The Venice Film Festival will go ahead with 2020 edition in its usual early September slot, according to Venice Biennale president Roberto Cicutto.
Cicutto said the 77th edition of the festival will take place from September 2-12, Variety reported quoting Italian news agency ANSA. He downplayed the possibility of collaboration between Venice and Cannes.
Cannes organizers recently said that it would be difficult to hold the festival in its original form due to the coronavirus pandemic but they continued to explore options.
Cannes director Thierry Fremaux in an interview with Variety had mentioned that they were looking at the possibility of doing something together if Cannes was cancelled. We're continuing to discuss it, he had said.
But Cicutto said they were going ahead with their festival. With Cannes, everything is possible, but I find it disconcerting that Thierry Fremaux keeps saying he is continuing to examine the situation and does not say what he wants to do.
We are going forward with our program, and if Cannes is still thinking (about their course of action) then there is no dialogue, Cicutto said.
He specified there is currently no hypothesis on the table for a joint Venice-Cannes initiative.
Cicutto said he expected a lower foreign attendance this year compared to last editions of the festival.
The Biennale has given itself an end of May deadline to sort out more details of the upcoming edition's modalities, he added.
Italy is one of the worst-hit European countries from the pandemic with over 23,000 deaths. The country continues to be in a lockdown but there is some hope that the crisis with subside there sooner.
Cicutto said as far as using cinemas for the festival is concerned, he is expecting Italian authorities to grant Venice special status.
It's one thing to manage six or seven circumscribed movie theatres, as opposed to thousands of movie theatres across the country, he said.