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L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 2 Celebrating the art of cinema at the 71st Venice Film Festival Continued from page 1 on a screen set right on the ter- race. After the show the guests took part in a grand ball in the magnificent hall of the Hotel. Maybe because of its unique location (118 small islands sepa- rated by canals and linked by bridges), from that night in 1932 the Venice Film Festival became one of the world's most presti- gious film festivals, part of a big- ger project whose roots are to be found over a century ago: the Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) one of the most presti- gious cultural institutions in the world founded in 1895. Together with the Film Festival, the Biennale di Venezia includes the International Art Exhibition and the International Architecture Exhibition, and con- tinues the tradition of the Festival of Contemporary Music and the Theatre Festival, now flanked by the Festival of Contemporary Dance. It's a huge ensemble of cultural events that in time has gained worldwide fame for its high quality and innovation. This year the poster of the Venice International Film Festival is the poetic final frame of François Truffaut's "The 400 Blows": a close-up of the main character Antoine Doinel (played by Jean-Pierre Léaud), a boy who has just escaped reform School, who stares into the cam- era. Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera and his staff had to review more than 1,500 movies, and stuck to their lean 55-picture limit. Twenty of these are in competition, and 54 of them are world premieres. Their goal was to focus on quality, dis- covery and diversity, likely to reveal some under-the-radar awards-season contenders and also to reinforce the Lido's status as a global launching pad for prime auteur pictures. As Barbera declared while talking about today's movie economy: "In a context such as this, festivals remain one of the few places in which the asphyxi- ating logic of profit is not pre- dominant. Not that these events are exempt from the influence of money and its relative con- straints, but there are good rea- sons to believe that the space for programming in many festivals is filled with aspirations that may be primarily ascribed to the demands of experimentation and defending auteur cinema, to the pre-eminence of freedom of expression over the relentless pursuit of profit, to the triumph of aesthetics over economics. The intent is not to demonize monetary profit, but on the con- trary to rein it into the confines of its primary function, which should be to provide the means for the pursuit of a higher end." The Film Festival's principal awards are the Leone d'Oro (Golden Lion), which is awarded to the best film screened in com- petition at the festival, the Leone d'Argento (Silver Lion) for the Best Director, and the Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup), which is awarded to the best actor and actress. The Jury may also choose to award a Special Lion for an overall work to a director or actor of a film presented in the main competition section. Waiting to see what new tal- ents the Festival is going to dis- cover and reveal to the world, we wish good luck to the best artists! Alberto Barbera, artistic director of the Venice Film Festival

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