Venice says 'war' among top film festivals is silly

Sat Sep 6, 2014 10:21am EDT
 
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By Michael Roddy

VENICE (Reuters) - The world's leading film festivals must co-operate rather than fight turf wars so that they remain attractive to the top Hollywood studios, according to Venice's festival director Alberto Barbera.

The Toronto film festival, which traditionally started after Venice had concluded, this year began on Thursday, inevitably stealing some of the thunder from the world's oldest film festival.

"I think it's a silly move to start a war, a competition among festivals," Barbera said in an interview on Friday in his office in the Palazzo del Cinema, built in the late 1930s on the Venice Lido.

"We don't need to compete among us. We're here to do our jobs, which is for film-makers to show good films, to help film-makers to get access to the market and so on, no?" Barbera said.

He said he had met the heads of other film festivals, in Cannes and Berlin, as well as top officials from Toronto, to discuss working more co-operatively.

One of the big problems facing all festivals, he said, was that Hollywood no longer necessarily saw them as a good way to launch blockbuster films.

"When you get one you feel lucky because...for most Hollywood films the studios don't consider the festival as the first option to promote a film," Barbera said.

"The producers, they don't like this idea of a war among festivals. They need to promote their films, they don't need to be involved in a war."   Continued...