The Venice Film Festival or Venice International Film Festival (Italian: Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia, "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale"), founded in 1932, is the oldest film festival in the world and one of the "Big Three" along with the Cannes film festival and the Berlin film festival. The film festival is part of the Venice Biennale which was founded by the Venetian City Council in 1895. The Biennale consists (now) of a range of separate events including: the International Art Exhibition (Venice); the International Festival of Contemporary Music (Venice); the International Theatre Festival (Venice); the International Architecture Exhibition (Venice); the International Festival of Contemporary Dance (Venice); the International Kids’ Carnival (Venice); and the annual Venice Film Festival, which is probably the best known event.

The film festival has since taken place in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, Venice, Italy. Screenings take place in the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi and in other venues nearby. Since its inception the Film Festival has become the most prestigious international film festival in the world. The 72nd Festival is scheduled to take place from 2 to 12 September 2015.


Venice Film Festival

The Film Festival's current awards are:

Official selection - In competition

Golden Lion (Leone d'Oro)

Awarded to the best film screened in competition at the festival

See a list of winners at Golden Lion

Silver Lion Leone d'Argento

The Silver Lion is awarded to the best director in the competitive section Venezia (plus the number of the edition).

See list of winners at Silver Lion

Grand Jury Prize

See list of winners at Grand Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival)

Volpi Cup (Acting)

  • See - Best Actress
  • See - Best Actor
  • There are other awards that also recognize acting performances.

Marcello Mastroianni Award

The "Marcello Mastroianni Award" was instituted in 1998 in honor of the great Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni who died in 1996. The award was created to acknowledge an emerging actor or actress, and can be compared to the "Volpi Cup", the award for Best Actor and Best Actress.

'Special Lion'

The Jury may also choose to award a 'Special Lion' for an overall work to a director or actor of a film presented in the main competition section.

Orizzonti section (Horizons)

is open to all "custom-format" works, with a wider view towards new trends in the expressive languages that converge in film. The awards of the Orizzonti section are:

  • The Orizzonti Prize
  • The Special Orizzonti Jury Prize (for feature-length films)
  • The Orizzonti Short Film Prize
  • The Orizzonti Medium-length Film Prize

Controcampo Italiano section

presents a panorama on Italian cinema with 7 narrative feature-length films, 7 short films, and 7 documentaries, all world premiere screenings and all in competition in their respective categories. The awards of this section are:

  • Controcampo Award (for narrative feature-length films)
  • Controcampo Award (for short films)
  • Controcampo Doc Award (for documentaries)

Best Screenplay Award

for best screenplay.

Lion of the Future

Award for a debut film.

Special Jury Prize

A Special Jury Prize is awarded to one or two films in most years.

See list of winners at Special Jury Prize (Venice Film Festival)

Golden Osella

There are two Golden Osella Prizes: for Best Technical Contribution (to cinematographers, composers, etc.) and for Best Screenplay.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award

The “Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker” award was created by the Venice Film Festival and organized in collaboration with Jaeger-LeCoultre. It is dedicated to personalities who have made a significant contribution to contemporary cinema.

Past awards

Coppa Mussolini (Mussolini Cups)

The Mussolini Cups were the top awards from 1934 to 1942 for best Italian and best foreign film. Named after Italy's then dictator prime minister, Benito Mussolini, they were abandoned upon his ousting in 1943.

Coppa Mussolini (Mussolini Cup) for Best Italian Film

Mussolini Cup for Best Foreign Film

Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment

"Le Grandi Medaglie d’Oro dell’Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo" in Italian.

This was awarded to Best Actor and Best Actress. It was later replaced by the Volpi Cup for actors and actresses. The first time this prize was awarded to Katharine Hepburn for her role in Little Women by George Cukor

Audience Referendum

In the first edition of the festival in 1932, due to the lack of a jury and the awarding of official prizes, a list of acknowledgements was decided by popular vote, an tally determined by the number of people flocking to the films, and announced by the Organizing Committee. From this the Best Director was declared â€" Russian Nikolaj Ekk for the film The Road to Life, while the film by René Clair Give Us Liberty was voted Best Film.

Award for Best Director

See also

  • Venice Biennale
  • Rome Film Festival


Venice Film Festival

External links

Venice Film Festival
  • La Biennale di Venezia â€" Official website (English) (Italian)
  • Venice International Film Festival history at La Biennale di Venezia website
  • Venice Film Festival at the Internet Movie Database

Venice Film Festival

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