2012 Venice Film Festival to be "More Sober, Less Glitzy" With New Directors

 

ROME – With the first hints about possible films to screen at this year’s edition of the Venice Film Festival, newly installed artistic director Alberto Barbera listed a few directors who just might bring projects to the Venice Lido this time around.
 
In remarks to Italian reporters over the weekend, Barbera -- who was appointed to his position in December -- promised a “more sober, less glitzy” version of the festival. And the names he mentioned as likely candidates to bring films to the festival include Brian de Palma, Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson among the international crowd, and Silvio Soldini, Marco Bellocchio and Gabriele Salvatores among the Italians.
 
Barbera also mentioned Colombia, Indonesia, Burma, Costa Rica, Argentina and Thailand as areas ripe for unearthing promising new directors.
 
Whichever directors come to the 69th edition of the storied festival, they will appear in a dramatically scaled back lineup of films. One of the first decisions Barbera made upon replacing Marco Mueller, who directed the Venice festival for eight years and have since resurfaced at the rival International Rome Film Festival, is to dramatically reduce the number of films in Venice in order to allow for more attention for each.
 
On top: fewer than 50 film total: 18 in-competition films, 18 in the Horizons sidebar, and 12 out-of-competition films. All three sections are slimmed down compared to previous years, and the Contracampo Italiano sidebar for Italian-made films was eliminated all together.
 
“We’re starting a change in Venice’s skin, in which within two or three years we will have a nice rebirth,” Barbera told Italian journalists. “The festival is like a grand old lady, a refined lady, but one in need of being freshened up . I believe a festival should take responsibility for its choice, and not to simply select dozens and dozens of titles.”
 
The festival will take place this year August 29-Sept. 8.

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