You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice Palazzo plans take shape

Construction to start head of this year's fest

The Venice Film Festival’s $100 million Palazzo del Cinema will begin construction before the fest’s Aug. 27-Sept. 6 edition.

The Lido’s badly needed new digs have cleared all red tape. Building will begin in coming weeks on the futuristic structure, housing a 2,400-seat Sala Grande theater equipped with 3-D digital projection under a shell shaped like an upside-down ship.

The complex will incorporate the old Fascist-era palazzo, restoring its original 1930’s facade but expanding its capacity to include new screening rooms and a market pavilion. There will be two elaborate catwalks with the Lido beach and the Venice lagoon as backdrops. The idea is to create a Cannes-like structure on the Lido, operating year-round as a confab center.

Venice artistic director Marco Mueller has said that construction will be kept to a minimum during fest time and turned into a construction site/event with updates for festgoers on how the building is proceeding. The plan is for completion in 2011.

Meanwhile, expect more preems at Venice, especially galas in the Piazza San Marco. Mueller, a former Locarno topper, is even dreaming of building a floating Piazza Grande within the Venice Arsenale with the lagoon all around it.

While the new palazzo is good news for Venice, the threat of a boycott announced Wednesday by Italy’s film industry in protest against the Silvio Berlusconi government’s decision to scrap film production tax breaks is not. Italo Culture Czar Sandro Bondi on Thursday said he had high hopes the incentives would be re-introduced into the budget.

The Venice Film Festival has declined comment on the dispute.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • Media Company Formed Through Merger Given

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Takes the Name Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film has been given the name Leonine, it was revealed Friday. Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine, said: “When choosing the new brand as our company name, the following aspects were decisive for us: it [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

  • Johnnie To Quits Taiwan Golden Horse

    Johnnie To Quits Golden Horse Awards as China Builds Pressure

    Leading Hong Kong film maker Johnnie To has dropped out of the Golden Horse Awards, where he was set to be president of the jury deciding the prize winners. The awards, which take place in and are organized from Taiwan, have long been considered the most prestigious prizes in Chinese-language cinema. However they are currently [...]

  • Zeroville

    Film Review: 'Zeroville'

    I’m tired of hearing how some novels are “impossible to adapt.” Balderdash! Just because some books don’t lend themselves to being translated from page to screen doesn’t mean that the attempt ought not to be made. Just ask James Franco, who’s shown a speed freak’s determination to tackle some of the unlikeliest literary adaptations of [...]

  • Red Penguins review

    Toronto Film Review: 'Red Penguins'

    “Red Penguins” is a cautionary tale with particular resonance in the context of our current bizarre intertwining with Russia, the country that interfered in the last U.S. presidential election and is led by the POTUS’ apparent BFF. This wild tale of attempted transnational commerce just after the demise of the USSR in the 1990s chronicles [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content