Venice Film Festival Tweaks Sections, Launches Horizons Extra

The Venice Film Festival is tweaking its sections as it gears up for its upcoming 78th edition in September.

After announcing that “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho will preside over the main jury, the Lido on Monday opened up for film submissions and said in a statement that the fest’s Sconfini section — which had been scrapped last year to free up more space for the socially-distanced screenings — is being replaced by a new section called Horizons Extra.

Horizons Extra will be an extension of Venice’s competitive Horizons (Orrizonti) section that focuses on new trends in world cinema, but will be “less constrained by standards of length and format,” the Venice statement said. The new sidebar is for “works with no limits of genre, duration and destination, as long as they last more than 60 minutes,” it added. Prizes will be decided by a jury of audience members “following criteria and procedures to be announced.”

Introduced by Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera in 2019, Sconfini was a grab bag of arthouse and genre films that screened out of competition. U.S. director Nate Parker’s “American Skin” launched in the section.

Venice on Monday also announced its selection committee, which remains unvaried.

For the selection process, Barbera relies on the collaboration of the following experts: Paolo Bertolin, Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan, Bruno Fornara, Mauro Gervasini, Oscar Iarussi, Elena Pollacchi, Angela Prudenzi, Emanuele Rauco and Marina Sanna.

For the Venice VR Expanded section, the experts in charge are Michel Reilhac and Liz Rosenthal, while those overseeing the Biennale College Cinema are Savina Neirotti and Jane Williams. The program coordinator for the industry side, entitled Venice Production Bridge, is Pascal Diot.

The 78th edition of Venice is scheduled to run Sept. 1-11, 2021.

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