This year's Venice Film Festival would seemingly be less starry than the previous years. The organizers for the world's oldest film festival have decided to trim the number of movies set to be screened at the event, which will open this Wednesday, August 29.
The festival would only include 18 features in competition for the coveted Golden Lion awards. Explaining the reason to make such decision, the organizers claimed that they wanted to focus on the artistic roots instead of courting famed filmmakers and flashy Hollywood blockbusters.
"I don't like this idea of making it bigger and bigger year after year," festival director Alberto Barbera said on Tuesday, as quoted by The Associated Press. "Toronto is getting bigger and bigger every year and the same thing for Cannes and Berlin and so on. And I don't like that. It's not a proper way to promote a film."
Among those which would likely become the highlights of the festival were Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" (premiere on Sunday) and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" (premiere on Saturday). "Usually there are studio films here, even out of competition, to give it some glitz," said Maria Grazia Vairo of Eagle Pictures, an Italian film distributor.
Vairo elaborated further that the festival's decision to focus on fewer film "may be a good thing" because it could give chances for first-time filmmakers. "We may discover films that are not as obvious."
For this year, Venice Film Festival plans to continue its tradition to present world cinemas by selecting feature films from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala. 20 of the 60 directors take part in the event are women.
The event will kick off with the world premiere of Mira Nair's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist", a novel-adapted movie about a young Pakistani whose Wall Street career turns upside down following the 9/11 tragedy. The festival will end on September 8 with the awarding of the Golden Lion and some other prizes.