Select Page

The Venice International Film Festival announced Tuesday the programming of its 77th edition, taking precautions including temperature controls and outdoor screenings for what will be one of the first major international festivals held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Marc Dingreville, director of the Cinema de Domont, gives us an update on the subject.

A reduced film program due to the health crisis

This year’s festival will take place from September 2 to 12, with a reduced number of films. Indeed, 60 films will be screened in the official selection, against 80 last year.

Films nominated for the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, include:

  • “Nomadland” by Chloe Zhao, produced and starring Frances McDormand, a 60-year-old who embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a modern-day nomad;
  • “The World to Come” by Mona Fastvold, starring Vanessa Kirby and Casey Affleck, which explores the love between two farm wives in 19th century America;
  • “Pieces of a Woman,” a family drama directed by Kornél Mundruczo and starring Shia LaBeouf.

In the festival’s documentary category, there will be “Crazy, Not Insane,” a look at serial killers by director Alex Gibney, as well as “Salvatore Ferragamo: The Shoemaker of Dreams,” a documentary directed by Luca Guadagnino, and Frederick Wiseman’s “City Hall,” a feature on Boston’s City Hall.

Although the Shanghai International Film Festival took place in July, the pandemic forced the cancellation or postponement of most of the gatherings that traditionally structure the filmmakers’ year in Hollywood and elsewhere in the West, including the Cannes Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan.

Venice slowly recovers from pandemic

At the end of March, Italy was the global epicenter of the pandemic and the country was blocked for three months. During that time, Venice was empty of its usual crowd of visitors. Italy only began lifting travel restrictions last month.

To comply with Italy’s distancing rules, the festival will keep at least half of the seats in its screening rooms empty and guests will be subject to a temperature check upon entry.