Venice films hit the road

Fest to spin off pix

ROME — Highlights from the lineup of the 55th Venice Intl. Film Festival will immediately segue to a trio of spinoff fests in major Italian cities.

The Venice festival, which runs through Sept. 13, opens Thursday with the European premiere of “Saving Private Ryan.” The day after its Lido bow, Steven Spielberg’s war drama will cross the lagoon to Venice proper to kick off Esterno Notte. Organized by the city council, the spinoff fest will include close to 120 screenings and will take place on five screens in Venice and neighboring Mestre with total seating for 3,500. The same event last year clocked 23,000 admissions.

Also repeating successful initiatives from last year, Italy’s national exhibitors association, ANEC, has organized traveling Venice fests in Rome and Milan.

The parallel events run Sept. 8-21 in the capital and Sept. 8-15 in the northern burg, involving around 40 theaters. All pics will screen in their original versions with Italian subtitles.

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