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Exclusive: live the magic of the Venice Film Festival

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

The Venice International Film Festival, also known as the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica di Venezia, is a film festival held annually in Venice, usually between late August and early September.

Venice film festival
Venice film festival

Where does the Film Festival take place?

It takes place at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Marconi waterfront and in neighbouring buildings on the Venice Lido and in the lagoon. It is the oldest film festival in the world, after the Academy Awards, and its first edition was held from 6 to 21 August 1932. It is part of the Venice Biennale, a cultural institution founded in 1895 that also organises the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art and the International Festival of Contemporary Music. The 79th edition was held from 31 August to 10 September 2022.

The main prize is the Golden Lion, named after the city's symbol, the Lion of St. Mark.

A Venetian symbol

The Venice International Film Festival, established in 1932 on the intuition of the President of the Biennale, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, is synonymous with history and worldliness for the city. Founded on the terrace of the Excelsior Hotel on the Lido, the exhibition has since its origins hosted films that have become part of film history, such as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian, It happened one night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale, Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg, Forrest Gump by Robert Zemeckis and Eyes Wide Shut by Stanley Kurbick..

The exhibition has been an annual event since 1935, when the actors' award took the name Coppa Volpi under the direction of Ottavio Croze. The cups are still made by Croze's historic family jewellery shop by tradition. During the 10 days of the exhibition, the Venetian island dresses up and becomes a little paradise of the 'belle vie', with actors and actresses sitting at the tables of the historic Lyon's Club or in the characteristic huts on the lidense beaches. Film fans stroll along the waterfront hoping to meet their favorites.

The Film Festival also means parties and socialising, with Venetian palaces transformed into dreamlike settings for exclusive events and annual galas. The terraces of the Lido beaches host the events, and with a bit of luck and the right dress you can enter an extraordinary world of glittering sequins and evening gowns.

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