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Alice Kanterian

Alice is a correspondent, covering Venice and other international film festivals.




from the left: Claudio Staderini,Cynthia Littleton, Ramin Setoodeh, Damien Chazelle, Roberto Barbera and Eric Legendre

The magazine Variety (www.variety,com) was omnipresent at the 80th Venice Film Festival edition 29.08-09.10 hosting or co-hosting four events. I attended three of them, invited by Eric Legendre, Managing Director, International, Variety and his wife, the sophisticated fashion designer Muzy Burton (

The most anticipated event is always the pre-opening party of the Mostra del Cinema at the legendary hotel Danieli. This reception is a tradition and a must, if you are on the guest list. An impressive one by the way! The evening, titled this year “Stars over Venice” has become a huge success and a festival tradition dating back 14 years. The event is dedicated to the head of the jury, hosted and promoted by the Variety magazine in collaboration with the prestigious Hotel Danieli, which turned 200 years last year. The event was organised this year in cooperation with Eva Reidt, Marketing Executive at Hotel Danieli and took place on the large rooftop terrace with an unforgettable view of Venice.


This year the pre-festival cocktail took place on August 29, just before the festival kicked off the following day and in his welcome speech Ramin Setoodeh, Variety co-editor-in-chief, thanked Alberto Barbera, director of the Venice Film Festival and Claudio Staderini for the collaboration. The director of Hotel Danieli, described the hotel as a shooting and residential choice of the biggest movie stars in the world. The unforgettable event was dedicated to Damien Chazelle, the head of the jury, and so the decoration included pictures of his various films like the musical/romance „La La Land“.

It is here at the Danieli and only here that you get the chance to meet and greet Alberto Barbera, the director of Venice International Film Festival, aswell as the president of the jury and his fellow jurors. Unlike last year with a very shy Julianne Moore, this year's president of the jury Damien Chazelle was available for interviews. "It is both a joy and responsibility to be the president of the jury", he stated. And in regards of the use of AI if rather a threat or opportunity he said „It's complicated!“ We also spoke about his film „Babylon“, which for me tells much more the history of Hollywood than the much acclaimed „Once upon a time in Hollywood“. While Tarantino's film is set in the late 60s, Chazelle's movie chronicles the rise and fall of multiple characters during Hollywood's transition from silent to sound films in the late 20s.


Among friends I met famous event organizer Tiziana Rocca and Antonella Arseni Longhin from the BFFB Bolzano Film Festival Bozen. It is also here that I got the chance to speak to the producers Monica Bacardi and Iervolino, currently in the official competicion with „Ferrari“. I just watched their previous production „Lamborghini“ on the airplane coming from Batumi (Georgia) I told MonicaI, but the „Ferrari“ movie is a a big budget film she explained to me. It is not difficult to guess, it tells the story of Enzo Ferrari, the Italian founder of the car manufacturer Ferrari. Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari may be the star of the film, but I have been even more impressed by the performance of Penélope Cruz as his wife. I was surprised to find out that Laura Ferrari owned half of the company, and she was a dominant key figure in the company. And Cruz fits the role of the Ferrari powerful matriarch so well!


The second exclusive event I attended were the Golden Globes Awards in partnership with Variety. It took place on Aug. 31 at the Excelsior Hotel on the Lido. The party was presented by Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment.                                     


Actor-writer-producer Lukas Gage and actor Chase Stokes received the Breakthrough Actor awards at the party; director Alice Diop the Breakthrough Director award for serving as chair of the international jury for the “Luigi De Laurentiis” (Venice Award for a Debut Film); director Pablo Larrain received the Venice Visionary Award for his work co-writing and directing “El Conde,” premiering at Venice; Jack Huston received the Breakthrough Director award for his directorial debut premiering at Venice “Day of the Fight,” which Huston also wrote and produced and stars Michael Pitt; acclaimed director Saverio Costanzo received the Italian Excellence award for his work on “My Brilliant Friend” and “Finalmente l’alba,” premiering in Competition at the Venice Film Festival. And last but not least Italian producers Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi received the Breakthrough Producers award for their support of the Italian film industry. “We are glad to promote and enhance great Italian cinema at the Venice Film Festival,” said Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi, feeling committed to telling the story of Italian excellence and bringing it to the world. „We did it with Lamborghini, we will do it with Maserati, and I am very proud of the role of Monika, myself and the ILBE group in helping to realise „Ferrari“.“

Variety co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh said: “At Cannes this year, we partnered with the Golden Globes to start a new tradition. We look forward to honouring these breakout actors and storytellers at the Venice Film Festival, and to shine a spotlight on some of the exciting discoveries at the official start of awards season.”   

from left: Pablo Larrain, Helen Höhne and Ramin Setoodeh

“The Golden Globes have been a cornerstone of the Venice Film Festival, and we are thrilled to partner with Variety in showcasing the extraordinary talent that comes out of this historic festival,” said Helen Hoehne, President of the Golden Globes. “The Globes have always held a special place for those unique and remarkable international talents and introducing them to the world.”


Last but not least Neom (, the Saudi city of the future MADE FOR CHANGE was in the center of attention on September 5. at Danieli. This reception was hosted by Variety and the media was invited in order to promote Neom for film productions. Their media sector has supported 25 productions within 18 months. And I received an invitation to visit the Neom just across the canal and opposite the Danieli Hotel. I knew about Neom from the International Tourism Board, the world leading trade fair for tourism, which I attended last February in Berlin where I visited the Saudi Arabian pavilion and watched the promotion film about this city in the desert. But only in Venice, at the current Venice Architecture Biennale I understood the goals of Neom and was able to visualise its dimensions. It is a huge, ingenious, apparently sustainable and a very ambitious project for 9 millions residents. And it has the shape of a line., THE LINE. Bing-Video It is 500 m high, 200 m wide, 170 km long city with no roads, no cars and no emissions. I visited the Neom pavilion later, after the film festival ended on September 09 the Neom pavilion. Large-scale models of The Line Bing-Video and other developments at the controversial Neom project in Saudi Arabia were being presented at the Zero Gravity Urbanism exhibition during the Venice Architecture Biennale.


Alice Kanterian

with Damien Chazelle at the Variety party on August 29


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