Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival The Venice International Film Festival is a category "A" film festival, held annually in the city of Venice, at the historic Palazzo del Cinema on the Paseo Marconi (and in other nearby buildings). After the Oscars, it is the oldest film event in the world: the first edition was held between August 6 and 21, 1932.


The main prize awarded is the Golden Lion, which owes its name to the symbol of the city (the Lion of San Marco).


The festival is part of the Venice Biennale, an exhibition of Italian art founded by the Venice City Council on April 19, 1893.





Complete list of editions of the Venice Film Festival (1932 to 2023)




The first edition of the Festival was held under the name of the First International Film Exhibition, from August 1 to 15, 1932, on the Terrace of the Hotel Excelsior on the Lido of Venice. A total of nine countries participated in that edition of the festival.


The festival was born from an idea of ​​the president of the Venice Biennale, Count Giuseppe Volpi, the sculptor Antonio Maraini, general secretary, and Luciano De Feo, general secretary of the International Institute of Educational Cinema, published by the League of Nations.


The 1932 edition features films that later became true "classics" in film history, such as "Forbidden" by American director Frank Capra, Edmund Goulding's "Grand Hotel", "The Champion" of King Vidor, the James Whale's first “Frankenstein”, among others.


In 1934, the first official awards were awarded: the Mussolini Cup for Best Italian Film and the Mussolini Cup for Best Foreign Film.


The great actors who were in the first edition were Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Wallace Beery, Fredric March, Norma Shearer, Ronald Colman, James Cagney, Loretta Young, Joan Crawford, John Barrymore, the Italian idol Vittorio De Sica and Boris Karloff, who went down in history for his role as a monster in the early years of Frankenstein.


The film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from the director of Rouben Mamoulia, was the first film to be shown in the history of the exhibition on August 6, 1932.


In 1937, the Palazzo del Cinema, built on the Lido, was built to serve as the main venue for the Festival.


The 1940s represented one of the most difficult moments of the Festival. With the start of the Second World War, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that the 1940, 1941 and 1942 editions, later considered to have not occurred, took place far from the Lido of Venice. Few countries participated and there was an absolute advantage of the works and directors belonging to the Rome-Berlin axis, in a more propagandistic than artistic climate, strongly represented also by the Italian stars, among which Alida Valli, Assia Noris and Fosco Giachetti.


After the end of the War, the Festival once again welcomed the great international directors: Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, John Huston, Jean Cocteau, Claude Autant-Lara, David Lean, Henri-Georges Clouzot,, Michael Powel, Emeric Pressburger, Jean Renoir, Marcel Carné, Julien Duvivier, among others.


In the 1950s, Japanese cinema was definitely launched, standing out thanks to the Golden Lion won by "Rashomon" from the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa in 1951, "The man with the cart" by Hiroshi Inagaki, "The tales of the pale moon "(1953) and" The Intendant Sansho "(1954) by Kenji Mizoguchi and" The Seven Samurai "(1954) by Kurosawa.


This decade marked the arrival on the screens of great Italian directors such as Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Actors Marlon Brando, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Alberto Sordi, Vittorio Gassman and Silvana Mangano also participated in the festival.


In the 1960s, the great directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Vittorio De Seta, Marco Ferreri, Valerio Zurlini, Florestano Vancini, Marco Bellocchio, Giuliano Montaldo and Tinto Brass appeared at the Festival. As for actors, Claudia Cardinale, Marcello Mastroianni and Monica Vitti appear.


In 1968, social and political unrest had a negative impact on the festival, since from 1969 to 1979 no prizes were awarded and the festival returned to the non-competitiveness of the first edition. In 1973, 1977 and 1978, the festival was not held.


In 1971, the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced, awarded for the first time to American director John Ford, and the following year to Charlie Chaplin, for his work as a well-rounded and multifaceted man of cinema.


Also in 1971 a Chinese film "The Red Detachment of Women" was projected for the first time.


In 1972 the controversial film "A Clockwork Orange" by Stanley Kubrick, starring Malcolm McDowell, was released.


In 1988, it was "The Last Temptation of Christ", one of Martin Scorsese's most controversial films. Charles Crichton's comedy "Wanda's Tangles" Who Framed Roger Rabbit? by Robert Zemeckis and the talent of the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar is beginning to be recognized.


Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones saga has a great success, thanks also to the skill of the two protagonists, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.


In the 1990s, great directors like Spike Lee and Gus Van Sant appear.


The "Night" section features great films, in which the Festival welcomes Hollywood superstars such as Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Also recognized with the Golden Lion are Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro and Paolo Villaggio, the first comic actor to receive this recognition.


During this decade, rock events and concerts are presented in the square in front of the Casino and the first youth jury is established, which awards the prestigious Anica-Flash award to the best first feature film.

Several young talents and films released during this period: young Italians Mario Martone, Aurelio Grimaldi, Carlo Carlei and Paolo Virzì, and then New Zealander Peter Jackson (little known before directing the Lord of the Rings trilogy), Sally Potter, Neil Jordan, Julian Schnabel, author of Basquiat, a biographical film about the life of the American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.


As for cinema abroad, the young James Gray, Henry Selick (with the animated film "The strange world of Jack", produced by Tim Burton in 1995), the brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski, James Mangold, Guillermo del Toro stand out. and Bryan Singer.


In the 2000s, the Festival premiered great films such as "Do you want to be John Malkovich?" by Spike Jonze, with "Fight Club" by David Finche, "Boys Don't Cry" by Kimberly Peirce, "Julien the Fool" by Harmony Korine and "Memento" Christopher Nolan.


Stanley Kubrick's latest work, "Eyes Wide Closed," also premiered, attracting a large number of viewers, thanks to the presence of its protagonists: Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.


In 2017, the Festival opens the way to Virtual Reality, establishing a section and a contest with 18 works.


Venice Film Festival statistics

Below we present updated reports and statistics from the Venice Film Festival, taking into account the editions made from the year 1932 to 2023.

Which director has won the most Silver Lion Awards for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival?

The directors who have won the most times at the Venice Film Festival for Best Director between 1932 and 2023 are: Federico Fellini (2 awards), Andrei Konchalovsky (2 awards) and Shirin Neshat (2 awards).


Director Awards  
Federico Fellini 2
Andrei Konchalovsky 2
Shirin Neshat 2
Philippe Garrel 2
Kenji Mizoguchi 2
Kenneth Branagh 1
Martin Scorsese 1
Luca Guadagnino 1
Peter Jackson 1
Jane Campion 1


Which actor has won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival the most?


The actors who have won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival the most times between 1932 and 2023 are: Sean Penn (2 awards), Colin Firth (2 awards) and Javier Bardem (2 awards).


Actor Awards  
Sean Penn Sean Penn 2
Colin Firth Colin Firth 2
Javier Bardem Javier Bardem 2
Jean Gabin Jean Gabin 2
Jasmine Trinca Jasmine Trinca 2
Fredric March Fredric March 2
Toshirô Mifune Toshirô Mifune 2
Colin Farrell Colin Farrell 1
Peter Sarsgaard Peter Sarsgaard 1
Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence 1


Which actress has won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress the most at the Venice Film Festival?


The actresses that have won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival the most times between 1932 and 2023 are: Cate Blanchett (2 awards), Valeria Golino (2 awards) and Isabelle Huppert (2 awards).


Actress Awards  
Cate Blanchett Cate Blanchett 2
Valeria Golino Valeria Golino 2
Isabelle Huppert Isabelle Huppert 2
Shirley MacLaine Shirley MacLaine 2
Jasmine Trinca Jasmine Trinca 2
Katharine Hepburn Katharine Hepburn 2
Kseniya Rappoport Kseniya Rappoport 2
Jennifer Lawrence Jennifer Lawrence 1
Gong Li Gong Li 1
Tye Sheridan Tye Sheridan 1


Which countries have won the most Golden Lion awards for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival?


Country Awards  
France 13
Italy 11
United States 10
Taiwan 3
China 3
Ireland 3
Japan 3
West Germany (BRD) 3
Russia 2
United Kingdom 2