#Venice Film Festival – perspective on formation of the festival

Photo from the 65th Venice Film Festival contributed to Wikimedia commons by Igor Filippov
Photo from the 65th Venice Film Festival contributed to Wikimedia commons by Igor Filippov in 2008

I just read an interesting article about the Venice Film Festival and I thought I would share an excerpt from that article with our readers. Although it was not the main point of the article, it contained an interesting perspective on the formation of the festival. Also, I thought it might be helpful to share the link to the site with more information about the film festival (English): http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/

Here is my English translation of the introduction to the article about the Venice Film Festival: http://www.ilsole24ore.com/art/commenti-e-idee/2013-08-28/biennale-cinema-oltre-milioni-064159.shtml

It is certainly not easy today and it was even more difficult 80 years ago to bring together the diffuse elements of a festival like the Biennale in Venice while presenting the most innovative elements from around the world.

In the summer of ’32, Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, together with the Secretary General Antonio Maraini, and the Secretary of the Institute for Educational Cinema, Luciano De Feo responded to the outcry of "Il Lido xe stracco" (roughly: the Lido is tired) and that impetus gave birth to the first international exhibition of film on the terrace of the Excelsior. They could not have imagined at the time that they would be creating such a successful format that would later be imitated worldwide.

The 70th Venice Film Festival (there have been a total of only 70 sessions due to the interruptions during war time and for the cinema festival in ’68), opens this year at the Lido with the screening of the film “Gravity” by Alfonso Cuarón which in part embraces the perspective of the festival, while also trying to remain faithful (where possible) to the spirit of its origins. "Yes – admits Paolo Baratta, President of the Biennale – (he has been at the helm of the institution for a total of 8 years spread over two terms) – there is this aspect, but we also feel quite close to the vision of the great mayor of Venice in 1893, Riccardo Selvatico, who instead of simply presenting an exhibition of living artists fought to create an exhibition to be held every two years with an eye toward modernity and thereby toward attracting the attention of the world. Volpi’s idea, the need to give life to the Lido with a film festival, was born of the earlier insight by Selvatico.” (“Sì – ammette Paolo Baratta, presidente della Biennale, otto anni alla guida dell’Istituzione divisi in due mandati – c’è questo ma ancora di più ci sentiamo vicini alla visione di quel grande sindaco di Venezia del 1893, Riccardo Selvatico, che al posto di una semplice esposizione di artisti viventi si battè per una mostra da tenersi ogni due anni con uno sguardo sulla modernità attirando l’attenzione del mondo. L’idea di Volpi, la necessità di dare vita al Lido di Volpi è figlia dell’intuizione di Selvatico”).

The article goes on to provide details on how the festival has been a financial success for the city of Venice.

Ci sentiamo presto, Lina

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