The Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned this fall, the region’s governor confirmed on Sunday.
Luca Zaia, governor of Veneto, said the world’s longest-running film festival, which was due to take place Sept. 2-12, is still on. The official’s confirmation comes days after the Venice Biennale, which oversees the film festival among a number of other arts events, moved its Biennale of Architecture to 2021, but maintained the film festival’s fall dates. Previously, the architecture and film festivals were meant to overlap.
Zaia said on Sunday that the Biennale of Architecture was postponed due to complications in constructing the necessary pavilions. The film festival will proceed, although he warned that there will likely be fewer films this year.
Venice surveyed a wide range of film industry executives in early May to ask for concerns and suggestions about the upcoming edition, as reported by Variety. The letter, which was signed by Venice’s artistic director Alberto Barbera, was meant to gauge how many filmmakers, actors and producers are willing to attend the fest.
“We know that it would be simply impossible to plan a festival without knowing if you all are willing to use the Festival to give a new start and a strong sign for keeping cinema alive, even in these difficult times,” wrote Barbera. The letter also asked producers and sales agents about “the concrete possibility of bringing (talent) to accompany the invited films.”
Evidently, organizers — who were expected to take a decision in late May — are now confident the fest is able to go ahead as planned, although the look of the event will be different this year, as public health safeguards must be taken into consideration. The festival has not yet commented on plans for September.
Venice previously declared that it would not go the virtual route, but made clear in its industry survey that it was considering a “virtual screening room, using a safe online platform” for those who won’t be able to attend but have been previously accredited. In January, the fest revealed that Cate Blanchett would serve as jury president.
Italy will reopen its borders for European travellers on June 3, forgoing mandatory quarantine restrictions for inbound travel. The country, which was among the hardest hit by coronavirus in Europe, has slowly come out of lockdown in recent weeks, though it has reported 32,785 fatalities to date.