The opening film of the 70th Venice Film Festival was Gravity (Out of Competition), directed by Alfonso Cuarón and starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. While, the closing film in 3D was Amazonia (Out of Competition – Special Events), directed by Thierry Ragobert.
Venice International Film Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals and is part of the Venice Biennale (Italian Biennale di Venezia), for over a century one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world (founded in 1895).
It is organized in four sections: Competition, Out of Competition, Orizzonti, and Venezia Classici.
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.
It is the first time in the history of the Seventh Art that a festival has achieved this venerable age. This birthday was celebrated in an imaginative way, through special created project called Venezia 70 – Future Reloaded.
The invitation to contribute in celebration has been accepted by 70 movie directors from all over the world, great maestros, well-known directors, and young filmmakers of recognized talent. All have participated at the Venice Film Festival at least once over the past twenty years. For the birthday, they made a short film lasting between 60 and 90 seconds, in total creative freedom.
All these films were projected during the Festival, combining with forty clips from historical newsreels that have been chosen and restored by the Istituto Luce Film Archives. This way, Future Reloaded brought together the past and the future of cinema.
Number of films viewed – 3,470 (1,534 feature films and 1,936 short films)
There were 55 new feature films in the Official selection, of which 53 world premieres, and 2 international premieres.
The most prestigious, the Golden Lion was awarded to the Italian documentary film Sacro GRA, by Gianfranco Rosi. Then, Silver Lion was given to Alexandros Avranas for film Miss Violence. And, the Grand Jury Prize won Stray Dogs by Tsai Ming-liang. Themis Panou is the Best Actor and Elena Cotta is the Best Actress.
The Venice Film Market is the new business platform dedicated to cinema professionals attending the Festival. It offers Industry Club, the new and exclusive meeting area for producers, buyers and sellers; Digital Video Library enabling participants to watch films from the official selection of the festival as well as titles submitted through the Venice Film Market; Industry Business Centre with information desk, Internetpositions and Wi-Fi network and Exhibition & Event Area, a special location with industry stands, meeting corner and a special room for national and international panels.
This year the spaces for the press and several fundamental technological systems were renovated; a new 150-seat theater at the Casinò was built.
Also, The City of Venice allocated the sum of 6 million euro designated to radically renovate the Sala Darsena.
The design work is in the final phases, construction will begin in November and the space will be ready for the 71st Venice International Film Festival.
Summing up, seating capacity has grown this year to circa 4,950 seats, and will rise to 5,100 next year (thanks to the renovation of the Sala Darsena), closer still to the goal of 5,500 seats, which can be achieved with the renovation of the Casinò.