Venice announces Production Bridge selection and launches Biennale Cinema Channel

And SWANA titles are featured prominently in both initiatives!
Venice announces Production Bridge selection and launches Biennale Cinema Channel

Production Bridge announcement

Every summer for the past 8 years, La Biennale di Venezia Venice International Film Festival has announced their Projects Selected for the Venice Gap-Financing Market, organised as part of the Venice Production Bridge. This year's edition will take place during the festival, from September 3 - September 5, 2021 and will once again offer selected European and international projects the opportunity to close their international financing, through one-to-one meetings with international decision-makers. The 3-day Venice Gap-Financing Market will present 57 projects from around the world in the final stages of development and funding. More than 250 project applications were received from around the world and the selection reflects the great diversity of backgrounds, stories and talents, aesthetics, genres and budgets of the projects submitted for consideration.

The selection is divided as follows:

·       30 feature-length Fiction Film and Documentary projects

·       13 Virtual Reality Immersive Story projects

·       11 Biennale College – Virtual Reality projects

·       3 Biennale College – Cinema projects

The Book of Projects, detailing each project, will be emailed to professionals from the film industry, to entitle them to request 30-minute one-to-one meetings with the teams of the selected projects through the Venice Production Bridge website. Thus allowing each project to receive tailor-made meetings and assistance.

Among the feature-length projects selected are Zaven Najjar's animation Allah n'est pas Obligé (France, Luxembourg, Belgium), Special Touch Studios as well as Ashkal (Tunisia, France, The Netherlands) a fiction film by Youssef Chebbi, Supernova Films, and also the fiction Halissa (Israel) by Sophie Artus, Deadline Production, July August Productions. The documentary Kabul Memory (Afghanistan, France) by Sarah Mani, Afghanistan Dochhouse and the working-titled The Life and Times of Omar Sharif also a documentary (Sweden, Egypt, United Kingdom) by Axel Petersén and Mark Lotfy, Fedra.

Among the 13 Virtual Reality Immersive Story Projects are Abandon (Lebanon, Egypt, Qatar) by Farah Shaer, Fig Leaf Studios and Winterover (Canada, Israel) by Ido Mizrahy and Nir Saar, Holy City VR

And in the Biennale College Cinema Virtual Reality Projects we find The Broom (Israel) by Nim Shapira, Nim Shapira.

The new Biennale Cinema Channel

While it's wonderful to see works in progress being aided and connected through the Venice Production Bridge, there is also something to be said in finally being able to enjoy some of the wonderful films that have graced the lineups of the Venice Film Festival throughout the years. And the Biennale Cinema Channel brings some of those wondrous gems to all, via a streaming platform inaugurated on July 4.

Biennale Cinema Channel is the new streaming platform promoted by La Biennale di Venezia in collaboration with MYmovies, which will offer a significant online selection of acclaimed films, award-winning works, revelations, films to rediscover from recent editions of the Venice International Film Festival, which have never been released in Italy.

Biennale Cinema Channel launched at midnight on Sunday at and at with an initial library of 36 titles from the Competition, Out of Competition and Orizzonti sections of the Venice Film Festivals between 2007 and 2020, by authors from the world over, including Atom Egoyan, Amat Escalante, Amos Gitai, Benoît Jacquot, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Carlos Reygadas, Arturo Ripstein, Yesim Ustaoglu.

This initial group of works will be complemented starting in September with the usual selection of world premiere screenings streamed in the Sala Web of the 78th Venice Film Festival 2021, concurrently with the screenings at the Lido. The selection will then be constantly updated and all the films in the library will remain available online.

Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera explained: “We decided to create an online channel in collaboration with the well-known Italian streaming platform MYmovies, to offer the Italian public a series of high quality films shown in recent years at the Festival and currently unavailable in Italy. With this initiative we intend to support the directors and producers who believe in the Venice Film Festival, offering them the possibility of finding distribution on the Italian market, and hoping to bring their films greater and more lasting visibility”.

Biennale Cinema Channel may be accessed by purchasing a monthly subscription starting at € 7,90 or a three-month subscription starting at € 19,90. The subscription also grants access to the films that will be streamed online in the Sala Web of the 78th Venice Film Festival from 1 to 11 September 2021. The films will be shown in the original version with Italian and English subtitles.

Biennale Cinema Channel presents a significant overview of international auteur films from the past fifteen years, to offer audiences stimulating experiences based on a wide range of themes, origins, styles and ideas.

Curated, in segments such as "History" and "Strong, willful women" the films include Rabin: The Last Day by Amos Gitai (Competition, 2015), which reconstructs the web of interests that led to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on November 4th, 1995 and Tales by Rakhshan Banietemad (Competition 2014, Best Screenplay), a mosaic of stories set in contemporary Iran. But also Frenzy by Emin Alper (Competition, 2015), different points of view, one American and one Turkish, on the issue of mental illness and the Afghan film Hava, Maryam, Ayesha by Sahraa Karimi (Orizzonti, 2019); a portrait of Iran’s patriarchal society in Malaria by Parviz Shahbazi (Orizzonti, 2016) and the sentimental drama Yema, set in an Algerian village suffocated by Islamic fundamentalism.

Finally, the programme features the films of four great directors: Amos Gitai yet again, in Competition last year with Laila in Haifa; Arturo Ripstein, Out of Competition in 2015 with La calle de la Amargura; Amat Escalante, Golden Lion for Best Director in 2016 with La region salvaje, a “Zulawski-type” exploration of a world of monsters and desires; Carlos Reygadas, author with Nuestro tiempo (Competition, 2019) of a true masterpiece suspended between self-fiction and sentimental enquiry.

These are just some of the titles to browse and discover in the catalogue of Biennale Cinema Challenge, in anticipation of Venezia 78 and the films that the platform will offer concurrently with the screenings on the Lido di Venezia.

For the whole selection check out the Biennale Cinema Channel.

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