Stormy End at the Venice Film Festival

Known as an event for a boutique market that will never be as large or as significant as the Cannes or Berlin Film Festival; the recently held Venice Film Festival ended accompanied by controversy on how the awards were decided and how to further push this festival on the map. Essentially the festival doesn’t have to be like the rest and only takes one or two big film deals to close there to make it important enough.

After a 10 year break; Anthony Barbara returned as the artistic director for a second time and created an overhaul on this year’s event. The Italian press and home grown producers were displeased with how this year concluded with the lack of successes and support for local productions. Even Marco Bellochhcio’s entry Bella Addormentata which earned a lot of critical praise was overlooked and caused the director outrage citing that he would never again submit an entry to the festival.

The panel of the judging jury was mostly foreign with the only Italian jury being Matteo Garronne recalled his experience to be dreadful and would never serve on another Italian festival jury.

Winners of the 5-day even include Paul Thomas Anderson’s fictional movie formation of a new age religion The Master,  Kim Ki Duks family drama Pieta were amongst the strong lineup of competitors and wholly world premiers by renowned film makers.

Despite having a more selective line up compared to past years, this marks the festival’s first cautious steps toward creating a full fledged market event. Barbara concluded that the festival was a success and that even though the overall attendance was down 7% from last year but with 20% fewer films the figures could be viewed as an in increase. Next year’s agenda promises to be the same but on a bigger scale.

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