Venice International Film Festival


August 14, 2022

The Venice International Film Festival (Italian: Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica) starts every year in late August and ends in early September as part of the Venice Biennale. Mostra was the first film festival in film history and is currently one of the most important "A" category film festivals in the world. The first one was organized in 1932. The main prize of the festival is the Golden Lion (Leone d'oro). In 2002, the festival was enriched with a new award, the San Marco Award, which goes to the best film in the "controcorrente" (a.m. countercurrent, i.e. non-mainstream film) section.


As the first film festival in film history, the Venice Film Festival is considered one of the biggest film events in the world. Since 1932, the highest-quality and best-judged works have participated in the competition. The Golden Lion, considered one of the greatest awards in cinema, was awarded for the first time in 1954 for Renato Castellani's Romeo and Juliet. Previously, the award was called the Venice International Grand Prix and then the Mussolini Cup. In addition to the current main prize of the festival, the Golden Lion, the Silver Lion for the best arrangement and the jury's special prize will also be awarded. In addition to films, acting is also awarded: the Volpi Cup goes to the best actor and actress, the importance and value of which is faithfully reflected by the fact that it has already been awarded to such world-famous actors as Jean Gabin, James Stewart, Gérard Depardieu, Hugh Grant, Jack Lemmon, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and actresses such as Bette Davis, Sophia Loren, Shirley MacLaine, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren or Cate Blanchett. In addition to all this, the best young actor or actress is also recognized with the award named after the world-famous Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni, as well as the best cinematographer and best screenplay with the Golden Osella Award. Of course, the organizers of the festival do not forget about the first and short films, and from 2009 the best 3D films will also be awarded. No awards were given between 1969 and 1979. This is how director Ernest Laura tried to make the festival better known to the general public. However, due to lack of interest, the event declined for years, and its history was only reborn in the 1980s, mainly thanks to the work of festival director (and renowned film director) Carlo Lizzani.

Festival program

The Venice International Film Festival is divided into different sections: Official selection - the main event of the mustra Feature film competition (In concorso) - about 20 feature films compete for the Golden Lion. Feature films out of competition (Fuori concorso) - up to 20 major works of the past year are presented, but do not compete for the main prize. Horizons (Orizzonti) - a competition section representing the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema, presenting the creations of around 20 young talents and 20 short films. Extra horizons (Orizzonti Extra) - non-competitive section for experimental, genre and auteur feature films, television films and series. Venetian Classics (Venezia Classici) - a selection of restored classic films. Venice VR Expanded - an online section in which up to 30 competing and out-of-competition films, as well as numerous videos and interactive works, will be presented. Independent and parallel sections - alternative programs independent of the official selection. International Critics' Week (Settimana Internazionale della Critica {SIC}) - a maximum of 8 debut films are screened based on the specific aspects of the section. Days of Authors (Giornate degli Autori