The 61st edition of the Venice film festival organised by the Venice Biennale starts on the Lido on 1 September. The ten-day event is directed for the first time by Marco Mller. The festival comprises about 70 films and 19 digital pictures, divided into five main sections: competitive, non-competing, Venezia horizontal, Venezia midnight, Venezia digital and Venezia corto/cortissimo sections. The festival will run concurrently with the international film criticism week organised by Italian film critics.
Among the 20 feature films are "The Terminal" directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks, "Birth" directed by Jonathan Glazer, starring Nicole Kidman, "Land of Plenty" directed by Wim Wenders, "Le Chiave di Casa" by the Italian director Gianni Amelio and "Haryu-insaeng" by Im Kwon-taek, one of Korea's most famous directors.
The animated film "Shark Tale" directed Bibo Bergeron and Vicky Jenson, with the voice of Robert De Niro as that of the gangster Don Lino, is also expected with interest. De Niro's personification of yet another organised crime figure has raised controversy among Italo-Americans.
The theme of this year's programme is the history of Italian cinema and the development of the industry from the 1930s. Special focus will be on films by Italian directors such as Mario Bava, Vittorio Cottafavi, Fernando Di Leo, and others. There will also be discussion on the ways to recover and restore the forgotten Italian cinema.
Prize-wining films will be on release in Rome in mid-September.