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VENICE 2020 Giornate degli Autori

Giorgio Gosetti • General Delegate, Giornate degli Autori

“We’re lucky enough to have had more time; we need to set about researching models which can be helpful for us in the future”


- We chatted with General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti about the new developments gracing the next edition of the Giornate degli Autori, which is scheduled to unspool in Venice from 2–12 September

Giorgio Gosetti  • General Delegate, Giornate degli Autori

With just a few days to go until the official unveiling of its programme, the Giornate degli Autori’s General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti reveals some of the new developments set to grace the 17th edition of this autonomous and independent section of the Venice Film Festival, helmed this year by Gaia Furrer.

Cineuropa: With its “physical” return to the Lido and a new artistic director at the helm, the upcoming edition of the Giornate degli Autori marks a new beginning, or rather two new beginnings.
Giorgio Gosetti:
It’s a real honour to be a part of the only big autumn festival that we’ll be able to enjoy in person in this post-COVID era. I’m still convinced that shared, audience reactions and being in front of viewers is what really counts for films at festivals. I’m also really pleased to have been able to split up this role and to have a young person like Gaia on the team, who I really believe in and who’s independent and so different from me. The strength of an association like the Giornate degli Autori is how we think beyond the Venice Film Festival showcase. The real advantage of having an artistic director in charge of selection and then another separate delegate is that the latter – yours truly - will have more time and energy to drive the association’s work forward for a full 12 months, rather than just 11 days.

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What activities are planned for the rest of the year? Do you already have new projects in the pipeline?
The Giornate degli Autori was born out of the idea that authors should have their own voice within the Venice Film Festival, and from the outset we’ve told ourselves that our event shouldn’t be none other than a simple film selection. This is something we’ve proven over recent years, with our focus sessions, our meetings, the exchanges of ideas we facilitate and the friendliness of our authors towards one another. Right now, we’re getting ready to launch some ambitious projects: a world-class master, of sorts, will examine how the perception of cinema has changed thanks to new technologies. Another master will unearth the roots of the particular trajectories which all authors have inside of themselves, exploring their sources of inspiration and subsequent transformation. We’ll organise others, but it takes time, planning and resources to ensure they enhance the selection itself.

Apart from the ten titles in competition, what’s new for this year? Did the film selection suffer in any way from the COVID-19 crisis?
This year we organised one particular section of our programme with Isola Edipo, a young Venetian association wielding a huge cultural agenda and an idea revolving around the theme of inclusion. We worked together to plan a line-up of films, meetings and other events running parallel with the competition. As for the selection, this year like never before we were tempted to take the road of Euro/Italo-centrism, but we steered clear of it. Gaia Furrer shares the belief that the selection should offer a snapshot of the world. Italian titles will doubtless feature in the line-up, but we will always ensure fair representation of the rest of the world, too: there will be titles from America, Asia, South America, Europe, and also an African director who I really love.

Roughly half of the usual accredited guests are expected at this year’s Venice Film Festival, and there’ll be reduced room capacity too. Will it be possible for those not travelling to the Lido to follow the Giornate degli Autori online?
We can confirm access to the Sala Perla, the Giornate degli Autori’s long-time cinema, but obviously we can’t guarantee we’ll have the same number of seats available. The biggest challenge at the moment is exploring the potential of virtual technology; it requires inventiveness and planning. This year, the Giornate degli Autori has to take a first step in that direction, and it can, owing to the fact that the Venice Film Festival is unfolding in person, so everything we’re able to transmit online will only enhance our potential. My aim is to be able to guarantee that those unable to travel to Venice can experience 70% of the Giornate degli Autori nonetheless: meetings with authors, focus sessions, film presentations, a virtual cinema… I want it to be an experience exactly like the one they’d have in person, attending on a given day, at a given time. The deliberations of our jury - composed of 27 young, European viewers, who will this year be steered by the Israeli director Nadav Lapid - have already unfolded publicly, online, for several years. Our social media accounts will also be more active, with live broadcasts. We’re lucky enough to have had more time and a physical opportunity; we need to set about researching models which can help us in the future.

Can you tell us anything about the themes and film genres selected this year?
One strong and seemingly recurrent theme is relationships with fathers, and not just in the biological sense: there are signs of conflict, understanding and a search for a father figure in the minds of so many authors. And in some respects, this resonates with the times we’re living in: when you’re forced to look inside yourself, you enter into dialogue with the people who raised you. As for film genres, I can confirm that they will be varied, as always: the Giornate degli Autori has meaning if it brings something extra to the Venice Film Festival’s cultural agenda, if it narrows down the definition of a “festival film” and if it offers the widest space possible to films designed with the audience in mind.

What do you hope for Gaia Furrer?
That she proves her worth. I’ll be happy in the knowledge that she’s immensely proud of the films she’s selected because she’ll have put her heart and soul into it.

And the motto for this year?
Courage and imagination.

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(Translated from Italian)

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