Legendary production designer Dante Ferretti, who has worked on filmsfrom Fellini's Satyricon to Scorsese's The Aviator, has been namedpresident of the international jury at this year's 62nd annualedition of the Venice Film Festival (Aug 31-Sept 10).
Venice Biennale president Davide Croff and Mostra director Marco Muellermade the announcement at the Cannes Film Festival, where they also revealedthat plans to hold a three-day MIFED on the Lido will not go through this year.
"We never thought we couldjust transport MIFED to Venice so we made ourselves available if a project wereproposed and we are still open to considering it," Croff told ScreenDaily.com. The existingIndustry Office will continue to function.
Croff and Mueller further repeated their determination to avoid theproblems which marred last year's event. "We are much more prepared to facethose issues needing management," Croff said, citing a roughly 30% reduction inthe number of films to screen and a streamlining of technical issues such asticketing.
Around 58 films will screen, down from 90 last year, split to 20 incompetition, 18 in the Horizons sidebar (including 6 feature-lengthdocumentaries) and the remainder out-of-competition including galas andnon-nightly midnight screenings.
"Obviously last year we hada very rich programme but we cannot afford to have so many talentsoverlapping," Mueller told ScreenDaily.com, adding that films would bedivided among locales.
Mueller suggested this year's line-up would boast an even bigger mix of'signature collection' and 'avant-garde' pictures. "Venice is a festival of bigfilms and big name directors, we have the glamour and glitz, but we are alsovery much of a public festival."
Mueller confirmed that a retrospective will be dedicated to The SecretHistory of Asian Cinema and Hayao Miyazaki will receive a career Golden Lion.
Finally, on May 26 the Biennale will reveal the winner of a contest todesign the festival's new cinema palace, which is expected to be ready for useby 2008.