The Biennale on Thursday announced their first ‘renovations’ to the Venice Film Festival roster under the directorship of Alberto Barbera, who has taken the reins of the festival after Marco Mueller’s mandate was not renewed.
Under Barbera, the Venice film festival official selection will become “lighter” with fewer films (still all world premieres) in the main competition, which the Biennale says will allow films to received increased visibility and screenings, ensuring distributors and sales agents a stronger focus on Venice competition selected pictures.
Venice will also debut their new “light” market with the upcoming 69th edition, with a video library, business center and industry club.
At the same time, Venice will place focus on the Biennale College by creating an outreach programme aimed at tapping new talents work with “micro and low budget” films as well as assure on line distribution.
And for the festival, there will only be three sections to make up Venice’s official selection: Competition, Out of Competition and Orizzonti.
The Venice 69 (competition) line up will consist of no more than 20 titles.
Venice’s out of competition programme will screen a maximum of 11 titles of which no more than three will be allotted for the midnight selection. Out of competition will be reserved for those filmmakers whose works have appeared in Venice’s main competition in previous years. Titles must be feature length and in world premiere, some exception may be made for those films not yet screened outside the home country.
Orizzonti will continue as a competitive section in its lab format, allowing for cutting edge features, shorts up to 20 minutes in length, or films that “tackle current genres and production with the intent of producing innovation and creative originality,” according to the statement from the festival.
Both Critics’ week and the Venice Days sidebars will remain as officially recognised independent and parallel sections to run during the festival.
As for the main jury, it will be made up of seven to nine internationally selected film and art world individuals. No ex-aequo awards will be permitted except in the case of the Coppa Volpi (acting) and the Premio Mastroianni (emerging talent) categories. Prizes remain the same.
Horizons (Orizzonti) will have a jury of five to seven experts and can’t award any prize ex-aqueo. Three prizes will be Orizzonti award for best film; Special Orizzonti jury prize, Orizzonti award for best short film.
As always, a jury of five will award the Luigi De Laurentiis for best debut across sections.
Alberto Barbera will have six experts to assist him in his work, including Giulia d’Agnolo Vallan, who stays on as Venice’s US correspondent; as well as Bruno Fornara, Mauro Gervasini, Oscar Iarussi, Emiliano Morreale and Marina Sanna.
Venice’s territory correspondents are: Violeta Bava for South America; Elena Pollacchi for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea; Paolo Bertolin for the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia; Petr Shepotinnik for Russia; Viola Shafik for the Arab territories and Mohammad Atebbai for Iran.
The 69th Venice film festival will run Aug 29-Sept 8, 2012.