Arts & Entertainment

Venice Film Festival to go ahead with Covid-19 protocols

By Gonzalo Sánchez

Rome, Jul 28 (efe-epa).- The Venice Film Festival announced this year’s event will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers have announced some of the measures attendants will have to take due to Covid-19. To enter the festival area, temperatures will be taken.

There will be no ticket offices, as tickets will be purchased online, there will be open-air cinemas and an empty seat will always be left between people to ensure social distancing.

The festival is to have directors such as Andrey Konchalovsky, Amos Gitai and Michel Franco in its Official Section, but Hollywood cinema will be absent, organizers said Tuesday during a press conference.

The director of the Mostra, Alberto Barbera, explained the objective has been “to preserve the heart” of the event, the celebration of cinema, despite these difficult times.

The president of the Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, defended the decision to go ahead with the festival and not to postpone or suspend it like some of its more direct competitors did, for example, Cannes.

“We are not proud to be the first. We would have liked to see the rest of the festivals celebrated, but we are satisfied with what we have managed to do so far. For the selection of films and for maintaining security,” he said.

It will be a show in which the big productions of the United States and Latin American cinema, to which more attention has been paid in recent years, are to be almost completely missing.

The few expected stars are Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Casey Affleck and Vanessa Kirby.

In the race for the coveted Golden Lion, there will be 18 films, eight of them shot by women.

Barbera stressed that the presence of female directors is due to artistic and not gender criteria, but applauded the increase in the number of woman.

Konchalovsky is to compete with Dear Comrades, a reconstruction of a Soviet strike; Gitai with Laila in Haifa, and Michel Franco will be in charge of putting the only Hispanic note to the main section with his movie New Order.

Director Chloe Zhao is to showcase the nomadic workers of the United States in Nomadland with Frances McDormand; Gianfranco Rosi will remember the horrors of the Syrian war in Notturno, and Japanese Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wife of a spy.

Other films competing are Pieces of a Woman, by the Hungarian Kornél Mundruczó; Miss Marx, by Italian Susanna Nicchiarelli, Padrenostro, by her compatriot Claudio Noce; Never Gonna Snow Again, by Polish Malgorzata Szumowska; The Disciple by Indian Chaitanya Tamhane; And Tomorrow The Entire World, by German Julia von Heinz; and Quo vadis, Aida?, By Bosnian Jasmila Zbanic.

Azerbaijani Hilal Baydarov will complete the program with In between Dying, Italy’s Emma Dante with Le sorelle Malacuso, Norway’s Mona Fastvold with The World to Come, France’s Nicole Garcia with Vadists and Iran’s Majid Majidi with Sun Children.

In this Venetian festival, documentaries will have a great presence and 11 will be released.

Abel Ferrara will remember life before the coronavirus in Sportin Life, with his fetish actor, Willem Dafoe.

Other of the most interesting productions will be a recording by Orson Welles and Dennis Hopper, or the tribute to the fashion designer Salvatore Ferragamo shot by Luca Guadagnino, Shoemaker of Dreams.

The president of the Biennale announced it would be a “different” festival in which directors, the press and the public had to comply with different prevention protocols.

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