Venice Film Festival, the Artistic Director Barbera talks about the edition

All ready for Venice 80 (THE SPECIAL) which will take place on the Lido from 30 August to 9 September. We met the Artistic Director, Alberto Barbera, to tell us what to expect.

“It will be an edition very rich in films because there are the most awaited big films of the autumn season. There will also be many discoveries and surprises (which I hope they are). We will be demonstrating that cinema is alive and vital and that there is a generational change so there are a lot of very talented young directors together with the anticipated great auteurs that we know and love.”

There will be a large presence of Italian films in the Competition, there are six this year, and perhaps the time has come to no longer have to “justify this choice”?

“I think not in the sense that these films signal a change of pace in Italian cinema. These are films that finally have significant budgets availableI’m thinking of the 8 million for Matteo Garrone’s film (Io Capitano) or the 29 million for Saverio Costanzo’s film (Finally Dawn): this means become competitive on that international market which up to now has remained closed to us.

Furthermore, having larger budgets also means giving directors the opportunity to be more daring and to work in ideal conditions.

For this reason it is possible to aim for a higher quality that can help rekindle or keep alive that desire for cinema in the audience, the Italian public”.

What impact is the actors’ strike having on accredited members and on audience attendance?

“Apart from some defections of actors from the majors or big platforms who will not be able to come, but who will however be a limited number, I would say that for us the impact was less than we might have expected as soon as the strike was announced.

Having said that, it has absolutely no influence on the attendance of the public and those accredited, which on the contrary are perhaps more than last year.

To date we have sold more tickets and we have more accredited and this means that people have not been frightened by the absence of some big stars.

People come anyway because they know they can find a great cinema and a great event and therefore I don’t think we will suffer too much from these absences.”

I ask you a question as a film lover: how long do you think these strikes will last and what impact will they have?

“I hope as little as possible because the risk is that if it were to go on too long it would have terrible repercussions on the whole supply chain in the sense that many of the big titles expected for the autumn have already been postponed, which cannot be good for cinemas and that return of the audience to the hall which is so necessary. This strike will also cause platforms to lack many titles that cannot be offered, and last but not least, it will have a negative impact on the American industry both in economic terms and in job losses because people cannot afford to wait out a strike when they need to work for a living.

I therefore hope that all these considerations, which are now widely shared, can convince the two opposing sides to find a positive solution as soon as possible”.

Venice 80 therefore, which exhibition will it be?

“I hope it will be a show a lot participatedexciting and full of surprises and I also hope that it marks the return of those discussions about cinema which have characterized the entire history of this extraordinary means of communication and art and which lately had diminished a little under the pressure of other interests”.