The world's oldest film festival is back in action. Marking the first big cultural event to happen in Europe physically since March. But like all public gatherings, the 77th edition of Venice Film Festival has had to adapt to the new normal - with strict sanitary protocol, social distancing, a reduced film schedule and face masks on the red carpet. Here are some key takeaways, so far.
Call Me by Your Name director, Luca Guadagnino, presented his new fashion documentary about the legendary Italian footwear designer behind the Ferragamo fashion empire, entitled Salvatore, Shoemaker of Dreams (based on the designer’s autobiography with the same title published in 1957). Guadagnino asked fashion writer and journalist Dana Thomas to work on the script, which traces every step of Ferragamo’s life adventures (from designing shoes for his family to working with Hollywood’s leading ladies, including Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.)
On the opening night of the film festival, Tilda Swinton received the festival's highest honour, the Golden Lion For Lifetime Achievement Award (which she picked up wearing head-to-toe Chanel). At the end of her acceptance speech, Tilda payed tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, saying: “Wakanda Forever. Nothing but love.”
American actress Regina King presented her captivating directorial debut One Night in Miami, a drama based on real life events dating back to 1964. When Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered in a Miami motel room after Clay sensationally won the world heavyweight championship. It is the first film directed by an African-American woman to be selected in the festival’s history.
Face masks get an haute-over on the red carpet. Cate Blanchett opted for a classical blue mask, while Tilda Swinton chose a series of custom-made creations by the British accessories designer, James Merry, inspired by the famous Carnival of Venice looks.
Recycling red carpet dresses has been on a steady incline the last few years. At the Venice Film Festival, Cate Blanchett opted for a shimmering Esteban Cortázar dress that she had worn five years ago at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of Carol. Her do-good sartorial statement does not stop there: Blanchett will also donate all of her festival looks to an auction raising funds for UN Women and Facing History and Ourselves.
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