Dates for your calendar: one of the most prestigious events in the world of cinema takes place from 29 August to 8 September 2018. The 75th Venice Film Festival is held at the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the island Venice Lido. Organized by Biennale di Venezia and directed by Alberto Barbera, its mission is to ‘promote the awareness of international cinema in all its forms as art, entertainment and as an industry, in a spirit of freedom and interchange. The Festival also presents retrospectives and tributes to personalities from the world of cinema, contributing to a better understanding of the history of cinema.’ In addition to film screenings and red carpet appearances, the programme includes many collateral events. The Festival begins on Wednesday 29 August with the customary opening ceremony, and it ends on Saturday 8 September with the prizegiving featuring the Golden Lion. Glamour is always a part of the Festival, with VIPs arriving at the lagoon using the city’s coolest form of transport, water taxis.
A brief history
The Venice Film Festival is the oldest such event in the world, first held in 1932, from 6 to 21 August, as part of the 18th Biennial Art Show. It was an idea by President of the Biennale Giuseppe Volpi, along with sculptor Antonio Maraini (the first artistic consultant) and Luciano Feo (director and selector). In that event, the first film to be screened was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. It was held at Hotel Excelsior on Venice Lido di Venezia, and it immediately acquired connotations of prestige, attracting many countries and an audience comprising many high society personalities.
The Golden Lion
The ‘Leone d’oro’ or Golden Lion is based on the city’s symbol. It has always been considered as one of the most important awards in its field, comparable to the Palme d’Or of Cannes and the Golden Bear of Berlin. The symbol of the city of Venice is a winged lion with a halo, a sword, and a book under its right paw. It is also a symbol of Saint Mark, whose body was brought to Venice from Alexandria by two merchants. In terms of Christian iconography, the lion represents the power of the Evangelist’s words, the wings symbolize Mark’s spiritual elevation, and the halo his sanctity. The prize was initially known as the Gran Premio di Venezia (1947-1948), becoming the Lion of St. Mark up until 1953, and then acquiring its current name Leone d’oro in 1954. The intention was to use a single adjective to denote the continuous, harmonious expression of all forms of art.
The Golden Lion career award
Since 1968, in addition to the Golden Lion for the best film, the career award has also been assigned every year. The 2018 recipient is David Cronenberg, Canadian director whose filmography includes Crash and ExistenZ, considered as cult movies that express his very personal and controversial approach to his art.
You can see the films at the Festival, both those competing for the awards and those screened ‘out of competition,’ by purchasing tickets online at the official website labiennale.org or in the box offices in Venice, at Ca’ Giustinian or at authorized retailers in Venice. If you hold the CartaFRECCIA card, or if you are under 26 or over 60, you can purchase reduced-price tickets at the ‘cinema village’ and from authorized retailers in Venice. The Cinema del Giardino (Garden Cinema) presents films and other screenings for the general public, dedicated to all cinema enthusiasts who are not part of the world of cinema.
Journalists and trade professionals can request accreditation at the official website in order to obtain a pass that gives them access to press screenings.
For further information on the Festival and the Programme, visit labiennale.org or write to firstname.lastname@example.org