique, presented in Venice in 2014 in the Orizzonti section. She received the Silver Ribbon and the Golden Ciak as the discovery of the year for her performance in Suburra by Stefano Sollima. Greta Scarano plays Elisa in Sky’s cult TV series In Treatment. Scarano

· Yorgos Zois is a Greek director who has worked as an assistant to Theo Angelopoulos. His first short, Casus Belli, was presented in 2010 in Venice, where he returned two years later with Out of Frame, which was nominated at the 2012 European Film Award and also received several other international awards. His first feature film, Interruption, was presented in the Orizzonti section in  2015.


The Jury will award, with no ex-aequo awards permitted, the Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film to one of the debut feature-length films selected from the various competition sections of the Venice Film Festival (Official Selection and Independent and Parallel Sidebars). The Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film comes with a cash prize of 100,000 USD donated by Filmauro, to be divided equally between the director and the producer.


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(Sourced from the Biennale Cinema Press Office)