Just as last year’s Venice Film Festival was about to get underway, a devastating earthquake hit 85 miles east of Rome. That led to the fest cancelling its traditional opening night gala dinner and reception in solidarity with the communities struck. Today, the festival says it has set an August 31 Special Event screening of eyewitness documentary Casa D’Altri which depicts the “sorrow and civil consequences” of the August 24, 2016 tragedy.
The film, by veteran Italian helmer Gianni Amelio, was shot in Amatrice — the town that was chiefly impacted. It will be screened in the Lido’s Sala Giardino on the second night of this year’s festival. Venice says it is intended to be “an important opportunity to keep alive the perception of what has happened” since August 24th last year. About 300 people ultimately died as a result of the 6.2-magnitude quake.
Casa D’Altri is produced by Rai Cinema, which has also been involved in a gesture of solidarity to benefit the population struck by the earthquake, participating in the programming of the Cinema Paradiso Amatrice movie theater.
Rai Cinema CEO, Paolo Del Brocco, calls the film “an artist’s vision” that captures “the efforts of a people that with great dignity and pride has sought to leave the tragedy of August 24th, 2016 behind it, and start from the ruins to restore its wounded identity.”
Venice unveils its full lineup tomorrow morning in Rome (with many titles already anticipated). The festival kicks off with Alexander Payne’s Downsizing on August 30 and runs through September 9.