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Venice Film Festival to Run as Planned

Luisa Zargani

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VENICE IS ON: The show really must go on. The international Venice Film Festival will take place as scheduled and as a physical event, running Sept. 2 to 12.

On Monday, a spokesperson confirmed the event will run in the Italian city as planned, following media reports on Sunday that Veneto’s governor Luca Zaia was giving the green light to the event. As reported last month, a decision was expected at the end of May. By contrast, the Architecture and Arts Biennale exhibitions have been postponed to 2021 and 2022.

As reported by Variety, which as WWD is owned by Penske Media Corporation, after surveying a wide range of film industry executives in early May to ask for concerns and suggestions about the upcoming edition, the festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera stated: “We know that it would be simply impossible to plan a festival without knowing if you all are willing to use the festival to give a new start and a strong sign for keeping cinema alive, even in these difficult times.” Barbera also asked producers and sales agents about “the concrete possibility of bringing (talent) to accompany the invited films.”

Italy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, reporting 32,785 deaths as of May 24, and has been gradually easing its lockdown, first enforced on March 9. The government plans to reopen the country’s borders to visitors from the Schengen area starting on June 3, with no quarantine restrictions. However, strict safety regulations have been put in place, including social distancing and protective masks and gloves, among others.

Cate Blanchett in January was named president of the jury of Venice Film Festival, succeeding Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel in the role. The two-time Academy Award winner in 2018 also served as jury president of the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France.

The Cannes Film Festival, which was originally scheduled to take place from May 12 to 23 with U.S. director Spike Lee heading the jury, was moved to late June and early July, but it appears unlikely it will take place this year. Speculation has been mounting that organizers of the Cannes and Venice Festivals could be eyeing a collaboration.


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