Venice Film Festival

65th venice_film_festivalNot many know that the Venice Film Festival was the very first event of its kind. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpe and approved by Italy's highest authorities the first festival was held in 1932 on the terrace of the Hotel Excelsior on Venice Lido as part of the 18th Venice Biennale. Many films that later became classics were screened, such as “It Happened One Night” by Frank Capra, “Grand Hotel” by Edmund Goulding, “Frankestein” by James Whale, “Zemlja” by Aleksandr Dovzenko, “A Nous la Liberté” by René Clair, and “Gli Uomini, che Mascalzoni!” by Mario Camerini. The first film that was screened at 9:15pm on August 6, 1932 was “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by Rouben Mamoulian. The event was a success, attracting more than 25 thousand spectators!

It was only two years later in 1934, during the second edition of the Festival, that a competition was included in the program. The first prize for best foreign film went to “Man of Aran” by Flaherty. As the festival became more popular and famous, more countries started to participate.

In 1936 an international jury was nominated and in 1937 the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi, where all the screenings take place, was inaugurated. The films compete to win the three main awards: the Leone d'Oro (Golden Lion), for the best film screened in the competition, the Leone d'Argento (Silver Lion) for best director, and the Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) for best actress or actor.

The Festival now takes place every year in late August or early September. During this time hundreds of actors, directors and celebrities arrive in Venice to participate to this international event. Thousands of people from all over the world also come to the city hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrities, so if you are planning to go, call Mydas Travel in advance to book your trip!