fbpx Biennale Cinema 2020 | Intervento di Roberto Cicutto
La Biennale di Venezia

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Introduction by

Roberto Cicutto

President of La Biennale di Venezia

Lucky and a little courageous

La Biennale is 125 years old and the International Film Festival is being staged for the 77th time. Two numbers that are coupled with what is a special and we hope unique year.
In the early months of 2020 “somebody” threw a switch and we were all more or less plunged into standby mode. Even the light of the projector (the only thing that has remained the same in the rapid modification of projection technologies) went out.
We were afraid that the same thing was going to happen at the Lido after the cancellation of so many festivals large and small. We have been lucky, and perhaps a little courageous too, in deciding, together with the director of the festival Alberto Barbera, the whole team of the Biennale and our cousins of the Venice Days and the Critics’ Week, to hold, in the presence of filmmakers, technicians and the public, our Film Festival on the appointed dates.
We are not proud to be the first, after the forced pause, to be able to do so. But we are proud of having shown (bearing in mind the situation of the pandemic in Italy and the world) that it can be done, putting in place all the safety measures and presenting a program that has little to envy those of the preceding years.
I would like to thank all the authorities, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT), the Region of Veneto, the Municipality of Venice, the Soprintendenza and all those who have contributed to the success of the Festival under the best possible conditions of health safety.

A Festival to be experienced

None of us can express our hopes for the restart of the audiovisual industry without remembering those who have been affected directly by the pandemic: the people who are no longer with us, their families and friends, the doctors and all the others who in caring for the sick have caught the virus. And all those who have suffered and will continue to suffer the economic consequences for a long time: among them, workers in the audiovisual industry and the world of live performance.
Venice would like to represent, for them too, faith in a return to normality and a wider awareness of how indispensable culture is to the development of a country, as well as providing jobs for hundreds of thousands of people.
The Festival is presenting all the titles of its main sections: Competition, Out of Competition and Horizons. We have had to make some sacrifices, but we have learnt a great deal.
Now we are more aware than before how much the people of the cinema, and not just them, love the oldest film festival in the world. We know how much established or up-and-coming filmmakers want to be at the Lido, and we can count on the professionalism and expertise that have helped us to cope with the unexpected.
Many events of worldwide importance have chosen to use the Web to present their works. We do not spurn the possibility that the digital offers to fill spaces that would otherwise be left empty, but we are certain that cinema, like the other arts, needs to be experienced directly and in company.

125 years

The International Film Festival, along with all the other disciplines that make up the Venice Biennale, is a fundamental event not only for its celebration of cinema and, to an ever greater extent, other forms of audiovisual production, but above all for its enrichment of our fund of knowledge and the way that it allows us to make comparisons with the past and speculate about contents, languages and new technologies in the arts over the coming decades. For this reason Venice is different from any other festival, as it is part of a family that for 125 years has made the contemporary arts an arena for the exchange of ideas, for proposals and research in sectors that, as much if not more than the scientific disciplines, can really change the world.
A few days prior to the opening of the 77th Film Festival, Cinema will be the coprotagonist in the Giardini della Biennale, together with Theater, Music, Dance, Art and Architecture, of the exhibition Le muse inquiete. La Biennale di Venezia di fronte alla Storia (“The Disquieted Muses: When the Biennale Meets History”), curated by all six of the current directors (Alberto Barbera, Antonio Latella, Ivan Fedele, Marie Chouinard, Cecilia Alemani, and Hashim Sarkis), that looks back over the key moments in 125 years of history of the Venice Biennale, something made possible largely thanks to the unique contents of its Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC).
A concrete sign of this dialogue, which sets great store by everything that the directors of the past, present and future have offered and will offer to the attention of the international public.

My thanks

I would like to thank the artists and producers who are going to accompany their films to the Lido and all the Italian and foreign guests who wish in this way to cut with us the ribbon of faith in the revival of the audiovisual industry and the art of moving pictures.
My gratitude goes to the director Alberto Barbera and his staff for the incredible work they have done at such a testing time, overcoming difficulties and skepticism that might have discouraged even the most optimistic.
My thanks to the whole Biennale.
And my particular gratitude to the sponsors who have confirmed their support for the Venice International Film Festival despite the complexities of the situation.

Biennale Cinema
Biennale Cinema