In an interview with French daily newspaper Le Monde Venice Film Festival artistic director Alberto Barbera complained that US producers and distributors keep some of their biggest and best films away from the festival. According to Barbera, US producers of Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years A Slave’ said that they’d only come to Venice if the festival would pay for McQueen’s 50 person entourage.
“It’s become a nightmare with the Americans,” he said. “The only thing that interests American producers and distributors is the US domestic market.”
And in the end, US films that did come to Venice didn’t leave with the prizes, the festival having prefered films like Golden Lion winner Sacro Gra, ones that will never be international hits. Is the festival intentionally or unintentionally marginalizing its own importance on the world stage?
I only really go to Venice for the Italian films, so it may never really be an issue for me, but will Venice’s pride cause a serious fall, or is the festival to be admired in its desire to not succumb to Hollywood shakedowns?
Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t care less if I see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Venice Film Festival. It’s a film festival, not a reality TV show. I’ll see the blockbusters at my local cineplex; I want to see something more interesting at Venice.