Sound of too many hands clapping in Venice?

Group cracks down on 'fake applause' for competition films

VENICE -- Italian consumer advocacy group Codacons on Wednesday called for "more honest" applause at the Venice Film Festival.

The Rome-based organization, which usually occupies itself with complaints about misleading advertising and high banking or telephone charges, issued a statement Wednesday seeking an end to "the phenomenon of fake applause at the ends of in-competition projections at the Venice Film Festival."

The group did not blame the festival itself, but rather moviegoers associated with the filmmakers, who it said could be seeking to manipulate fans and jury members about the response to certain films by sparking unusually enthusiastic applause.

Codacons called on the festival to prevent "fake applause" by refraining from selling blocks of tickets for single events -- a move that would make it harder for parties associated with the film to attend the same screening. As of late Wednesday, there was no word whether the festival is considering such a move.