A glimpse of Italy beyond the gondolas
The picturesque Italian city of Venice (located in Northern Italy and best known for its gondola and canal cruises) is playing host to the prestigious 10-day Venice Film Festival which concludes on September 12.
The fest will show some 80 films from 32 countries. US and Italian films dominate the glamorous event with 17 and 22 entries respectively. In the competition section are 24 films which will run neck to neck for the festival's prestigious Golden Lion prizeto be awarded by a jury headed by Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee. The director himself won the Golden Lion in 2005 for “ Brokeback Mountain ”.
Some interesting sidelights:
The festival opened with “Baaria”, Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore's epic autobiographical film. The cinematic work is Tornatore's heartfelt tribute to his Sicilian hometown. “Baaria” could be about anyone's hometown as long as it's the centre of their universe, says the director.
Nicholas Cage, Charlize Theron and Val Kilmer are among the stars attending the 66th Venice Film Festival.
Only five of the 24 films entered in the official competition at the Venice Film Festival are American. There are also four each from Italy, France, the rest of Europe and Asia, along with two from the Middle East.
Leading the American contenders is the new Michael Moore documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story”. Moore won the 2002 feature documentary Oscar for “Bowling for Columbine” and contended two years ago for “Sicko”.
Two films creating the biggest buzz at this year's Venice Festival, “The Men Who Stare at Goats” and “The Informant” are being screened out of the competition section. George Clooney and Matt Damon, voted as the Sexiest Men by People magazine, are starring in these comedy-dramas. The good friends worked together on the “Ocean's” trilogy as well as “Syriana” which won George Clooney the 2005 supporting actor Oscar.
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film fest still to take place.
Certainly a treat for film buffs and cine critics.