The new Biennale Cinema Channel

4 July 2021

Biennale Cinema Channel

Biennale Cinema Channel is the new streaming platform promoted by La Biennale di Venezia in collaboration with MYmovies, which starting today will offer a significant online selection of acclaimed films, award-winning works, revelations, films to rediscover from recent editions of the Venice International Film Festival, which have never been released in Italy.

Biennale Cinema Channel will launch at midnight tonight, Sunday July 4th, at and at with an initial library of 36 titles from the Competition, Out of Competition and Orizzonti sections of the Venice Film Festivals between 2007 and 2020, by authors from the world over, including Atom Egoyan, Amat Escalante, Amos Gitai, Benoît Jacquot, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Carlos Reygadas, Arturo Ripstein, Yesim Ustaoglu.

This initial group of works will be complemented starting in September with the usual selection of world premiere screenings streamed in the Sala Web of the 78th Venice Film Festival 2021, concurrently with the screenings at the Lido. The selection will then be constantly updated and all the films in the library will remain available online.

“We decided to create an online channel in collaboration with the well-known Italian streaming platform MYmovies ­– stated the Director of the Venice Film Festival Alberto Barbera ­– to offer the Italian public a series of high quality films shown in recent years at the Festival and currently unavailable in Italy. With this initiative we intend to support the directors and producers who believe in the Venice Film Festival, offering them the possibility of finding distribution on the Italian market, and hoping to bring their films greater and more lasting visibility”.

Biennale Cinema Channel may be accessed by purchasing a monthly subscription starting at € 7.90 or a three-month subscription starting at € 19.90. The subscription also grants access to the films that will be streamed online in the Sala Web of the 78th Venice Film Festival from 1 to 11 September 2021. The films will be shown in the original version with Italian and English subtitles.

The selected films

Biennale Cinema Channel presents a significant overview of international auteur films from the past fifteen years, to offer audiences stimulating experiences based on a wide range of themes, origins, styles and ideas.

Within the array of titles in the selection, the theme of History, for example, is a thread that unites various works, starting with Rabin: The Last Day by Amos Gitai (Competition, 2015), which reconstructs the web of interests that led to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin on November 4th, 1995. Other films reveal unexplored situations tied to complex moments in history: Linhas de Wellington by Valeria Sarmiento (Competition, 2012) is the story of the Anglo-Portuguese victory against Napoleon’s armies in 1810; The Announcement (Orizzonti, 2018) is a noir that looks at the coup d’état in Turkey in 1963 from a serious yet sarcastic point of view; The Painted Bird by Vàclav Marhoul (Competition, 2019), recounts the odyssey of a child who witnessed the brutality of World War II, narrated in the tones of cinema d’essai; Blanco en blanco by Théo Court (Orizzonti, 2019, best director), reflects upon white colonialism and the genocide of the indigenous peoples of Chile in the early twentieth century; The Domain (Competition, 2019) is the saga of a family of Portuguese landowners from the Salazar dictatorship to the present day.

United by an abstract and poetic point of view, on the cusp of life and death, reality and imagination, folly and dream, are several films that emerged in Venice as surprises or revelations: the hypnotic Argentine Leones by Jazmin Lopez (Orizzonti, 2009); In Between Dying by Hilal Baydarov (Competition, 2020), the expression of an inimitable raw talent; The Mountain by Rick Alverson (Competition, 2018) and Frenzy by Emin Alper (Competition, 2015), different points of view, one American and one Turkish, on the issue of mental illness.

Strong, wilful women, dreamers or madwomen are the protagonists of Tales by Rakhshan Banietemad (Competition 2014, Best Screenplay), a mosaic of stories set in contemporary Iran; in the equally choral stories of the Afghan film Hava, Maryam, Ayesha by Sahraa Karimi (Orizzonti, 2019) and the Argentine film Kékszakállú (Orizzonti, 2016, Fipresci Award); in the other portrait of Iran’s patriarchal society Malaria by Parviz Shahbazi (Orizzonti, 2016) and in the sentimental drama Yema, set in an Algerian village suffocated by Islamic fundamentalism; in the psychological thriller L’autre by Patrick-Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic (Competition, 2008), À jamais by Benoit Jacquot (Out of Competition, 2016, adapted from “Body Art” by Don Delillo) and Algunas Chicas (Orizzonti, 2013) and in the miniseries Shokuzai by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, which in 2012 featured as one of the events of the Venice Film Festival.

Anyone who was there in 2015 is unlikely to have forgotten Dominique, the fisherman protagonist of the moving film Tempête by Samuel Collardey (Orizzonti), a loving and tenacious father, the complete opposite of the health inspector played by David Thewlis in Guest of Honour by Atom Egoyan (Competition, 2019) or the parents in the dynasty of entrepreneurs at the centre of Parc by Arnaud des Pallières (Orizzonti, 2007).

Finally, the programme features the films of four great directors: Amos Gitai yet again, in Competition last year with Laila in Haifa; Arturo Ripstein, Out of Competition in 2015 with La calle de la Amargura; Amat Escalante, Golden Lion for Best Director in 2016 with La region salvaje, a “Zulawski-type” exploration of a world of monsters and desires; Carlos Reygadas, author with Nuestro tiempo (Competition, 2019) of a true masterpiece suspended between self-fiction and sentimental enquiry.

These are just some of the titles to browse and discover in the catalogue of Biennale Cinema Challenge, in anticipation of Venezia 78 and the films that the platform will offer concurrently with the screenings on the Lido di Venezia.

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