The 67th Venice Film Festival is looking for innovative content: an essential element in the light of the reduced budget (12 million Euros, 800 thousand less than last year), the loss of a movie theater (the Sala Perla) and the delayed arrival of the new Palazzo del Cinema, the inauguration of which “” it has been announced “” will be postponed until 2012.
So it is best to turn to Orizzonti, the section dedicated to research which is “the Festival’s strongest feature”, according to the president of the Biennale, Paolo Baratta, who goes on to explain:
“We have decided to remove all the smaller ghettos, and bring together short movies, very short movies and TV films”.
And since, as director Marco Mueller has said, “it no longer makes sense to reason in terms of age”, this “young” section, by choice and tradition, also includes a short by the great centenarian Manoel De Oliveira.
Mueller does, however, return to this statistic in the competition section, where the average age of the directors is 47.
There are also lots of under 40s: Pablo Larrain (“Post Mortem”), Ascanio Celstini (“La Pecora Nera”), Saverio Costanzo (“The Solitude of Prime Numbers “), Antony Cordier (“Happy Few”), Sofia Coppola (“Somewhere”) and Athina Rachel (“Attenberg”).
Raising the average is “Road to Nowhere” by Monte Hellman, the historical producer of “Reservoir Dogs”, Quentin Tarantino’s debut movie, who will be at the helm of this year’s Jury.
Plus, in competition, are Carlo Mazzacurati (“La Passione”) and Vincent Gallo (“Promises Written in Water”), both making a double appearance, the former in the Out of Competition section with “Sei Venezia” and the latter with a short, “The Agent”, in the Orizzonti section, alongside Julian Schnabel (“Miral”), Franà§ois Ozon (“Potiche”), Abdellatif Kechiche (“Venus Noir”) and Alex De La Iglesia con “Balada Triste de Trompeta”. As usual, plenty of space is dedicated to Asia, from John Woo’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to a “select presence of film-makers who have managed to bring their highly personal touch to even mass-produced movies”, including Tsui Hark, in competition with “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” and Zhang Yuan (a former Golden Lion winner with “17 years”), who will be bringing “Space Guy” to the Lido, the first Chinese 3D movie, one of the four 3D works on the bill.
In addition to Aronofsky and Robert Rodriguez (“Machete”, Out of Competition), the opening evening will also include a tribute to Bruce Lee, marking the seventieth anniversary of his birth.
The Orizzonti section will be packed with anniversaries, tributes and portraits including documentaries about Vittorio Gassman, Dante Ferretti and Goffredo Lombardo – “L’Ultimo Gattopardo” “” by Giuseppe Tornatore and Joaquin Phoenix, marking the directing debut of Casey Affleck, Ben’s brother, who will also be participating in Orizzonti with “The Town”.
There will be a tribute to the late Dennis Hopper with “The Last Movie”, and “A Letter to Elia” (Kazan) from Scorsese.
VENICE PREPARES THE WAY FOR THE TORONTO MARKET
The launch of “ANICAIncontra”, the result of a long-term agreement between ANICA and the BIENNALE. And the Industry Office becomes an “on-demand” market. To see the results, we will have to wait for Toronto…
The movie industry’s presence at the Lido is guaranteed by a long-term agreement with ANICA [Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries] which, explains Baratta, “aims to make the Festival a permanent place for reflecting on the industry’s economical-structural problems”.
Located on the first floor of the Hotel Excelsior at the Lido di Venezia, “ANICAIncontra” will feature lots of initiatives and events.
The highlight, realized with the support of the Directorate-General for Cinema of the MiBAC “” Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, in collaboration with the Fondazione Rossellini, will be three seminars held at the Hotel Excelsior from September 6th “” 8th, dedicated to three aspects of the theatrical business:
“Exporting Italian movies: commercial volumes and dynamics”,
“Cinema and finance: an industrial culture for the sector” and
“Cinema and Territory”.
The Film Commissions will finally have a place to “show themselves off” and the Industry Office will become an “on-demand market” thanks to a unified digital system for viewing movies on-line with direct access from the computers of accredited professionals.
The definitive abandonment of any form of Market ambition has been insufficiently justified by Baratta (who says: “let’s get out of our heads The launch of “ANICAIncontra”, the result of a long-term agreement between ANICA and the Biennale. And the Industry Office becomes an “on-demand” market. To see the results, we will have to wait for Toronto”¦the idea of local markets where you go in, buy the goods and go out again, today the important thing is passing on information, rather than the physical venue of the market.”).
It has also been confirmed in a self-mocking statement from Mueller, who knows all about the world of Markets:
“Toronto has become the Venice market, and we are pleased.
Every year, in the first few days of the Festival, we organize screenings for important buyers, where requested by the sellers, so as to create interest in the movies.
Then, when the Festival is about to end, or even after the award ceremony, in the few days that correspond to the first weekend of the Toronto Festival, all the contracts are concluded.”
It is a fact that Toronto (September 9th “” 19th) has now become an unmissable showcase for European cinema (many movies from the old continent will travel to Canada), particularly for producers and sellers. In this regard, we should mention Producers Lab Toronto, an initiative launched by European Film Promotion (EFP) and financed by MEDIA International which aims to promote the development of projects and co-productions between Europe and Canada.
12 Canadian producers and 12 European producers selected from amongst the participants of “Producers on the Move” between 2006 and 2010, will meet in Toronto from September 10th “” 12th.