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Venice Film Festival to proceed amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Albeit the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting major film festival calendars, the oldest amongst them all Venice Film Festival is still pushing forward with its original planned date, September 2 -12, 2020.

The confirmation was made by Roberto Cicutto, president of the festival’s parent group, the Venice Biennale in a granted interview to Italian News Agency ANSA. Cicutto disclosed that, looking at the travel restrictions caused by the virus in other parts of the world, there is a high possibility that attendance for the festival will hit a low number
compared to previous years. Festival organizers are however putting measures in place to leverage on the digital space to help foreign press partake in the festival from their various stationed countries.

Organizers are also expectant that the Italian authorities would grant Venice special permission to open “six or seven circumscribed movie theaters” during the festival for screenings. Talks are underway with authorities to grant Venice special status in terms of nationwide security measures against the spread of coronavirus.

In the interview, Cicutto debunked rumors that Venice is planning a joint film festival with Cannes this year, following the twice postponement in date of the latter. According to him, there is no ‘hypothesis’ on the table for a joint Venice-Cannes initiative.

“With Cannes, everything is possible, but I find it disconcerting that Thierry Fremaux keeps saying he is continuing to examine the situation and does not say what he wants to do,” said Cicutto. “We are going forward with our program, and if Cannes is still thinking (about their course of action) then there is no dialogue.”

Further details concerning the 77th edition of the festival will be disclosed by end of May. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, will preside over the festival as jury president.

By: Larry Adams

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