Venice Film Festival To Go Ahead As Scheduled, Declares Veneto Governor & Biennale Board Member


The governor of Italy’s Veneto region, Luca Zaia, said today that the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as scheduled in September. Dates are September 2-12 for the Lido event which would mark the first major film industry gathering not recently postponed or canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic. There has been no official word from the festival itself, though Italy earlier this month set out plans for the easing of its restrictions on travel and businesses including cinemas.

Zaia, who is on the board of directors of fest organizer the Biennale di Venezia, was quoted by local media as saying there will probably be fewer films at the 77th edition given global production stoppages. The lineup is typically announced in late July. Back in January, it was announced that Cate Blanchett would be president of the main competition jury this year.

Today would have marked the end of the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, though it was ultimately canceled. Still, organizers expect it to live on in some ways later this summer, likely with a presence in Venice. Cannes President Pierre Lescure recently said the two would “celebrate the relaunch of cinema in theaters.”

Italians this weekend were able to go back to the beach, and from Monday, fitness clubs, sports centers and pools will return to operations. The country’s borders will be re-opened for visitors from the European Union as of June 3, and on June 15 cinemas are due to get up and running again with social distancing measures in place.

In Italy, the initial epicenter of the European continent’s COVID-19 outbreak, nearly 230K people have contracted the virus with a death toll of 32,785.

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