As the world’s oldest film festival took the lead to conduct the festivals in the coronavirus era and, despite mandatory masks, temperature checks and enforced social distancing, insiders say it’s working surprisingly well.
The territory was a global hotspot for coronavirus infections and the decision to have a major festival came with great difficulty. Other major festivals like Cannes and Telluride had shifted to virtual platforms or postponed their dates.
Greek director Christos Nikou whose Apples opened the festival’s Orizzonti sidebar on Wednesday said, “It is very strange to be here, with the masks and everything, but I think it is very important to have Venice now because somehow the film industry has to restart. “We all know that our industry was hit more by COVID than other industries. Most of the theaters have been closed in the past few months. But I’m optimistic we will find a way out of this.
Venice has proved its decision with taking care of all the safety measures from online booking to temperature checks. The president of this year’s competition jury, said in her opening day press conference. “I really do applaud all of the organizers who have come together with real resilience and a sense of collaboration. We have to reopen safely, tentatively. It is a supremely challenging moment and it will continue to be as we continue to re-emerge.
Italian actress Anna Foglietta, who hosted Wednesday’s opening night ceremony said, “I think it’s so important that Venice is happening now, “Because people need emotions now. They need empathy and hope for the future. I think that Venice can represent all of these things.”
So, the Venice 2020 feels like a new start after the months of lockdown.