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ROME – Italian animator and director Simone Massi is the creator of the new opening sequence to be used at the 69th Venice Film Festival, organizers announced Wednesday.
Massi, who won a David di Donatello prize this year for Best Short Film, created a 30-second sequence from 300 hand-drawn panels that Venice organizers say “hints at Federico Fellini, Theodoros Angelopoulos, Wim Wenders, Ermanno Olmi, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Alexander Dovzenko.”
The sequence, a short film, is quickly memorized by festival goers because it is screened ahead of every film that screens in or out of competition in Venice or as part of one of the festival’s retrospectives. This is the first change in the opening sequence since 2008.
The new sequence, which includes new music from Francesca Badalini, will have its world premiere on Thursday at the press event in Rome where the festival’s full lineup will be revealed.
Massi will be further honored with a retrospective in Venice of his work as an animated film director, with a total of 15 short films. But the retrospective, which will be peppered between other screenings, won’t add much screen time at the festival: combined they add up to just 75 minutes in length, with the longest — a 1999 production called Adombra — tipping the scales at just 11 minutes.
The Venice festival runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8.
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Tracee Ellis Ross