Aug. 27 - The world's oldest film festival is not ready to be pensioned off, offering a heady mix of Hollywood and unconventional cinema as it kicks off with Alfonso Cuaron's ''Gravity'' on Wednesday. Joel Flynn reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
For a film festival Venice appears to tick all the boxes.
But the world's oldest such event is fighting to keep its head above water.
It's opening with plenty of star power with the world premiere of 3D space fantasy "Gravity", featuring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.
Artistic director Alberto Barbera says it's not just Hollywood that made this year's line up strong.
SOUNDBITE Venice Film Festival Artistic Director, Alberto Barbera, saying (English):
"It's a very various and articulated program this year with big Hollywood films like the opening one which is a really strong film. On the opposite we have some of the most radical forms of expression of film makers that are beyond the conventional cinema or the classic cinema that we are used to seeing in the first century of the life of the cinema."
English-language titles dominate the list of 20 competing for this year's Golden Lion.
James Franco's adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel "Child of God", and Judi Dench's search for the child she was forced to give up for adoption in "Philomena" are just some of the fare on offer.
Along with Berlin and Cannes, Venice is considered one of the world's big three film festivals.
But it's also a high cost venue for exhibitors.
Jay Weissberg is a critic with Variety magazine.
SOUNDBITE: Variety Film Critic, Jay Weissberg, saying (English)
"I think because it's the 70th anniversary there was a certain amount of pressure to put on a really good show. Actually, I think now Barbera and the people working for the festival are proving that, well, don't push us away quite yet. We are still relevant, we're still one of the top film festivals."
The 70th Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 to September 7.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code