“Father of the International Film Festival” Venice Film Festival

Venice is a world-famous Italian cultural city. It is also a place of interest for tourists from all over the world. Its waterways, flowing waves, and small boats swaying on the water, all the scenery is fascinating. Every year from the end of August to the beginning of September, this beautiful and romantic water city has become the focus of the world’s film industry, because the Venice Film Festival is held here.


The Venice Film Festival, held in 1932, is the world’s first film festival. It is 14 years earlier than the Cannes Film Festival and 19 years earlier than the Berlin Film Festival. These three film festivals are also known as major international film festivals in Europe. The three famous film festivals and the long history make the Venice Film Festival known as the “father of the International Film Festival”.

The Venice Film Festival was suspended from 1943 to 1945 due to the occurrence of the Second World War. It really formed its own style after it was reopened in 1946. The French film master Jean Renoir’s “Southerners” won the “Best International Film Award”, and since then “Mann” and “The Prince’s Revenge” have won awards, showing the film’s extraordinary artistic atmosphere.


In 1949, the film festival officially renamed the highest award “Best International Film” as “St. Mark Golden Lion Award”; in 1953, the “Best Italian Film” was withdrawn, and the “St. Mark Silver Lion Award” was added. It is the Venice Film Festival,this change shows the ambition of the Venice Film Festival’s internationalization and artisticization.

The biggest feature of the Venice Film Festival is the principle of independence and the spirit of adventure. The purpose of the film festival is “the film serves the serious art” and the criterion is “artistic”. The Venice Film Festival is known as the “new, strange, fast” excavation director, known as the “cradle of the film master”, in the golden age of the film from the 1930s to the 60s, it is the cradle of many film masters.

The secret behind the successful operation of the festival

Nowadays, the film festival is not just a simple party, it has become a platform for communication and cooperation in film business projects. Especially after 2000, due to the rise of the Internet and the integration of global trade, the global trading of films has become more active, and commercial communication has become the main content of some film festivals. Therefore, how to successfully operate a business activity with many exchange resources and communication forms, and how to promote the effective operation of the film festival has become a matter for film festival organizers to consider.


1.Cooperative alliance

A cooperative alliance refers to a cooperative relationship between a film festival organizer and other organizations. Members of the participating alliances can share various resources, such as video resources, application funds, media resources, and personal resources.

Most of the cooperative alliances play the role of co-organizers in the festival. For example, the organizers of the Denver International Film Festival assisted the Aurora Film Festival in completing the docking work with the local government. This type of cooperative alliance completes communication on the one hand and provides good service and management for the smooth development of the festival on the other hand. The form of this cooperative alliance has two advantages: First, the film festival organizers can share operating costs and reduce expenses. Second, it promoted business communication and cooperation in the film market.

  1. Geographic location

Location is also an important factor in the festival, especially for viewers, businesses and the media. Usually, the location of the festival will be chosen in tourist destinations and cities of commercial value, and influential film festivals will promote regional economic income.

In 1932, the first international film festival was held in Venice, which transformed Venice from a small tourist town in Europe into one of the global resort centers. Many years later, the film festival kept Venice exposed in front of the public, and the local scenery made the characteristics of the Venice Film Festival more obvious. Therefore, the cultural attributes of the city itself are the main reason for the film festival to maintain its vitality.

  1. Theme

To judge whether a film festival has international credibility, the key depends on whether it has its own characteristics in the overall cultural style. Relying on the unique temperament, the film festival organizers can carry out more targeted activities and build the ideas and framework of the film festival.

The theme features make the film festival activities no longer single, with clear direction and meaning. The Venice Film Festival is the world’s first international film festival. It focuses on art, while the Cannes Film Festival focuses more on the combination of business and art. The Berlin Film Festival focuses on politics and society. The theme of these festivals is very obvious.


Both the organizers of the festival and the practitioners associated with the festival are participating in the film festival in their own way. Therefore, the successful operation of a film festival is closely related to each participant. Only through mutual cooperation and harmonious coexistence can the platform be used to its fullest effect.

Creation: Movies are more important than box office

Adhering to artistic creation in a tempting market environment requires a determination and a passion for the true meaning of the film. For those directors who are still focused on art films, the film itself is much more important than money. Zhang Yang’s new work “The Soul on the Leather Rope,” was shortlisted for the “Golden Jubilee Award”, he lived in Tibet for a year with the creative team in order to shoot the film, the film did not use celebrity. Although the finalist of the “Golden Jubilee Award” is a certainty, the current mainland film market lacks sufficient interest in this type of film. Zhang Yang believes that as a creator, who must put the pursuit of art first.


Film festival should pay more attention to art films. As the chairman of the jury of the “Asian Newcomer Award”, Er Dongsheng said that the environment is not friendly to art films. He called on the film festival to pay more attention to art films, the awards should only look at the quality of art and not consider the box office. In Er Dongsheng’s view, the film has always been divided into two directions, the public and the small group, or it can be called commercial films and art films. “I personally think that the film festival should go in the direction of the art film.” Er Dongsheng quoted Li Hanxiang’s words to explain: “There is a director in Hong Kong who said that Li Hanxiang said, “If your film has achieved results in the market, you should be polite when you participate in the film festival.” Although the film festival’s promotion of art films is not satisfactory, there is no better promotion platform than the film festival. Zhang Yang said that because “The Soul on the Leather Cord” was shortlisted for the “Golden Jubilee Award”, it has aroused the interest of many people, including the international film festival. The Toronto and Busan Film Festivals have invited the film.


Art Cinema is the way out, although the director of the art film can ignore the shackles of the market, the film is a work after all. The difficulty of distribution and the pressure of investment cost recovery will affect the creators. The famous director Liu Ziwei has already felt the pressure. She expressed the hope that the film market will give more space for small-cost excellent movies. The idea of the movie “The Soul on the Leather Rope” is more practical, even considering free distribution online. However, in the face of the current social pressure, it is difficult for art films to find a real audience, and the creators’ hard work should be treated fairly.

MIFF reshapes film culture with “shared value”

As a large-scale cultural event, the film festival is to build a resource distribution platform for film art viewing, communication, trading, promote cross-regional and cross-cultural film communication. The “shared value” of the film festival is to let more viewers share the charm of film art. Through the holding of the Melbourne International Film Festival, we can see outstanding film works from all over the world each year, including many classic films, which shows the love and desire of the audiences of all countries for the film art. Therefore, the film festival is very helpful to enhance the artistic appreciation of local audiences and expand the international vision. In this process, the sharing and exchange of art resources has a positive impact on reshaping the multi-value of movies.

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At the same time, the shared value of film festivals can also achieve cross-cultural cooperation between filmmakers and film capital. Art creation is never a person’s creation. “Shared value” gives the film production team the opportunity to show themselves, exchange ideas and expand cooperation. Many famous film masters have paid attention to the film festival, the film festival plays an important role in cultivating local film talents. The art elites from all over the world share the film ideas and artistic views at the film festivals, and enhance the theoretical construction, innovation and technological progress of international films. The festival has unique advantages in expanding capital cooperation and optimizing resource allocation. Using the film festival platform to realize the sharing of ideas, experiences and markets, attract world film talents and expand the influence of movies, therefore reshaping the film industry model, talent cultivation and film policy system construction, “shared value” is an important foundation.


In my country,as the influenced by historical factors and political factors, Chinese film and film artists have not received enough attention in the world film art evaluation system. There is an imbalance between the internationality of the film market and the art of film, which is also an embarrassing situation facing Chinese movies. The question is how to expand the international communication space of domestic films and promote Chinese films to the world. Thinking from this starting point, the local film festival may be a new idea to break through the difficulties. In the large-scale film festival, many internationally renowned film artists form a jury to select all the shortlisted films, and the artistic quality of the award-winning films directly reflects the professional standards of the festival. At the domestic local film festivals, we evaluate the films of the world and show the artistic standards and aesthetic qualities of Chinese films. This process is an important means to gradually construct the international discourse power of Chinese films.

The MIFF is a unique cultural system with vitality. The International Film Festival exhibition has a lot of history in terms of organizational experience, professional ability, film quality and international influence. Adhering to the concept of “shared value”, building a competitive film festival brand and letting the film festival return to the film art itself can spread the charm and art of the film to more people.