Venice International Film Festival

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Four thousand five hundred eighty-five films from seventy countries entered the sixty-fourth International Film Festival in Venice. Of these, three thousand one hundred twenty-two were feature films. Sixty-one were chosen, of which twenty-two had their world-wide premieres, fourteen were out of competition, and twenty-five were in the category "Horizons," which is devoted to new trends in film. Organized by the Venice Biennale, which is headed by Davide Croff, in 2007 this famous exhibition was held from August 29th to September 8th on the Lido in Venice. It showed once again that it is very capable of performing its particular role, which is to promote the awareness and distribution of international film in all its artistic forms, whether for the theater or for industry, in a spirit of freedom and tolerance.

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Another category is "Corto Cortissimo" ("Short, Very Short"), a competition for short films which are still in worldwide previews or which have not been shown in public outside theircountry of origin or in Italy. There is also "Storia segreta del cinema italiano 4" ("The Secret History of Italian Film 4"), which began in 2004 and for the last four years has successfully launched the "invisible" recovery of Italian film, alongside parallel efforts for Asian film in 2005 and Russian film in 2006.

This year, the starring role went to Italian-style Westerns. The exhibition also includes several other events. One is the "Settimana internazionale della critica" ("International Critics Week"), known by its Italian initials SIC. This is a review of seven or eight debut films selected by a panel chosen by the National Association of Italian Film Critics according to their own rules. There is also the "Directors' Days," a review of ten to twelve films independently selected by a panel chosen by the National Association of Film Directors and the Association of Independent Directors and Producers, also according to their own rules. Lastly, there is the "Film Market," which makes facilities and projection rooms available to producers and international vendors.

This sixty-fourth exhibition, directed by Marco Müller, honored two directors who died during the past year, both of them major figures on the Lido. One was Luigi Comencini, one of the most important directors in the renewal of Italian film, and the other was Ousmane Sembène, a founder of African film and a leader of the new international cinema. The Leone d'oro (Gold Lion) prize for best film went to "Se, Jie" ("Lust, Caution"), by Ang Lee. The prizes for best male and best female actor, known as the Coppa Volpe, went to Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.

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