The 78th Venice Film Festival opened on Wednesday with a double screening – 59 films will be screened, including a Hungarian premiere.
An extraordinary double screening was held on Tuesday, on the eve of the opening of the 78th Venice International Film Festival, at the Palazzo del Cinema. In the afternoon, the film diary of Italian filmmaker Andrea Segre was screened. La Biennale di Venezia: il cinema al tempo del Covid takes a behind-the-scenes look at last year’s Venice Film Mustang, which was held under pandemic restrictions.
As Segre explains, he would not call the short film diary a film, but rather a live record of an unexpected chapter in the history of the festival and cinema. In the evening, the festival will pay tribute to the actor-director with a restored print of Nino Manfredi’s 1971 film “Per grazia ricevuta”, on the centenary of his birth.
The festival starts on Wednesday at the Lido. According to the organizers, security measures in the wake of the pandemic will be very strict: to protect accredited visitors and the public, vaccination with a WHO-approved vaccine will be checked and proof of having undergone Covid-19 or a negative coronavirus test within 48 hours will be requested. The festival’s screenings and events are only open to those with a Green Pass, according to the website.
Festival director Alberto Barbera said earlier that films from 59 countries would be screened this year, with American films and stars also returning. There are 21 films in the competition, including “Madres paralelas”, a film by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar starring Penélope Cruz, which opened the festival on Wednesday.
Among the film competing for the Golden Lion prize, the Festival’s top prize will be Ana Lily Amirpour’s fantasy film, “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon”, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter”, Paul Schrader’s crime film, “The Card Counter”, Paolo Sorrentino’s production, “The Hand of God” and, Jane Campion’s western, “The Power of the Dog”.
Last year, Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” won the Golden Lion. This year, the Chinese-born director will sit on the international jury chaired by Oscar-winning South Korean director Bong Joon Ho.
The Hungarian director, Gábor Fabius’ debut feature film, “Erasing Frank” will also make its debut in Venice, at the film critics week, an independent parallel section of the festival. The Hungarian director’s work competes with six other productions. The 78th Venice International Film Festival closes on September 11.