One of thefilms that has earned the biggest round of applause on the Lido is Italiandocumentary Viva Zapatero! which focuses onthe thorny subject of censorship in Italy.
Thefilm is directed by comedian Sabina Guzzanti, whose satirical program RAIOT wasremoved from the airwaves after only one episode in November 2003.
VivaZapatero,which screened at the end of the Venice Film Festival as a "surprise" event,contains interviews with renowned Italian journalists Enzo Biagi and MicheleSantoro, as well as comic Daniele Luttazzi, who have all had their programmeswithdrawn from TV after prime minister Silvio Berlusconi publicly complainedthat they had made "criminal" use of television when they took aim at him in the run-up to the 2001 nationalelections.
Thedocumentary draws comparisons with freedom of speech in France and Britain,where satirical programs like France's Les Guignols de L'Info are able to go on airuntroubled by any form of censorship.
Guzzzantisays the title of her film, Viva Zapatero, is a homage to the Spanish primeminister. Since he was elected, she says, he has maintained his promise toreform the media, which is no longer controlled by Spanish political parties,unlike Italy where appointments at public broadcaster Rai are made by thegovernment.
VivaZapatero, which earned 12 minutes of rapturous applause from the Lido crowd -the longest applause for any film in the festival - will now be screened infront of the European Parliament on September 12.
Italiandistributor Lucky Red is in talks with an international sales agent. LuckyRed's Stefano Massenzi said the documentary has already garnered interest frombuyers in Scandinavia, France, Spain and Switzerland.