Saturday, July 09, 2016

#Venezia73 News

In a couple of weeks we will learn the complete 2016 Venice Film Festival lineup, as on July 28 at 11am Rome time the press conference will be held with Alberto Barbera and Paolo Baratta in attendance.

As news have already started to pour let's review what has been released up to today. We already know who is this year's host, the main competition Jury President, the poster, a section that has become official, the opening film, two Presidents of a Jury and a TV show that will premiere its two first episodes.  What follows is all the available info for each of the released news.

The New Poster of the 73rd Venice Film Festival

Not a fan of previous fest posters but this year the poster calls my attention as the visuals talk to me (not happened in the past) and yes, found poster very-minimalist and clean. Very Good.

What follows is a copy and paste from the official site with the rationale behind the creation of the poster designed by Studio Graph.X in Milan, based on Simone Massi's drawings.

The image of a moment of expectation, and an invitation to watch the imminent screening of the films, is the theme of the official poster for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, conceived and drawn for the fifth consecutive year by Simone Massi.

In the foreground, an unidentifiable male figure, who could be the artist Simone Massi himself or any other spectator for that matter, grasps the top of a poster/ curtain and begins to reveal what could be the screen on which, for eleven days, the films of the Venice Film Festival will be shown. The scene evokes the curiosity that kindles the expectations of the audience of film buffs before every screening at a film festival.

The 73rd Venice International Film Festival, directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, will be held on the Lido from August 31st to September 10th 2016.

The line-up of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival will be announced during the official press conference to be held in Rome, at the Hotel Excelsior, on Thursday 28th July 2016, 11 am.

The visual identity and corporate image of the Venice Film Festival was designed again this year by Studio Graph.X in Milan, based on Simone Massi’s drawings.

Simone Massi, winner of the 2012 David di Donatello for Best Short Film, is the author of the opening sequence which since 2012 has introduced the official screenings of the Venice Film Festival. The sequence lasts 30 seconds, and was made with 300 hand-drawn illustrations that quote Fellini, Anghelopulos, Wenders, Olmi, Tarkovsky, Dovzhenko and Truffaut. Massi conceived the opening sequence with the help of Fabrizio Tassi. The music was composed and performed by Francesca Badalini, while the sound-design is by Stefano Sasso. Julia Gromskaya did the camera work and Lola Capote-Ortiz was responsible for the post-production.

Massi, born in Pergola in 1970, is one of the last pioneers of “stop motion” animation, and has won over 200 awards in major festivals in Italy and abroad. He is also considered one of the most important authors of animated short films at the international level. He is an independent animator, who studied Animation Film at the Scuola d’arte in Urbino. Over the past 19 years he has conceived and made 19 animation films (alone and entirely by hand), which have been screened in 60 countries and were shown at the 69th Venice Film Festival 2012, along with the premiere screening of Animo resistente. Massi does not use computers in his work, he draws everything by hand on paper, using pencils, charcoal, pastels, coloured pencils, graphite and ink. The “scratch” technique he has developed in his most recent works – which allows him to make no more than 6 or 7 drawings in one day, working uninterruptedly from morning until evening - requires up to two and a half years of work to make an 8-minute film.

La La Land by Damien Chazelle Opening Film of the 2016 Biennale

Have to admit that was a pleasant surprise to learn the opening film of 2016 La Mostra as is a major accomplish for a young director to open one of the largest film festivals in the world. Damien Chazelle's follow up to outstanding Whiplash will open the festival and film is In Competition.

Not sure what to think about film as know that leads -Stone and Gosling- make feel-good entertaining movies but hope Chazelle brings something different to actors usual rom-com fare. Still the musical element makes me worry a bit (lol).

The following is what the fest announced on their press release.

La La Land, written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend and J. K. Simmons, is the opening film, in Competition, of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

La La Land is a surprising tribute to the golden age of American musicals, from An American in Paris by Vincent Minnelli to New York, New York by Martin Scorsese,” says Festival director Alberto Barbera. “It is a film that does not merely reinvent the musical genre, it gives it a brand new start. If Whiplash was the revelation of a new filmmaker, La La Land is his definitive, albeit precocious, consecration among the great directors of Hollywood’s new firmament.”

Damien Chazelle says “On behalf of the cast and crew of La La Land, I am both thrilled and honored by the festival’s invitation. It is deeply humbling for us to join the company of their previous opening night films, and we could not be more excited to share our movie with the audience in Venice”.

La La Land will have its world premiere screening on August 31st in the Sala Grande at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido di Venezia. La La Land is a modern take on the classic Hollywood romance, which is heightened by spectacular song-and-dance numbers, as two dreamers struggle to make ends meet while they pursue their passions in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail piano gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

La La Land is produced by Lionsgate in partnership with Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures, and Marc Platt Productions. The film stars Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, J. K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko, and John Legend. La La Land will be distributed in the USA by Lionsgate on December 16th 2016, and in Italy by 01Distribution in collaboration with Leone Film Group.

The Young Pope by Paolo Sorrentino at the Venice Film Festival

Yes, it is happening.  Television has changed so much that since a few years ago has been irregular part of major film festivals.  Ten years ago not many could think that great directors will be doing TV and much less than TV shows will become like a "long" movie as will be produced with very-high production values and performed by outstanding cinema actors.  Remember Jane Campion's Top of the Lake,  Susanne Bier's Night Manager, visual outstanding Hannibal starring Mads Mikkelsen,  and so many more, especially those from Scandinavian cinema.  Well, now is Sorrentino turn to go into TV miniseries territory with what could be a good story performed by an outstanding international cast and according to what have seen, with high production values.  So, no surprise made it to one of the three top festivals in the world.

The first two episodes of the original series The Young Pope, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino and starring  Jude Law, Diane Keaton, Silvio Orlando, Scott Shepherd, Cécile de France, Javier Cámara, Ludivine Sagnier, Tony Bertorelli and James Cromwell, will be the Out-of-Competition special event at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.

Says Alberto Barbera, “It is a great pleasure, as well as a privilege, to present at the Venice Film Festival the world premiere of the first two episodes of Paolo Sorrentino’s much-awaited television series. He is a filmmaker who dares to take risks, who – fearlessly and with his customary creative and innovative spirit – tackles the language of television series, the new expressive frontier which many filmmakers, primarily foreign, have already tried their hand at. The result will not fail to kindle sincere emotion and, above all, invigorating and boundless surprise.”

Notes Paolo Sorrentino: “It is an honor for me to return to Venice. I was here with my first film and now I’m returning with my first television series. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I prefer to think that, today like back then, the Festival is daring to choose. Fifteen years ago, it did so by selecting a young director’s first movie; this year by reaffirming its open-mindedness toward television, recognizing the role that series play in the evolution of visual communication.”

The world premiere of the first two episodes of The Young Pope will be screened on September 3rd in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido di Venezia. The Young Pope is an original production of Sky, HBO and Canal+ and, starting in October, will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic in 5 countries (Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland and Austria) and in France on Canal+.

The Young Pope tells the story of Lenny Belardo, alias Pius XIII, the first American Pope. Young and charming, his election seems to be the result of a simple yet effective media strategy on the part of the College of Cardinals. But appearances can be deceptive. Above all, in the place and among the people who have chosen the great mystery of God as the compass guiding their existence. That place is the Vatican and those people are the leaders of the Church. And Pius XIII proves to be the most mysterious and contradictory of them all. Shrewd and naïve, ironical and pedantic, primeval and cutting-edge, doubting and resolute, melancholy and ruthless, Pius XIII tries to cross the endless river of human solitude to find a God he can give to mankind. And to himself.

Director Sam Mendes to head the Venezia 73 International Jury

Early as April 2016 the fest announced Sam Mendes as the president of Venezia 73 main competition and was the first news released about the 2016 edition.

British director Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall, Spectre) will be the president of the International Jury of the Competition at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, which will assign the Golden Lion for best film, as well as other official awards. The decision was made by the Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, on the recommendation of the Festival’s Director, Alberto Barbera.

Right from his 1988 debut as a theatrical director, Sam Mendes made a name for himself as one of the outstanding figures in British theatre, winning numerous awards. He later also established himself as one of the most highly respected film directors of recent years. His debut behind the movie camera was dazzling: in 2000, American Beauty won five Oscars, including best director and best picture. He next directed Road to Perdition, which competed at the 2002 Venice Film Festival. Since then, Sam Mendes has been a regular on London’s stages and on the sets of Hollywood films, all the way up to the extraordinary success of the 23rd James Bond movie, Skyfall, confirmed by the next in the series, Spectre, also directed by Mendes.

Says Festival Director Alberto Barbera, “Sam Mendes’ work is a particularly effective and convincing synthesis of a vocation for distinctive theatre and cinema, combined with research into methods of communication with increasingly large numbers of spectators. His productions, whether destined for stage or screen, are able to reconcile the expectations of the most exacting critics with the tastes of a vast audience which seems to transcend all geographical and cultural boundaries.”

Says Sam Mendes, “I’m very honoured to have been asked by Alberto to lead the International Jury for Venezia 73. I’ve always had a strong personal connection with Venice; as a student I worked for three months at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection way back in 1984, and my happiest film festival memory is launching Road To Perdition at Venice in 2002. I am thoroughly delighted to be coming back to the Lido this year and welcoming a wealth of international filmmaking talent.”

On the final night of the upcoming 73rd Film Festival (September 10, 2016) the International Jury of Venezia 73, chaired by Sam Mendes and composed of nine international celebrities in the spheres of film and culture, will assign the following official prizes to feature-length films in the Competition:
Golden Lion for best film
Grand Jury Prize
Best Director
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Volpi Cup for Best Actress
Best Screenplay
Special Jury Prize
Marcello Mastroianni Award to an emerging actor or actress

Robert Guédiguian and Kim Rossi Stuart to head two international juries

French director Robert Guédiguian (Marius et Jeannette, La ville est tranquille, Les neiges du Kilimandjaro) and Italian actor and director Kim Rossi Stuart (Le chiavi di casa, Romanzo criminale, Anche libero va bene) have been chosen as the Presidents of two Juries for the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, respectively for the Orizzonti section and for the "Luigi De Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film - Lion of the Future. As announced earlier, the President of the Jury for the Venezia 73 Competition is director Sam Mendes.

Director Robert Guédiguian can be considered the modern minstrel of Marseilles, the city where he was born and lived, and where he set his film La ville est tranquille, presented in Venice in 2000. Guédiguian's filmography is a sort of saga of his city, with stories set in the microcosm of the neighbourhood he was born in, focusing on the lives of common people.

One of the most important actors in Italian cinema, Kim Rossi Stuart has often been featured at the Venice Film Festival with some of his most famous performances, including Le chiavi di casa (2004) by Gianni Amelio and Vallanzasca (2010) by Michele Placido. For Anche libero va bene (2006), his debut as a director, Rossi Stuart won the David di Donatello and the Nastro d'Argento as best new director.

The international Jury of the Orizzonti section, with President Robert Guédiguian, composed of no more than 7 members, will award the following prizes, with no joint awards permitted: Orizzonti Award for Best Film; Orizzonti Award for Best Director; Special Orizzonti Jury Prize; Orizzonti Award for Best Actor or Actress; Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay; Orizzonti Award for Best Short Film.

The international Jury of the "Luigi De Laurentiis" Venice Award for a Debut Film - Lion of the Future, with President Kim Rossi Stuart, composed of no more than 5 members including one producer, will award, with no joint prizes permitted, a cash sum of 100,000 dollars donated by Filmauro, to be divided equally between the director and the producer of one of the debut feature-length films presented in the various competition sections of the Venice International Film Festival (Official Selection and Independent and Parallel Sections).

Cinema nel Giardino section at Venezia73

After last year success, the open to the public non-competitive section has become official and Cinema nel Giardino will be part of the festival from now on. The following is the official press release.

The new Regulations of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival confirm and formalize the introduction of the Cinema nel Giardino section, which was such a great success at last year’s edition of the festival.

This non-competitive section will feature a selection of films of various genres and lengths, to be preceded or accompanied by encounters and discussions with directors, stars or personalities in the fields of art and culture. Only films to be screened as world premieres may be submitted for selection.

The Cinema nel Giardino section was conceived in 2015 to fill an urgent need to broaden the activities of the Venice Film Festival with a new space that could open the Festival to everyone: occasional spectators and non-accredited visitors in addition, naturally, to the thousands of film fans that usually crowd the screening rooms. Offering everyone (residents of the Lido and Venice, curious onlookers who have come to see what a festival feels like, young people in search of cinematographic emotions) the opportunity to experience the atmosphere of the Venice Film Festival in the evening, for a moment of entertainment that combines an encounter with one or more personalities and the screening of a film. A place where many different activities might take place: discussions and encounters with the world of film and entertainment, screenings and film series. With the idea of bringing new life to the Venice Film Festival as a festival for the people too, and not just for accredited professionals.

The success of this experience which began in 2015 with the arena in the garden of the Casinò, prompted La Biennale to pursue the initiative on a larger scale. The opportunity that will arise as the City of Venice finally seals the “big hole” and turns it into a usable public square, will make it possible to build a modern and technologically advanced structure in this new outdoor space (450 seats) a screening room fit to host world premiere previews of films and their makers, ready to meet the audience before or after the screening.

Sonia Bergamasco set to host the opening and closing nights of the 73rd Festival

Sonia Bergamasco will open the 73rd Venice Film Festival on the evening of Wednesday August 31st, on the stage of the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido) for the opening ceremony, and on September 10th the actress will host the closing ceremony during which the winners of the Lions and the other official awards of the 73rd Venice Film Festival will be announced.

The 73rd Venice Film Festival will be held on the Lido from August 31st to September 10th 2016, directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.

Sonia Bergamasco is one of Italy’s most versatile actresses. She was born in Milan, where she graduated in piano from the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, and in acting from the Scuola del Piccolo Teatro. She made her debut in Arlecchino servitore di due padroni with Giorgio Strehler, and was the Blue Fairy in Carmelo Bene’s last version of Pinocchio for theatre and television. In theatre, she has also worked with Theodoros Terzopoulos, Massimo Castri and Glauco Mauri. Since 2001 she has starred in or directed productions in which the experience of music is more deeply entwined with the theatre. Winner of the Premio Duse 2014 for her work as an actress, in 2015 she directed and starred in the production Il ballo (from the short story by Irène Nemirovsky). She made her cinema debut in 2001 in L’amore probabilmente by Giuseppe Bertolucci, presented at the Venice Film Festival.

Winner of the Nastro d’argento 2004 for Best Actress in La meglio gioventù by Marco Tullio Giordana, she also worked with Bernardo Bertolucci in Io e te (2012), with Giuseppe Piccioni in Giulia non esce la sera (2009), with Silvio Soldini in the short film D’estate (1994), with Franco Battiato in Musikanten (2006). She won the Premio Flaiano award as best actress in the film for television De Gasperi, l’uomo della speranza (2005) by Liliana Cavani; also in television, she won great acclaim for the hit series Tutti pazzi per amore (2008-2010) and Una grande famiglia (2012-2015) by Riccardo Milani.

Her most recent accomplishments include her roles in the film Quo vado? with Checco Zalone, directed by Gennaro Nunziante, for which she won the Alida Valli Prize at the Bari Film Festival, and the new episodes of Commissario Montalbano, with Luca Zingaretti.

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