Venice Film Festival

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Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival logo.svg
Venice International Film Festival logo
Location Venice, Italy
Founded 1932
Directed by Alberto Barbera
Festival date late August/early September
Language Italian

The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival (Italian: Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia, "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale")is part of the the Venice Biennale (Italian Biennale di Venezia) and started in 1932. The Film Festival is part of the Venice Biennale which was founded by the Venetian City Council in 1895. The Biennale consists (now) of a range of separate events including (the International Art Exhibition (Venice); the International Festival of Contemporary Music (Venice); the International Theatre Festival (Venice), the International Architecture Exhibition (Venice), the International Festival of Contemporary Dance (Venice), and the International Kids’ Carnival (Venice) of which the Venice Film festival is probably the best known event.

The film festival has since taken place in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi and in other venues nearby. The Venice Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Since its inception the Film Festival has become probably the most prestigious international film event and competition in the world. The 71st Festival took place from 27 August to 6 September 2014.


1932 until 1939[1][edit]

In 1932, the then president of the Biennale, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata initiated the first film festival, the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica" as part of the 18th Venice Biennale (from 6 July to 21 August 1932). Luciano De Feo was the very first director-selector. The 1932 Festival was held on the terrace of the Hotel Excelsior on the Venice Lido, and at that stage it was not a competitive event'. The very first film to be shown in the history of the Festival was Rouben Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, that was screened at 9:15 p.m. on 6 August 1932.

From 1 to 20 August 1934 the second festival was held. For the first time it included a competition. 19 countries took part with over 300 accredited journalists. The "Coppa Mussolini" was introduced for best foreign film and best Italian film; however there was no actual jury. Instead, the awards were assigned by the President of the Biennale, after listening to the opinions of both experts and audiences, and in accordance with the "National Institute for Educational Cinema". Other awards were the "Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment" to best actor and actress. The prize for best foreign film went to Robert J. Flaherty's Man of Aran and was a confirmation of the taste of the time for auteur documentaries.

Starting with 1935 the Festival became a yearly event under the direction of Ottavio Croze. The actors' award was renamed "Coppa Volpi".

In 1936 an international jury was nominated for the first time.

In 1937 the new Palazzo del Cinema was inaugurated (designed by the architect Luigi Quagliata). With the exception of the years 1940 to 1948, it has hosted the Festival ever since.

1938 saw the first retrospective, devoted to French cinema from 1891 to 1933. Marlene Dietrich came to the Lido, consecrating the star worship that accompanied the Festival.

Current Awards[edit]

The Film Festival's current awards are:

Official selection - In competition[edit]

Golden Lion (Leone d'Oro)[edit]

The 65th Venice International Film Festival

Awarded to the best film screened in competition at the festival

See a list of winners at Golden Lion

Silver Lion Leone d'Argento[edit]

The Silver Lion is awarded to the best director in the competitive section Venezia (plus the number of the edition).

See list of winners at Silver Lion

Grand Jury Prize[edit]

Volpi Cup (Coppa Volpi)[edit]

The Volpi Cups are awarded to:

  • 'Best actor'
  • 'Best actress'

Formal awards for best actor and best actress have been given since 1934. In the mid-1990s awards were also given to supporting actors and actresses.

For a list of winners, see Volpi Cup.

Marcello Mastroianni Award[edit]

The "Marcello Mastroianni Award" was instituted in 1998 in honor of the great Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni who passed away in 1996. The award was created to acknowledge an emerging actor or actress, and can be compared to the "Volpi Cup", the award for Best Actor and Best Actress. [2]

'Special Lion'[edit]

The Jury may also choose to award a 'Special Lion' for an overall work to a director or actor of a film presented in the main competition section.

Orizzonti section (Horizons)[edit]

is open to all "custom-format" works, with a wider view towards new trends in the expressive languages that converge in film. The awards of the Orizzonti section are:

  • The Orizzonti Prize
  • The Special Orizzonti Jury Prize (for feature-length films)
  • The Orizzonti Short Film Prize
  • The Orizzonti Medium-length Film Prize

Controcampo Italiano section[edit]

presents a panorama on Italian cinema with 7 narrative feature-length films, 7 short films, and 7 documentaries, all world premiere screenings and all in competition in their respective categories. The awards of this section are:

  • Controcampo Award (for narrative feature-length films)
  • Controcampo Award (for short films)
  • Controcampo Doc Award (for documentaries)

Best Screenplay Award[edit]

for best screenplay.

Lion of the Future[edit]

Award for a debut film.

Special Jury Prize[edit]

A Special Jury Prize is awarded to one or two films in most years.

See list of winners at Special Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival)

Golden Osella[edit]

There are two Golden Osella Prizes: for Best Technical Contribution (to cinematographers, composers, etc.) and for Best Screenplay.

For a list of winners, see Golden Osella.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award[edit]

The “Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker” award was created by the Venice Film Festival and organized in collaboration with Jaeger-LeCoultre. It is dedicated to personalities that have made a significant contribution to contemporary cinema. [3]

Year Film Director Nationality
2007 Glory to the Filmmaker! Kitano Takeshi  Japan
2008 Shirin Abbas Kiarostami  Iran
The Beaches of Agnès Agnès Varda  France
2009 Rambo Sylvester Stallone  United States
2010 Raavanan Mani Ratnam  India
2011 Wilde Salome Al Pacino  United States
2012 Bad 25 Spike Lee  United States
2013 Che Strano Chiamarsi Federico! Ettore Scola  Italy

Past awards[edit]

Coppa Mussolini (Mussolini Cups)[edit]

The Mussolini Cups were the top awards from 1934 to 1942 for best Italian and best foreign film. Named after Italy's then dictator prime minister, Benito Mussolini, they were abandoned upon his ousting in 1943. [4]

Coppa Mussolini (Mussolini Cup) for Best Italian Film[edit]

Year English title Original title Director(s)
1934 Loyalty of Love Teresa Confalonieri Guido Brignone
1935 Casta Diva Casta diva Carmine Gallone
1936 The White Squadron Lo squadrone bianco Augusto Genina
1937 Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal Scipione l'africano Carmine Gallone
1938 Luciano Serra, Pilot Luciano Serra pilota Goffredo Alessandrini
1939 Cardinal Messias Abuna Messias Goffredo Alessandrini
1940 The Siege of the Alcazar L'assedio dell'Alcazar Augusto Genina
1941 The Iron Crown La corona di ferro Alessandro Blasetti
1942 Bengasi Bengasi Augusto Genina

Mussolini Cup for Best Foreign Film[edit]

Year English title Original title Director(s) Country
1934 Man of Aran Man of Aran Robert J. Flaherty United Kingdom
1935 Anna Karenina Anna Karenina Clarence Brown United States
1936 The Kaiser of California Der Kaiser von Kalifornien Luis Trenker Germany
1937 Dance Program Un carnet de bal (fr) Julien Duvivier France
1938 Olympia Part One: Festival of the Nations Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker Leni Riefenstahl Germany
1940 The Postmaster Der Postmeister Gustav Ucicky Germany
1941 Uncle Krüger Ohm Krüger Hans Steinhoff Germany
1942 The Great King Der große König Veit Harlan Germany

Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment[edit]

"Le Grandi Medaglie d’Oro dell’Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo" in Italian.

This was awarded to Best Actor and Best Actress.[5] It was later replaced by the Volpi Cup for actors and actresses. The first time this prize was awarded to Katharine Hepburn for her role in Little Women by George Cukor [6]

Audience Referendum[edit]

In the first edition of the festival in 1932, due to the lack of a jury and the awarding of official prizes, a list of acknowledgements was decided by popular vote, an tally determined by the number of people flocking to the films, and announced by the Organizing Committee. From this the Best Director was declared – Russian Nikolaj Ekk for the film The Road to Life, while the film by René Clair Give Us Liberty was voted Best Film.

Award for Best Director[edit]

Year Director(s) Title Original title
1935 King Vidor The Wedding Night
1936 Jacques Feyder Carnival in Flanders La Kermesse Héroique
1937 Robert J. Flaherty and Zoltan Korda Elephant Boy
1938 Carl Froelich Magda Heimat

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°24′22″N 12°22′02″E / 45.405975°N 12.367290°E / 45.405975; 12.367290