The Director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, made the following statement about the award: “Amir Naderi gave fundamental impetus to the birth of the New Iranian Cinema during the 1970s and ‘80s with a number of masterpieces destined to leave their mark on the history of cinema, such as Davandeh (The Runner, 1985) and Ab, bâd, khâk (Water, Wind, Dust, 1988). But even after moving to New York in 1988, Naderi remained stubbornly true to himself and to a type of cinema dedicated to research and experimentation, which refuses to bow to trends and easy shortcuts. Every film he has made clearly displays the nucleus of an identical obsession which transcends the principle of reality in order to force individuals beyond their own limits. The last half hour of Monte is a sort of synthesis of his entire opus, a larger-than-life metaphor of a struggle for survival prevailing over the dividing lines, intimidations and insults which can sometimes make human existence miserable. The breathtaking epilogue transforms the ideas, emotions and visions at the basis of all his films into powerfully expressive images. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Award is a well-deserved recognition, a tribute to the originality and greatness of a filmmaker who stands out from the crowd, the talent of a passionate director, and the generosity of a man who seems to know no limits.”
The 73rd Venice International Film Festival, organized by La Biennale di Venezia, will run at Venice Lido from August 31st to September 10th, 2016, directed by Alberto Barbera.
The aim of the Festival is to raise awareness and promote the various aspects of 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.
73rd Venice International Film Festival
– Introduction by the President of La Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta
– Introduction by the Director, Alberto Barbera
– Productions and co-productions of the films in the official selection
– Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement: Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jerzy Skolimowski
– Web Theatre: online screening for 18 feature films in the line-up
– “Lido in Mostra” project: Services and special offers for the public, young people and accredited visitors
– Calendar of events, presentations and talks
For more complete details click here.
For four days, from September 1st to the 4th, all accredited visitors to the Venice Film Festival are invited to experience this technology applied to the preview of Jesus VR – The Story of Christ, for a short time, or for the entire duration. The screening will be held in the new VR Theatre, on the second floor of the Casinò, which will be equipped with 50 VR Head Gears for individual viewing on seats that pivot 360°.
“We are particularly happy to present the world’s first virtual reality feature film. – declared Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival. – JESUS helps show the narrative and spectacular potential of this new technology, which until now has been limited to brief films. The presentation is particularly important because this year the updated film market, now called Venice Production Bridge, is also presenting 6 VR projects among the 40 proposed audiovisual products in search of financing, alongside movies, documentaries, TV series and web series. It is a sign of the attention the Venice Film Festival pays to the sweeping changes which are helping redefine the horizons of the production of images in motion.”
Virtual Reality is a new revolutionary expressive means that is redefining the forms of cinema and the media industry, offering new creative opportunities to directors and artists, to tell new stories and explore original innovative languages.
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ offers audiences an experience that is unparalleled in its immediacy, going back 2,000 years in time to witness the story of Jesus Christ from his birth to his resurrection, from his baptism to his first miracles, through the last hours of his crucifixion.
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ was shot entirely in Matera in 4K 360° with an all-Italian crew. This is the first and most ambitious feature-length Virtual Reality film ever produced, employing the biggest VR production crew ever, with over a hundred crew members and hundreds of extras.
Enzo Sisti is the executive producer of Jesus VR – The Story of Christ, and in earlier years was the executive producer of The Passion of the Christ (2004). The religious advisor is Father William Fulco, who was also religious advisor on The Passion of the Christ.
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ was directed and produced by David Hansen with his partner Johnny Mac through Autumn
“We’re proud to have shot this entire innovative film in Italy with a mostly Italian crew”, says Executive Producer Enzo Sisti, “It’s fantastic that the first place we’re screening it is in the fabulous Venice International Film Festival.”
Jesus VR – The Story of Christ will be available this Christmas on all major Virtual Reality platforms including Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and the HTC VIVE.
Posted by Larry Gleeson
Iranian director Amir Naderi (Vegas, Manhattan by Numbers) is to receive the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival(August 31-Sept 10), dedicated to a personality who has made an original contribution to innovation in contemporary cinema.
The prize has previously been awarded to filmmakers and actors including Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Al Pacino and, last year, Brian De Palma.
Naderi will be awarded the prize in a ceremony to be held September 5 in the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema), before the world premiere of his new film Monte, which plays out of competition.
The film – shot on location in Italy in the mountains of the Alto Adige and Friuli regions – is set in 1350 and tells the story of a man who makes every attempt to bring the sunlight into his village, where his family is barely able to survive because of the prevailing darkness.
Monte was one of the projects selected for the Venice Gap-Financing Market in 2014, a programme launched by the Venice Production Bridge.
Naderi has been among the most influential figures of New Iranian Cinema since the 1970s. He entered the international spotlight with Tangsir (1974), Entezar (1974), awarded the Jury Prize at the Cannes children’s film festival, The Runner (1985) and Ab, Bad, Khak (1989), which both won the Golden Montgolfiere at Three Continents Festival in Nantes.
The first prominent Iranian director to move abroad in the mid ’80s, Naderi’s US films include Sound Barrier, which won the Roberto Rossellini Critics’ Prize at the Rome Film Festival in 2005, and Vegas: Based on a True Story, which premiered in competition at Venice in 2008.
Cut was shot in Japan and premiered as the opening film of Venice’s Orizzonti section in 2011.
Monte, starring Andrea Sartoretti and Claudia Potenza, marks the first film by Naderi to be set and directed in Italy.
For more information on tickets and passes click here
Director of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, Alberto Barbera
In the face of changes which could almost be defined momentous – the evolution of China’s film market (whose audience numbers have surpassed those of the American market); the threat streaming poses to the centrality of cinemas; the rampant emergence of Virtual Reality, which is taking on the dimensions of traditional film – the progressive shift in the development of the festival formula seems truly unimportant. Although the festival rite, defined by unchangeable paradigms such as its entrenchment in a physical place and the physical presence of filmmakers and producers, remains basically the same (but it would be illusory to think it could evolve into something else on its own), it must be stressed that many things have changed profoundly in Venice over the years. The screening rooms have been restructured and now conform to the most advanced technological standards. The Biennale College has produced excellent results and, in just a short time, has become a model of reference for similar initiatives, helping to launch new filmmakers on the international circuit. The possibility to view online many of the films in the Orizzonti section as they are being presented in Venice broadens the range of potential Festival viewers, thanks to the new possibilities offered by the Web. Commercial operators who in recent years had decided to skip the festival in Venice have been lured back thanks to the creation of a “light market.” Other changes are ongoing, confirmation of the aim to follow a progressive transformation, albeit a prudent one averse to unrealistic ambitions.The festival’s market has changed radically, starting with its new name – Venice Production Bridge – which reflects its nature as a virtual space chiefly dedicated to offering selected projects in search of financers and co-producers. Moreover, it is not limited to films but is open to the new narrative forms and the new media: documentaries, TV series, web series and Virtual Reality. A new section has been created, which keeps the name of the successful experiment inaugurated last year – Cinema nel Giardino – but whose size and reach have been expanded. This endeavor has been facilitated by the new screening room created after the excavation site (which for years had defaced the area in front of the Casino) was covered over, enhancing the range of structures at the festival’s disposal. This new section not only satisfies the need to host a few more films (a decision which is apparently in contradiction to the often declared desire to maintain the program as lean as possible), its intent is to stretch the limits of what can and must be shown at a festival. In its scope and horizons, the Festival has never neglected to satisfy its public, which can and must grow even further if, through our combined efforts, we are to once more close the progressively growing distance between art house films and commercial cinema – a dichotomy we had hoped to lay to rest long ago but which instead has been resuscitated in recent years by a market which is clearly struggling. The “Cinema nel Giardino” evenings, free of charge and open to all, offer a wide-ranging choice of different and heterogeneous movies which share the more or less openly declared intention of attracting as vast an audience as possible, in turn doing away with or reducing the distance between cinephiles and those spectators who are primarily in search of singular entertainment. It has never been true that festivals – and in particular the Venice Film Festival – are exclusively interested in movies which the greater public ignores. This juxtaposition only exists in certain specious simplifications. But, if it is true that it would make no sense to dedicate the Festival’s competition to movies which don’t need the showcase and the promotion of a festival (which by definition is dedicated to the cinematographic art), then it is just as true that, today, a different consideration must be made. There is a type of cinema which does not cater strictly to the more radical authorial demands, which proposes to follow the pathway traced by a type of cinema which used to be called “regular ” and which we no longer know what to call, dedicated (perhaps in a confused manner) to searching out narrative methods which can involve a vaster public than the (increasingly limited) one which still frequents art houses. A type of cinema which does not intend to give in to rampant vulgarity, which doesn’t settle for the simplifications of a “disposable” product, which doesn’t renounce being a mirror of the present, an intelligent divertissement, a show for many. A type of cinema which, today, deserves to be supported and encouraged, defended and promoted, at least to the same degree as that which, for the sake of convenience, we continue to call auteur cinema. This, too, is something that Festivals do.