Established in 1932, the Venice Film Festival is the world's oldest. This year's festival, running from Sep 2nd to 12th, succeeded in luring a string of big names to the sun-drenched Lido waterfront. The Festival is known to maintain a distinctive artistic stance, incorporating genres from North America, Asia and Europe. In today's "Spotlight", we recap the 66th Venice Film Festival.
Among the 80 films in competition in Venice, the United States and Italy have contributed respectively 17 and 22 films. And for the first time in 20 years, the festival opened with an Italian movie. The film "Baaria" is an epic Sicilian drama billed as one of the country's biggest movies ever.
Organizers hoped director Giuseppe Tornatore's entry would win over audiences after a series of Italian disappointments in recent years, although it was Hollywood which appeared set to grab most of the headlines during the 11-day cinema showcase. The United States had six films amid a total number of 25 in competition for awards.
For the first time in history, the Venice Film Festival has given the Lifetime career award to five directors of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. The move sends the signals that animation films now get the same respect as their live-action peers. In addition, a 3-D award was established in response to a global trend in 3-D filmmaking.
After 11 days of screenings, an Israeli film called "Lebanon", won the Golden Lion Award, the festival's highest honor. "Lebanon" recounts Israel's 1982 invasion of the Middle Eastern country. But it's far from a conventional war film. The film was shot almost entirely through the eyes of two soldiers cramped in a tank, during their mission of searching a hostile town.
"Women Without Men", an Iranian film about women and repression, took the Silver Lion. Shirin Neshat's contribution was also her feature debut. The film depicts four women from all classes of society in 1953 Iran on the eve of an American-aided uprising that deposed an elected government.