VENICE, September 1 – The Venice Film Festival is back in the spotlight today with an international roster of blockbuster and auteur films and the Hollywood jet set ready to take on the cameras.
Held on the glitzy, beach-lined Lido, the world’s oldest film festival will seek to reclaim some of the glamor lost last year, when the coronavirus sidelined many attendees, including the most famous celebrities. worthy of the red carpet.
But with strict anti-Covid measures in place, The Mostra, as it is called in Italy, will once again seek to prove that it is the must-have stepping stone to the Oscars, with a top-notch sampling of films from around the world.
The bar is high this year, after the Cannes Film Festival rival stole some focus in July after canceling its 2020 competition.
But the director of the Venice festival, Alberto Barbera, told AFP that the pandemic seemed to have stimulated the creativity of filmmakers, with a particularly high quality of entries this year.
“It’s as if difficult circumstances … serve to stimulate the creativity of directors,” Barbera said in an interview Tuesday before the opening, as workers were busy putting the finishing touches on the red carpet.
âA lot of director’s films are some of their best,â Barbera said. “This means this edition will probably be one of the strongest in recent years.”
The stars are back
A jury led by Parasite Director Bong Joon-Ho will award one of the 21 films in the main competition with the coveted Golden Lion award at a closing ceremony on September 11.
Nomadic country, who won multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, at the 2020 Oscars, was a Venice winner last year, though neither director Chloe Zhao nor lead actress Frances McDormand made the trip to Italy .
This year things should be different, said Barbera, with more Hollywood talent heading to the festival, more spectators and more global press.
Among the stars expected on the red carpet during the festival is Kristen Stewart playing Lady Diana in Pablo Larrain’s film Spencer Benedict Cumberbatch, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.
The competition starts tonight with Madres Parallels (Parallel Mothers), the latest film by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, starring Cruz as one of two women of different generations and backgrounds waiting to give birth in a maternity hospital.
A Golden Lion for the achievement of his career will be awarded to Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful).
On the blockbuster front, and out of the main competition, the $ 165 million (RM 684 million) science fiction Dune set to have its world premiere on Friday, while Matt Damon and Ben Affleck return as writers and stars of Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.
Netflix, which has already had success at the festival with Rome and Wedding Story, is behind two of this year’s hopes, The power of the dog by Jane Campion and “The Hand of God” by Paolo Sorrentino. AFP