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An Italian event that summons every year the best of the world cinema. A runway, a showcase for directors, artists and “niche” sectors. The curtain falls on the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival, with winners and losers. But when and how this unmissable date with the world cinema started?

Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival

The history of the International Venice Film Festival

The history of the Venice Film Festival starts in 1932 and it is inserted in one of the biggest context of the Biennale: the first film festival is a success, with more than twenty-five thousand spectators. For the first competitive exposition it’s necessary to wait until the 1934, when the rewards are assigned by the Biennal Presidency. In 1935 the appointment becomes annual and the prizegiving are entrusted to a prestigious International Jury. In 1937 is inaugurated the new Venice Film Palace.  

From the 50’s the Film Festival knows a big expansion: on the Lido arrive Japanese, Indian and Est Europe movies. The international project is realized. The 80’s represent a golden period of the Venice Biennal Film Festival: the event becomes the springboard for young directors that now are big movie authors. In the same years, Gillo Pontecorvo, curator and then executive director of the Venice Festival, reorganizes the event around three main ideas: revitalising the area of the Film Palace and the Lido, making Venice capital of the cinematographic authors and bringing back the international guests and big directors to the Venice Film Festival.  

In the 90’s the infrastructures are strenghtened with the realization of a wide tent structure, the PalaLido, to host many spectators. To improve the connections to reach the Venice Lido, some labours are made. In 2006 are presented some World Premiere works.   

Not only showings and performances: Venetian Film Festival is full of collateral events, such as exhibits, presentations,  splendid parties and clubs open all night. At the Movie Village there are press conferences , showings and you can get informed at the interactive Infopoint. In the gardens of the Casinò , the Movie Garden is the ideal destination for the movie lovers, that among the several stands , can find very rare movies. In the same period, it’s up to the short films of Circuit Off, a famous international festival that proposes short films of alternative and experimental genre. Press conferences and big parties are organised at the Hotel Excelsior. For parties and theme nights everyone goes to the Quintessentially Terrace and to Lancia Cafè.

Venice Film Festival: the winners

This year the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival was staged on the Lido: the classic criterions have been completely reversed, with the delivery of the Golden Lion to the Joker of Phillips and with the Volpi Cup won by the Italian Marinelli for Martin Eden. The Jury chaired by the Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel, accompanied by the critic Piers Handling, by the director Mary Harron, by the actress Stacy Martin, by the cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and by  the directors Shin’ya Tsukamoto and Paolo Virzi, decided the assignments. The Grand Jury Prize went to J’accuse of Roman Polanski.

A very excited Luca Marinelli received the award for the best actor and thanked the Jury in all the languages: “Grazie, merci, arigato. Thanks to my director for his honesty and courage, he gave me the trust and this adventure, thanks to all the cast and the troupe, thanks to Napoli, that donated all its body and its image to this movie. I would like to thank brothers, sisters, teachers and also my wife and my two sons who caress my soul with their smile. I have this award in my hands thanks to Jack London that created this wonderful sailor looking for the truth. For this reason I want to dedicate it to all the splendid people who are in the sea saving people that escape from terrible situations and avoiding that we make awful impressions with ourselves and with the world. Long live humanity and long live love!“.

The Joker of Todd Phillips will go down in the festival history for being the first cinecomic to win the Golden Lion. The Warner has been very satisfied, it won the bet, daring with the world premiere presentation of the movie,  in an important competition like the Venice Festival.

vincitore venezia

Vincitore Mostra del Cinema di Venezia

The list of all the winners of the 76th Venice Film Festival.

  • Leone d’oro for the best movie: Joker, of Todd Philips
  • Grand Jury Prize : J’accuse, of Roman Polanski
  • Leone d’argento for the best direction: Roy Anderson, for the movie About Endlessness
  • Coppa Volpi for the best female performance: Ariane Ascaride, for the movie Gloria Mundi
  • Coppa Volpi for the best male performance: Luca Marinelli, for the movie Martin Eden
  • Best Screenplay: No. 7 Cherry Lane, of Ji Yuan Tai Qi Hao
  • Marcello Mastroianni Award (to an emerging actor): Toby Wallace, for the movie Babyteeth
  • Special Jury Prize: La mafia non è più quella di una volta, of Franco Maresco
  • Best movie in the section Horizons: Atlantis of Valentyn Vasyanovych
  • Future Lion Award for the best debut film: You will die at twenty of Amjad Abu Alala

Victories and defeates. Awards and recognitions. Applauses and polemics. Many things to tell and very little to envy to the American Oscars, the Venice Film Festival reconfirms the appointment to the next year, when one more time the Lido will be full of world movie protagonists.

This post is also available in: Italiano