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Venice Film Festival facts for kids

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Mostra di Venezia al Palazzo Ducale 1947
The Doge's Palace in Piazza San Marco hosted the 1947 edition.
Aldo Moro, Pier Paolo Pasolini - Venezia 1964
The Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro and Pier Paolo Pasolini together in Venice at the premiere of the movie The Gospel According to St. Matthew in 1964.

The Venice Film Festival is a festival held in Venice, Italy. It is held every year. It is the world's oldest movie festival.

Founded by Giuseppe Volpi, member of the National Fascist Party and grandfather of famous producer Marina Cicogna in Venice in August 1932, the festival is part of the Venice Biennale, one of the world's oldest exhibitions of art.

The festival is held in late August or early September on the island of the Lido in the Venice Lagoon. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi. The festival continues to be one of the world's most popular and fastest-growing.

The 80th Venice International Film Festival was held from 30 August to 9 September 2023.


Todd Philips Venezia 2019
Todd Phillips with the Golden Lion won by his film Joker at the 2019 edition.
Valeria Golino, Venice 2015 (cropped)
Valeria Golino winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actress in 2015 for Per amor vostro
Abraham Attah (cropped)
Abraham Attah winning the Marcello Mastroianni Award in 2015 for Beasts of No Nation

The Film Festival's current awards are:

Official selection: In competition

  • Golden Lion (Leone d'Oro), awarded to the best film screened in competition at the festival
See list of winners at Golden Lion
  • Grand Jury Prize, awarded to the second best film screened in competition at the festival
See list of winners at Grand Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival)
  • Silver Lion (Leone d'Argento), awarded to the best director in the competitive section
See list of winners at Silver Lion
  • Special Jury Prize, awarded to the third best film screened in competition at the festival
See list of winners at Special Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival)
  • Volpi Cup (Coppa Volpi), awarded to the best actor/actress
    • See – Volpi Cup for Best Actor
    • See – Volpi Cup for Best Actress
  • Golden Osella, awarded for the Best Screenplay and/or for the Best Technical Contribution (cinematography, music, etc.)
See list of winners at Golden Osella
  • There are other awards that also recognize acting performances:
    • Marcello Mastroianni Award, instituted in 1998 in honor of the great Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni who died in 1996. The award was created to acknowledge an emerging actor or actress
See list of winners at Marcello Mastroianni Award
  • Special Lion, awarded for an overall work to a director or actor of a film presented in the main competition section.

Orizzonti section (Horizons)

This section is open to all "custom-format" works, with a wider view towards new trends in the expressive languages that converge in film.

Starting from the 67th edition of the festival, four awards of the Orizzonti section have been established:

  • The Orizzonti Award for Feature Films
  • The Special Orizzonti Jury Prize (for feature films)
  • The Orizzonti Award for Short Film
  • The Orizzonti Award for Medium-length Film

More awards were added in the following years:

  • The Orizzonti Award for Best Director
  • The Orizzonti Award for Best Actor
  • The Orizzonti Award for Best Actress
  • The Orizzonti Award for Best Screenplay

Giornate degli Autori

The Giornate degli Autori (formerly Venice Days) is an independent and parallel section founded in 2004 in association with Venice Film Festival. It is modeled on the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Anac and 100autori which are both associations of Italian film directors and authors are engaged to support and promote the Giornate.

The awards under this sections are:

  • Giornate Degli Autori (GDA) Award
  • Label Europa Cinema Award
  • BNP Paribas People's Choice Award

Lion of the Future (Luigi De Laurentiis)

Приз Лев Будущего. Венецианский кинофестиваль
Lion of the Future

All the debut feature films in the various competitive sections in the Venice Film Festival, whether in Official Selection or Independent and Parallel Sections, are eligible for this award. The winner will be awarded a prize of US$100,000, which to be divided equally between the director and the producer.

Glory to the Filmmaker Award

65th venice film festival
Cinema Palace during the 65th Venice International Film Festival
74 Venice Film Festival - 2 September 2017 (36586985330)
Cinema Palace during the 74th Venice International Film Festival

Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award, organized in collaboration with Jaeger-LeCoultre (2006-2020) and Cartier (2021- today). It is dedicated to personalities who have made a significant contribution to contemporary cinema.

This is the list of winners:

Year Director Nationality
2006 Kitano Takeshi Japan
2007 Abbas Kiarostami Iran
2008 Agnès Varda France
2009 Sylvester Stallone United States
2010 Mani Ratnam India
2011 Al Pacino United States
2012 Spike Lee United States
2013 Ettore Scola Italy
2014 John Ford United States
2015 Brian De Palma United States
2016 Amir Naderi Iran
2017 Stephen Frears United Kingdom
2018 Zhang Yimou China
2019 Costa-Gavras Greece
2020 Abel Ferrara United States
2021 Ridley Scott United Kingdom
2022 Walter Hill United States
2023 Wes Anderson United States

Past awards

Mussolini Cup (Coppa Mussolini)

The Mussolini Cup was the top award from 1934 to 1942 for Best Italian and Best Foreign Film. Named after Italy's dictator Benito Mussolini, it was abandoned upon his ousting in 1943.

Mussolini Cup for Best Italian film

Year Film Original title Director(s)
1934 Loyalty of Love Teresa Confalonieri Guido Brignone
1935 Casta Diva Carmine Gallone
1936 Lo squadrone bianco Augusto Genina
1937 Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal Scipione l'africano Carmine Gallone
1938 Luciano Serra, Pilot Luciano Serra pilota Goffredo Alessandrini
1939 Cardinal Messias Abuna Messias Goffredo Alessandrini
1940 The Siege of the Alcazar L'assedio dell'Alcazar Augusto Genina
1941 The Iron Crown La corona di ferro Alessandro Blasetti
1942 Bengasi Augusto Genina

Mussolini Cup for Best foreign film

Year Film Original title Director(s) Country
1934 Man of Aran Robert J. Flaherty United Kingdom
Irish Free State
1935 Anna Karenina Clarence Brown United States
1936 Der Kaiser von Kalifornien Luis Trenker Germany
1937 Life Dances On Un carnet de bal Julien Duvivier France
1938 Olympia Leni Riefenstahl Germany
1939 No Award Given
1940 Der Postmeister Gustav Ucicky Germany
1941 Ohm Krüger Hans Steinhoff Germany
1942 The Great King Der große König Veit Harlan Germany

Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment

"Le Grandi Medaglie d’Oro dell’Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo" in Italian.

This was awarded to Best Actor and Best Actress. It was later replaced by the Volpi Cup for actors and actresses.

The first time this prize was awarded to Katharine Hepburn for her role in Little Women by George Cukor.

Audience Referendum

In the first edition of the festival in 1932, due to the lack of a jury and the awarding of official prizes, a list of acknowledgements was decided by popular vote, a tally determined by the number of people flocking to the films, and announced by the Organizing Committee. From this, the Best Director was declared – Russian Nikolai Ekk for the film Road to Life, while the film by René Clair À Nous la Liberté was voted Best Film.

Award for Best Director

Year Director(s) Film Original title
1935 King Vidor The Wedding Night
1936 Jacques Feyder Carnival in Flanders La Kermesse Héroïque
1937 Robert J. Flaherty and Zoltan Korda Elephant Boy
1938 Carl Froelich Heimat

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Festival Internacional de Cine de Venecia para niños

  • Venice Biennale
  • Rome Film Festival
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