The Venice Film Festival, hereafter referred to as Venice, is the oldest film festival in the world and has been going strong since 1932. Alongside the Cannes Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival, Venice is considered to be one of the Big Three, the most prestigious film festivals in the world.
Such is the clout and importance of Venice that it has hosted the world premiere of the best picture Oscar winner for the last two years in succession – Spotlight and Birdman – and the biggest winner, numerically speaking, the year before that, with Gravity.
Thematically, Venice is now akin to a launch-pad for all the Oscar-related activities. The movies, the stars, the big production and distribution houses rolling in the big bucks and yes, the most important constituent, the critics. All these come together to create an extravagant show of glamour, power and beauty on the marshes of the Venetian Lagoon.
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a still from La La Land. theguardian
This year, the lineup is filled to the brim with exhilarating debutants like Damien Chazelle’s second feature after Whiplash, a musical starring heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, titled La La Land, a heartrending drama The Light Between Oceans, starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander, Terrence Malick’s documentary Voyage of Time, Nocturnal Animals, the second film from fashion designer Tom Ford, and Arrival, a first-contact alien sci-fi thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve.
Title image: HR