direttore Paolo Di Maira


Commenting on the creation of “Virtual reality”, the new section at the 74th Venice international Film Festival, the director, Alberto Barbera, did not allow himself to be tempted by the equation Venice = Future but spoke more cautiously of “something else and different”.
“Something else and different” could be the comment to be made about some of Barbera’s choices in the second, lengthy phase of his festival directing experience.
In particular, after some fruitless attempts, the Festival has stopped pursuing the “Market” as it exists in Cannes, or Berlin, or Toronto.
Five years ago Barbera invented “Biennale College”, a high level training laboratory for young filmmakers from all over the world, with more than satisfactory results: sixteen films produced that have toured festivals and been much appreciated by the critics.
Along the same lines, faced with the need to create an industry space, the Festival has steered itself towards projects in the process of being realized and in search of co-productions by creating the Venice Production Bridge in 2016.
The results are becoming visible here as well: at the last Berlinale prestigious awards were presented to two films that took part in “Final Cut in Venice” 2016, the VPB workshop aimed at completing films from Africa and the Middle East.
Therefore Venice is not pursuing the Market, but does not seem (it cannot) to even be pursuing the public.
It is an aristocratic Festival – that is the nature of the location, its history is aristocratic – but therein lies its seductive power.
A large part of the work has been carried out over time by the media, always present in force and highlighting every event that happens at the lido during the ten days of the Festival.
The news is not always about the discovery of a masterpiece, more often it is something else.
But it is this “something else” that, very probably, convinces people to go to the cinema; so long live the Festival!

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