Beatrice Fiorentino On The 2022 Venice International Film Critics’ Week

General Delegate Beatrice Fiorentino joins us on Close-Up Culture to discuss this year’s exciting Venice International Film Critics’ Week.

For more info – Venice Internationa Film Critics’ Week (sicvenezia.it)

Hello Beatrice. Can you tell us about the vision for this year’s Venice Critics’ Week?

When we started the selection process months ago, we started questioning ourselves: Where we are now? How do we feel and in which world are we living? Do we have any responsibility making up a film selection, inevitably underlining relationship between images and reality? We come from two difficult years marked by illness, fear. Two years of estrangement, isolation and forced distance; two years of darkness. Our reaction, and that of the 9 films in this year’s programme, leads in the opposite direction: towards (a possible) rebirth, towards light and colour; friendship, love, open spaces, a sense of community. The characters who live there are dreamers, men and women fighting for a better future.

We thought it was a great signal! Maybe just a hope. Or a wish. In any case we decided to embrace it. The world’s complexity is not over and we are conscious that the present is still full of uncertainties. But maybe we all need to reset. To take a deep breath and restart.

I understand there were over 500 films submitted this year. What were yourself and the committee looking for in the films for this year’s programme?

We always look for discoveries. Focused on first features, our main goal at the Settimana is to unveil new upcoming talents from all over the world. We look for brave, free, challenging gestures and filmmakers who don’t fear getting out from their comfort zone. We are looking for the directors of the future. 

Can you tell us more about the tone of the programme and some of the films you are especially excited for?

A new concept of identity literally stood out from the films this year. It looks like it’s urgent to redefine this concept beyond the male/female binary, connecting minds, bodies and desire, without any bias. It was surprising to realize how serious this topic looks like and how freshly the new generations approach it. So eventually we figured out a proudly queer edition. 

I’m actually excited for each of our films, and it’s not just a way of saying. Each one it’s a fundamental piece for a wider view. It’s a crucial statement, both from a political and aesthetical point of view. I feel the selection as an extremely contemporary depict of the present: from the emotional journey in Medellín in Anhell69, to a dream of a landscaper in Marseille in Beating Sun; from the outcasts of a ruthless society in Dogborn, to an unexpected love story in the Austrian army in Eismayer; three different declinations of possible women (Have You Seen This Woman?), a punk Italian comedy (Margini) and a transgender meditation which reasons about the concept of identity and the laws of body attraction (Skin Deep).

The Opening film is colorful rom-com set in the drag queen scene of Parisian nightlife (Three Nights a Week) and the Closing film, Queens, is a vibrantly feminist road-movie in Morocco, a celebration of the female cinema heroines of all times. Last but not least: the special screening of O sangue by Pedro Costa, restored in 4k under the technical supervision of Cinemateca Portuguesa and Cineric of New York, 33 years after his debut at the Settimana. An event organized in collaboration with La Biennale that allow us to rediscover the film with ever new eyes. 

A new logo for the festival has been announced. What does this logo say about the philosophy of Venice Critics’ Week?

The new logo, designed for us by Gianluca Pisacane, ideally represents the identity of the Settimana Internazionale dellaCritica (SIC), figured as part of a screen, in a leading role of adialogue between the filmmakers, the critics and the audience. We also have a new teaser trailer conceived with the same philosophy.Using the power of images and sounds, to define and to define ourselves, to affirm and to propose: ideas, looks, eyes on the world. On a nocturnal and futuristic Venice view in this case. The observation of a concrete and fantastic reality redefined within the confines of a screen. Of “our” screen. Of our observing.

The festival will feature an ambitious new project, the Casa della Critica. Can you tell us more about this?

We have been thinking of a new space of encounters, an informal place for welcoming our film delegations, for networking, for some press and industry events, in order to extend our field of activity outside the screening room. This is a first step. A sort of  “year zero”. A starting point. We’re already working on imagining an improvement for next year.

What are your hopes and ambitions for Venice Critics’ Week?

I hope the Settimana will remain one of the most important landmarks for launching new authors. The absolute place deputed to discoveries. Wishing a long and fulfilling journey for each of the authors who pass through us and had trust in our mission.

For more info – Venice Internationa Film Critics’ Week (sicvenezia.it)

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