Venice International Film Festival

Venice International Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival (Mostra internazionale d'arte cinematografica), also referred to as simply the Venice International Film Festival, is the longest-running film festival in the world and one of the three most prestigious film festivals alongside with the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) and the Cannes Film Festival.

The Venice International Film Festival is considered part of the Venice Biennale. The Biennale originated as a biennial exhibition of Italian art, but today the term “Venice Biennale” refers to a range of cultural events. The Art Biennale is still held every two years, while the film festival is an annual event.

The Venice Film Festival was initiated by Guiseppe Volpi, an Italian businessman and politician who served as the president of the Venice Biennale. The first edition of the festival was a non-competitive event that took place from August 6–21, 1932. The very first film to be screened at the Venice Film Festival, as well as at any international film festival, was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian.

The second installment of the festival took place two years later. It included a film competition, but there was no actual jury. The main prize of the festival entitled the “Mussolini Cup” was presented to the best foreign film and best Italian film by the festival president, who took into account the opinions of both experts and audiences.

In 1935, the Venice Film Festival became an annual event and the award was renamed the “Volpi Cup” in honor of the festival’s founder Guiseppe Volpi. The festival was discontinued during the Second World War but resumed full speed in 1946. It went through a rough patch during the 1970s, but in 1979 Carlo Lizzani took over the Venice Film Festival and restored it to its former glory.

The Venice International Film Festival is accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as an international competitive feature film festival, which makes it one of the few A-list festivals. The official competition includes a maximum of 20 feature-length films, all of which must be world premieres. The festival’s current awards include the Golden Lion (best film), the Silver Lion (best director), the Grand Jury Prize, the Volpi Cup (best actor/actress), and others.

Alongside the official competition, the program of the festival includes other sections such as Orizzonti (a competition for unconventional films), Out of Competition, Venice Classics, and Cinema nel Giardino. The festival also features a film market (Venice Production Bridge), tributes and retrospectives, and independent and parallel sections.

The Venice International Film Festival takes place in late August or early September on the island of the Lido. Its main venue is the historic Palazzo del Cinema di Venezia, but screenings also take place in a number of other venues nearby.

Venice International Film Festival





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