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Venice film festival is still a cinema lifeline

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 01:19

The 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival promises A-list stars appearing alongside art-house and independent cinema makers during the eleven-day showcase. Bob Mezan reports.

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The Venice Film Festival's 71st edition opens on Wednesday (August 27). Although it's the world's oldest film festival and perhaps the most glamorous, with stars chauffeured to the red carpet by motorboat instead of limousines, it struggles, a bit like the city, to keep its head above water. The festival's director, Alberto Barbera, has introduced a number of innovations to keep Venice relevant at a time when the Tribeca and the Toronto Film Festivals have become global cinematic powerhouses. SOUNDBITE: Alberto Barbera, Venice Film Festival artistic director, saying (English): "Last year we opened the festival with "Gravity" which was, as you know, a huge success all over the world and this of course helped us a lot to deal with the studios and this year we succeeded to get "Birdman" for the opening which is a highly expected film." "Birdman" stars Michael Keaton as a former superhero trying to make a comeback. It will join 19 other films in the main competition for the fest's top prize, the Golden Lion, set to be handed out on September 06.

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Venice film festival is still a cinema lifeline

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 01:19