Venice plays host to freed hostage

Ingrid Betancourt invited to be guest of honor

ROME — Ingrid Betancourt has been officially invited by the Venice Film Festival to be the event’s guest of honor.

The French-Colombian citizen freed on July 2 in a cinematic helicopter rescue operation after six years of captivity at the hands of Colombian guerrillas, has been sent a missive by Venice mayor Massimo Cacciari and Venice Biennale prexy Paolo Baratta.

In the letter, after expressing great joy at the former Colombian presidential candidate’s liberation, they express their wish to have Betancourt attend the Lido’s upcoming 62nd edition “on opening day, or any day she may please.”

Betancourt has yet to accept the invitation.

The international film community has long felt strong solidarity with Betancourt’s plight.

The Cannes Film Festival’s Palais this year displayed a portrait of Betancourt during the fest for the fourth consecutive year.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 27-Sept. 6.

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