In what is being touted as a first, the Venice Film Festival’s opening ceremony is streaming live this evening in roughly 100 Italian movie theaters, followed by the fest’s opening film, Daniele Luchetti’s “The Ties.”
The film’s distributor, 01 Distribution, is previewing “The Ties” in cinemas across Italy as a double bill in conjunction with the fest’s opening ceremony.
“It’s the first time this has ever been done anywhere in the world,” says 01 Distribution chief Luigi Lonigro, who devised this marketing strategy in tandem with fest organizers in the spirit of Venice’s symbolic significance as a restart moment.
Luchetti, a veteran helmer whose “Our Life” and “My Brother Is an Only Child” years ago launched from Cannes, had submitted “The Ties” to Cannes earlier this year. But when he did so the film was not completed, since the pandemic had forced him to interrupt editing.
When his drama about of a rocky marriage, starring Alba Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) and Luigi Lo Cascio (“The Traitor”), was selected as Venice opener, Luchetti thought about his family, he says. He thought about his parents, uncles, and grandparents who “where the first people who took me to the movies as a child.”
Popular on Variety
“We’ve all seen a lot of movies during lockdown, sitting by ourselves,” says Luchetti, who notes that “my family hadn’t just taken me to see a film; but to undergo a collective experience.”
Similarly, the opening night of Venice, which is the world’s first major post-pandemic film event, “won’t be just about seeing a film; it will be about doing it all together!,” he points out.
Following tonight’s special preview, “The Ties” will open regularly in Italian theaters on Oct. 1.
France’s MK2 Films, which is selling the film internationally, has already closed deals for France (Pyramide) and Switzerland (Cineworx).