The Venice Film Festival is wading through its infrastructure problems at good pace, upgrading key venues like the Sala Grande screening room and negotiating better hotel fees in time for the upcoming 68th edition.
Paolo Baratta, the Biennale’s president on Wednesday assured that plans to complete renovations for Venice’s historic Sala Grande screening venue that dates back to 1937 will be completed by the next edition.
Baratta also announced a series of agreements with on and off Lido sites, which he credited to a strong spirit of collaboration between the local city of Venice authorities and the Biennale.
Significantly, the Biennale has come to agreements with the Excelsior Hotel and the Starwood Hotel group that aim to ensure competitive prices for film delegations, producers and distributors of Venice Film Festival’s films.
The Excelsior – the historic heart of the festival — has become even more important to the festival since the Des Bains Hotel, another festival “hub,” was shut for total refurbishing last year.
The agreement between the festival and the Excelsior and the Starwood hotels (which include the elegant Danieli Hotel on the Grand Canal in Venice and the Europa Hotel on the Lido) assure pre-established rates with stale and reasonable prices, the Biennale said. The agreements aim to make it “possible to stay in the superior-level structures at the best possible conditions,” a Biennale press release asserted.
The hotel agreements and priority of the Sala Grande refurbishment are particular demonstrations that the Biennale is working on the side of the film industry that utilises Venice for film autumn launches, and has obtained the backing of the city. The Biennale has also pledged to be an active partner in the over all upgrading of the Lido – with construction for main festival venues such as the new palazzo del cinema to be completed during 2012.
Baratta underlined that as part of the Excelsior deal, an “unprecedented” agreement with the entire Art Nouveau style building housing the Lion Bar and other shops will be turned over to the Biennale for management, which also allows the Biennale to upgrade the food and general services on offer.
“Complex situations require extraordinary solutions,” said Baratta underscoring the festival’s desire to maintain its stature and elegance.
The 68th edition of the Venice Film Festival runs Aug 31-Sept 10.