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Venice International Film Festival
The 73rd annual Venice International Film Festival is scheduled to be held from 31 August to 10 September 2016 with English director Sam Mendes as the President of the Jury. Founded in 1932, it is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the “Big Three” film festivals alongside the Cannes Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival. Since its inception, the Film Festival has become the most prestigious international film festival in the world.
After the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals, stars are closing out the summer in Venice with some of the most renowned talents in the industry. The Festival kicked off on a decidedly positive note Wednesday amid tightened security and a measure of somberness due to central Italy’s recent earthquake, which had the Festival to start an earthquake relief fund. “La La Land” producer and distributor Lionsgate made the first “generous contribution”, festival chief Alberto Barbera said.
This year’s edition offers a wide range of movies in search of an audience, acclaim, and the main prize, the Golden Lion. The festival kicks off with the opening-night musical film La La Land that gives costars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone the opportunity to showcase their considerable vocal talents. It is a tale of a jazz musician and his actress girlfriend trying to make it in Hollywood to finally come face to face with the ugly side of fame.
Another pair of high profile costars light up the festival with The Light Between Oceans starring real-life couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender. The film is about a lighthouse keeper and his wife in world War I era Australia who rescue a baby girl and raise her as their own only to have the birth mother emerge years later to claim her.
The actress Amy Adams does double duty at Venice this year by starring in two different movies. In Arrival, a sci-fi thriller, she plays a gifted linguist trying to make contact with and decipher an alien race that has landed on mass on earth. Adams stars in Tom Ford’s noir drama Nocturnal Animals as well, which is the story of an art gallery owner haunted by her former marriage. She receives an alarming manuscript her ex-husband’s has written and feels her life is in danger.
Other prominent titles that will be under the spotlight in Venice include Jackie. This biopic stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy, chronicling her life from her time as first lady to after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. As for Mel Gibson, the incredibly gifted filmmaker, he presents his directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge, which is based on a true story war epic about Desmond T. Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, a U.S. Army medic who refused to bear arms, yet was awarded the Medal of Honor for saving 75 of his fellow troops during WWII’s battle of Okinawa, Japan.
Consequently, each year, some of the most anticipated films of the fall season are presented alongside small, often obscure debuts that await to be discovered. This is the story of the Venice Film Festival as it remains a bastion of prestige, glamour, and most importantly, talent.