Status: 09/01/2021 11:19 a.m.
The stars are back and the rush is great. According to the festival director Barbera, the Venice Film Festival promises to be a highlight. More high-quality films had been submitted than had been for a long time.
The Venetian Stefano Scarpi is currently checking a blue bike in his “Lido on Bike” shop, the bike rental shop opposite the landing stage for the vaporetti. “Usually almost all the bikes at the festival are in use on the first day,” he says. “There are only a few left here.”
ARD studio Rome
Festival atmosphere at the Lido
Stefano has a lot to do these days. After the break-in due to Corona, he is now optimistic again. “Especially now after the pandemic, the bicycle has become the most popular means of transport,” says Stefano. “You have no problem with closeness, so everyone feels more free and secure.”
Many at Venice Lido are in the same mood as the bicycle dealer. Although the film festival took place last year despite the pandemic, it is only now that it seems to be really taking off.
21 films compete for the Golden Lion
Festival director Alberto Barbera is in a good mood in the interview. More high-quality films had been submitted than had been for a long time. “It almost looks like the pandemic has in some way stimulated filmmakers’ creativity,” says Barbera. “Most of the people who are here in Venice have done their most beautiful work – for whatever reason.” It’s a good time to go to the movies, says Barbera. “I think it has never been so lively and vital as it is now.”
21 films are competing for the Golden Lion, the award given by the jury to the South Korean Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho. “Madres paralelas” by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar kicks off the opening in the evening. One of the two main roles is played by Penélope Cruz. It’s about two women who accidentally get pregnant and meet in the hospital.
Also in the running for the Golden Lion is the film “Spencer”, which was shot largely in Germany. The American actress Kristen Stewart plays Princess Diana in the drama.
Hollywood productions celebrate their premiere
In addition to competition, some Hollywood productions are premiering in Venice, such as Ridley Scott’s historic action spectacle “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon or “Halloween Kills” with Jamie Lee Curtis. The science fiction film “Dune” caused quite a stir in the run-up to it: a new edition of the cult novel for which director Denis Villeneuve brought many stars in front of the camera.
The President of the Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, sees a sign of hope for the film industry. “The fact that big companies, platforms or even studios have decided to come shows that they are convinced it is useful,” says Cicutto. And it also shows that business is coming back, both in the movie palaces and on the platforms.
Great audience interest
Until September 11th, visitors to the theaters on the Lido can watch international productions from morning to evening. You need the so-called Green Pass, the EU Corona certificate. To do this, you have to be recovered, vaccinated or tested. There are several tents on the festival site for last-minute tests.
Festival Director Alberto Barbera says: “We know that it is best to watch a film in the cinema. On a big screen, with a good tone. Together with the other visitors, with whom we share the same feelings. We laugh, we cry at the same time. But of course we also know that more films will be produced for the platforms in the future.
Even before the opening, some screenings at the film festival are booked out, and interest seems to be greater than ever.
Venice Film Festival opens
Elisabeth Pongratz, ARD Rome, September 1, 2021 9:23 a.m.