Venice Film Festival Director Blasts Telluride for Sneak Peeks

Alberto Barbera Venice Film Festival Telluride
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Barbera intends to stop encroaching fest

VENICEVenice Film Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera is peeved about Telluride stepping up the number of its world-preem “sneak previews” this year and he intends to put a freeze on it going forward.

“For next year, we will all have to be agreed on the ground rules: if a movie is in competition in Venice it has to screen here first,” Barbera told Variety during a press lunch on the Lido.

SEE ALSO: Can Telluride Continue to Steal Venice and Toronto’s Thunder?

For this year’s 40th edition, which wrapped Sept. 2, Telluride beat the Lido to the punch on three pics, Jonathan Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” Errol Morris docu “The Unknown Known”  – both in competition at Venice – and Gia Coppola’s “Palo Alto.”

While it’s not the first time Telluride “sneak peeks” a Venice title first, fest typically does Venice the courtesy of waiting at least a few hours after a film’s world preem on the Lido before screening the same movie in the States.

Also, Telluride stole Venice’s thunder in a much bigger way this year. But Toronto got hit even worse.

It lost world-premiere status on “Prisoners,” “Labor Day,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Ida,” “The Invisible Woman,” “Tim’s Vermeer” and “Starred Up.”

All three fests are important in kicking off awards’ season.

Barbera said that regarding two titles this year, he had no idea what Telluride was up to, most notably with Glazer’s “Under the Skin,” which ended up getting a better response from critics in Venice than in Telluride.

“It was done behind everybody’s back,” Barbera said, adding that he would be talking to Telluride co-founder Tom Luddy “about this.”

Barbera was Telluride’s guest director in 2002.

(Peter Debruge contributed to this report.)

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  1. Hunter Todd says:

    Venice, Cannes, Berlin and Toronto are the major film festivals in the world. Others, such as Telluride, are small speciality events. If Venice wants to enforce a strict “Premiere” rule, they have every right to do so,,, and why not. They are the oldest film festival in the world, and they do deserve a little respect. Here in Houston, we only insist on a Texas Premiere, which is fine with us. If they have not seen it in Houston, who cares? Most other festivals, including Sundance and Telluride have similiar rules. Venice and Cannes are the 900 pound gorillas here… no contest… The 47th WorldFest – April 2014

  2. sounds fishy….respect is marginalized at this point…they need to re-imagine:)

  3. Ryan Moore says:

    Why does Venice feel it’s entitled to show these films first? Isn’t it up to the filmmakers to decide which festivals to attend? The avenue of “courtesy” in waiting to show films first should run both ways and since Telluride has earned the honor of receiving these films, it should be rewarded with the right to show them first as well.

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