The Venice Film Festival

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. It is also known under the name of “Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia.

In 1932 Giuseppe Volpi founded the “Exposizione Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica”, taking place in late August or early September, opening the way for the Venice Film Festival.

The Venice Film Festival has grown from a strictly European lineup to extraordinary international venue.

Part of the Venice Biennale, it is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. The main awards are the Golden Lion (Leon d’Oro) – rewarding the best film screened in competition, the Silver Lion (Leone d’Argento) – rewarding the best director – and the Volpi Cup (Coppo Volpi) – offered to the best actress and actor. In order to award the overall work of a director or an actor, the jury may offer the Special Lion.

Film Trends

Expressive language and new trends in films are awarded in the section Orizzonti (Horizons), divided into the Orizzonti Prize, the Special Orizzonti Jury Prize awarding feature-length films, the Orizzonti Short Film Prize and the Orizzonti Medium-length Film Prize.


Heading into the 7th decade, this film festival has been enlarged and enriched in order to cover a large area of cinematographic works. For the 69th edition, the Biennale Board approved many new features. Paolo Baratta agreed to start the project for the Biennale College Cinema. Its goal is to offer young filmmakers from around the world a specialization workshop in order to produce low budget films. Although there are many other directing workshops, the Biennale College claims to be ground-breaking, offering a complete activity regarding the domain.

The 69th Venice International Film Festival (29 August – 8 September 2012) marks the debut of Light Market, responding to the expectations and needs of distributors, producers, buyers and sellers.

Attracting professionals from around the world by giving them the organization and structure needed is its main purpose. This will allow them to build enough business in order to justify their presence in Venice.

This is also possible by Video Library: buyers can view films offered by vendors and invest in them.

There is a three-fold structure of the Market: The Business Center, the Industry Club and the Video Library.

Following the recommendations of Director Alberto Barbera, a new set of regulations has been approved. Among the most important we mention:

  • A reduced number of films, a maximum of 20 titles presented as world premiere screenings for the International Competition Venezia 69
  • No more than 11 titles out of competition
  • A smaller number of sections in the Official Section, limited to three: The Competition Venezia 69, Out of Compeptption and Orizzonti.

The main reasons for justifying these regulations are: greater possibilities for additional screening, increased visibility and more chances for all the participants in the project.

Besides the three main sections mentioned there are other, including Independent and parallel sections where 8 films – debut works – are independently organized by SNCCI (Italian National Film Critics’ Syndicate)

Giornate degli Autori – 12 films are promoted independently by Italian filmmakers.

Juries & Awards

7 to 9 personalities – excluding anyone involved in the production of films will award the prize for the feature film.

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