Thierry Fremaux from the Cannes Film Festival, José Luis Rebordinos from San Sebastian and Carlo Chatrian from the Berlinale are among the eight artistic directors of the main European film festivals who will be attending the opening night of Venice.

The inaugural evening of the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival will take place Sept. 2 in Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido). Each of the artistic directors will represent the community of film festivals in Europe and around the world.

Alberto Barbera, the artistic director of Venice, will be surrounded by Chatrian, Rebordinos, Fremaux, as well as Lili Hinstin from Locarno, Vanja Kaludjeric from Rotterdam, Karel Och from Karlovy Vary, Tricia Tuttle from London Film Festival.

The symbolic event will be meant to “reassert the importance of the art of cinema as a sign of solidarity towards the global film industry which has been hit hard by the pandemic, and their colleagues forced to cancel or postpone their festivals,” said Venice in a release.

The eight directors will come up on the stage to read a shared document underscoring the “fundamental value of cinema, and the role and importance of festivals in the support and promotion of cinema from all over the world, and European cinema in particular,” said Venice.

Venice also said the gathering will also emphasize the crucial role that festivals play in highlighting “the best of authors’ and filmmakers’ creativity,” and become “centres of culture, places of education at the service of young directors, opportunities” as well as “fosters research and debate (that produce) an indispensable dialogue with audiences and society.”

In the backdrop of this event, there have been some tensions between festivals this year. Venice and Cannes had initially discussed a form of alliance which would have allowed movies from Cannes’s Official Selection to be shown at Venice, but talks fell off. Ultimately, Venice won’t be showcasing movies from Cannes’ 2020 roster. San Sebastian, Toronto and Deauville are among the festivals that will host world premieres for Cannes movies.

As previously announced, Venice will kick off with Daniele Luchetti’s “Lacci.” It will mark the first time Venice opens with an Italian film in more than 10 years. Cate Blanchett will head this year’s jury.