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On the occasion of the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s opening, eight artistic directors of some of the key European film festivals will be in attendance and come with a special message.

Today, 2 September 2020, the eight directors will represent the community of film festivals on the continent and around the world, and in look to reinforce the notion of art and its importance to society, especially in times of crisis.

Over the course of the event, the directors will take to the stage of the Sala Grande (Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido), to read a shared document that expounds on the fundamental value of cinema, as well as the role of film festivals in the support international cinema. The central thesis is that festivals are not just promotional showcases, but are increasingly centers of culture, education, opportunities, and experience for a wide demographic of participants and audiences. The film festival in its traditional sense is a place that encourages insight and debate, creativity, and artistic expression, in order to produce a robust dialogue with audiences and society.

The message comes in a year of increased volatility, mostly a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic fallout. Many festivals have either resorted to an online or hybrid format or have bypassed 2020 editions altogether. With this Venice International Film Festival message, the eight artistic directors present look to a message of solidarity toward the global film industry.

The eight artistic directors attending and participating are:

The 77th Venice International Film Festival occurs 2 to 12 September 2020 in Venice, Italy.