In the fall of 2020, the Cinema Biennale hoped for a new start after Corona for cinema. The second and third waves thwarted this plan. Corona isn’t stopping at the film festival this year either.

Venice (AP) – The 78th edition of the film festival in the Italian lagoon city of Venice begins again this year in Corona conditions.

Checks are needed again and tickets must be booked online in advance, Biennale di Venezia president Roberto Cicutto said on Monday. Some shows should also be canceled due to lack of time. However, the so-called Green Pass, i.e. proof of a Covid-19 vaccination, a negative test result or a proven recovery from the disease, makes it possible to move a little more serenely this year.

According to the director of the Film Biennale, Alberto Barbera, the corona pandemic seems to have resulted in more creativity. The quality of the movies was generally higher this year, he said. “As if the pandemic had stimulated everyone’s creativity,” added Barbera. This is also the reason why many films were not presented at the Biennale this year. With the Biennale from September 1 to 11, autumn should be the hoped-for new start for cinema, explained Barbera.

According to the director, a total of 59 countries are represented at the Film Biennale this year – more than last year. Five female directors are there, three less than in 2020. Their share in the total number of producers is however about a quarter compared to previous years. The organizers saw a strong comeback among American film producers and movie stars.

This year’s jury will be chaired by South Korean director and Oscar winner Bong Joon Ho. This year’s director and Oscar winner Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) is also on the international committee. American actress Jamie Lee Curtis (“Halloween”) and Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni (“Life is Beautiful”) received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The competition will be opened this year by “Madres paralelas” by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. There are also five Italian films, which Barbera says is more remarkable than in previous competitions. Pablo Larraín’s film “Spencer”, shot in Germany among others, will also be launched. At a special screening at the film biennial, “Le 7 Giornate Di Bergamo” (The Seven Days of Bergamo) by Simona Ventura will be presented – an out-of-competition documentary on the Corona epidemic in the northern city of Italy last year. Images of military trucks, in which many of the dead were transported out of town in coffins, have toured the world.