The new director of the Venice film festival has promised a "more sober, less glitzy" event for the 69th edition later this year.
Artistic director Alberto Barbera, who was appointed in December, has revealed plans to cut the number of films showing on the Lido. There will be fewer than 50 films in total at this year's festival, with only 18 showing in competition, he told Italian reporters.
"We're starting a change in Venice's skin, in which within two or three years we will have a nice rebirth," Barbera told Italian journalists. "The festival is like a grand old lady, a refined lady, but one in need of being freshened up. I believe a festival should take responsibility for its choice, and not to simply select dozens and dozens of titles."
US film-makers being considered for a turn at the world's oldest international film festival include Brian De Palma, Terrence Malick and Paul Thomas Anderson, Barbera said. Italian directors such as Silvio Soldini, Marco Bellocchio and Gabriele Salvatores were also being examined, along with emerging artists from countries such as Colombia, Indonesia, Burma, Costa Rica, Argentina and Thailand. As well as the 18 in-competition films, this year's event will see 18 in the Horizons sidebar and another 12 play out of competition. The Controcampo Italiano sidebar, which supports local film-makers, has been excised altogether, prompting criticism from the Italian media.
The Venice film festival, the first of its kind, appeared in 1932, when Count Giuseppe Volpi founded the event as the Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica. Last year's Golden Lion for best film went to Alexander Sokurov's Faust.
Barbera replaced Marco Mueller as Venice artistic director, the latter having taken charge of events on the Lido for eight years. Mueller has now moved to the rival Rome international film festival. The Venice film festival runs from 29 August to 8 September 2012.
Burgess Powers web development and intelligent hosting reacts to demand and keeps this site available under load