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Venice International Film Festival 2019

August 28 - September 7

Venice International Film Festival

The Venice International Film Festival, officially called Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica, is the world’s oldest film festival. Every year you can indulge here in the best of international cinema while rubbing shoulders with silver screen celebrities.

This year’s 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival will, as usual, take place on the Lido, the little island next to Venice. With its first edition going back all the way to 1932, the Venice Film Festival is the oldest one in the world and among the “Big Three” alongside the Berlin International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival. As part of the Venice Biennale – one of the most prestigious cultural happenings on the planet – the Venice Film Festival’s aim is to put international cinema in the spotlight and to promote it in all its manifestations – as a form of art, as entertainment and as an industry – where freedom and dialogue take centre stage.

Venice Film Festival
The coveted Golden Lion statue at the Palazzo del Cinema

During these eleven days of cinema extravaganza film stars and directors from all over the world, whether from big blockbusters or independent films, compete with each other. The highest and most coveted award is the Golden Lion, but competitions also take place in different categories. Last year’s Golden Lion was scooped up by Mexican film director and screenwriter Alfonso Cuarón for his acclaimed film Roma which portrays a housekeeper’s life at a middle-class family.

Presiding the competition’s jury this year will be the Argentinean director Lucrecia Martel. As a woman, she’ll be only the seventh female jury president in the long history of the Venice Film Festival.

Read here all about the Venice Biennale 2019 or La Biennale di Venezia.

If you want to see the awards ceremonies and the parade of A-listers posing for pictures, then head to the Palazzo del Cinema with its iconic red carpets. Yet, as the many screenings of films are open to the general public, it’s not unusual to find yourself sitting a few seats away from a major film star.

Apart from its famous competitions, the Venice Film Festival also organises film retrospectives to increase the understanding of the history of cinema, as well as tributes to prominent personalities in the world of film.

Pedro Almodovar
Pedro Almodóvar (middle). Image by Cultura Inquieta

This year, it’s the 69-year-old Spanish filmmaker Petro Almodóvar who will be honoured with a Golden Lion to celebrate his illustrious career. One of Europe’s most important filmmakers, Almodóvar is famous for his sensual films about transvestism, prostitution and drugs, sprinkled with very flamboyant characters and visual splendour. The Spaniard has no less than 21 films under his belt, including Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Tacones Lejanos (High Heels), Todo Sobre mi Madre (All About my Mother), and Hable con Ella (Talk to Her).

Almodóvar is admired for his incredibly original portraits of women supported by his exceptional empathy. His most recent film which appeared earlier this year is called Dolor y Gloria with Antonio Banderas in the lead role.

Programme of the 2019 Venice International Film Festival

The programme of the Mostra, as the Venice Film Festival is often nicknamed, looks once again very promising with an attractive mix of Hollywood and European stars, and up-and-coming new talent. Opening the festival will be the world premiere of the family drama The Truth, by Japanese film director Hirokazu Kore-eda and starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke. Closing this year’s film fest will be Italian director of music videos Giuseppe Capotondi’s The Burnt Orange Heresy, a drama thriller with Elizabeth Debicki, Claes Bang and Mick Jagger, the latter recovered from recent heart surgery earlier this year.

The Truth, Hirokazu Kore-eda
Movie still from The Truth – Image by Samurai Marathon 1855 Film Partners

Other films that will be shown in premiere as part of the official competition this year include Joker by Todd Phillips, The Laundromat by Stephen Soderbergh, Ad Astra by James Grays, and the Netflix-film Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach.

For a full line-up of films in and out of competition, Venice Film Festival classics and more, check out the official Venice Film Festival website.

Meryl Streep - The Laundromat
Movie still of Meryl Streep in The Laundromat – Image courtesy of Venice International Film Festival

When is the Venice Film Festival 2019

This year’s 76th edition will take place from 28 August to 7 September.

Where does the Venice Film Festival 2019 take place

The festival is located on the Lido island in the Venice Lagoon at four major venues – the Palazzo del Cinema, the Palazzo del Casinò, the Palabiennale, the Sala Giardino – as well as at outdoor areas. When you arrive on the Lido, buses will take you to the different venues till late at night. Click here for further details.

Venice International Film Festival

Accommodation and hotels in Venice during the Venice Film Festival

Hotel prices on the Lido may be three to four times their normal rates at this time, and are often fully booked long in advance. If you are looking to book one of the numerous hotels in Venice or further afield, enter your dates in our flight and hotel comparison engine to search hundreds of sites for the best deals:

For ticketing and more information about the Venice International Film Festival 2019:

Browse the Venice Film Festival official website.


August 28
September 7
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