Venice Chief Alberto Barbera Marks Your Oscar Card, Talks Cannes, Netflix & Why Dario Argento Wasn’t At ‘Suspiria’

Deadline | 9/3/2018 | Andreas Wiseman
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In 2012 Venice chief Alberto Barbera began a campaign to grow Hollywood’s presence on the Lido. The festival had always been an A-list arthouse event, but Barbera went to U.S. studios and leading American producers to explain his project to make Venice a key awards season launch-pad. Regular visits to LA continue to bear fruit and he has hailed this year’s crop as a ‘once in a decade lineup’.

RelatedFemale Actors & Characters Steal The Show In Venice Even As Industry Laments Lack Of Women...

Venice - Edition - Controversy - Outcry - Exhibitors

Venice’s 75th edition hasn’t been without controversy, however, including a pre-festival outcry from Italian exhibitors over Netflix’s presence at the festival and widespread consternation over the dismal number of women directors in Competition: one out of 21.

We sat down with the festival director at Venice’s halfway point [Sunday morning] to discuss potential Oscar candidates, the lack of women directors, Netflix, Suspiria and rival A-list festival Cannes.

Festival - Perspective

How is the festival going from your perspective?

Very well. People seem happy. Most of the films have been very well-liked so I’m happy. Just a little tired this morning.

Midas - Touch - Venice - Picture - Oscar

You’ve got the Midas touch. Venice has hosted the Best Picture Oscar winner three of the last four years. Multi-Oscar winners The Shape Of Water and Three Billboards both started out here last year, while La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge and Arrival did the year before. Do you see a Best Picture winner here this year?

It’s always unpredictable. Nobody expected Birdman to get the prize, for example, but it happened. There are a number here this year which could be in the running. So far I think First Man and Roma are favorites among critics. These two could be Best Picture nominees.

Were - Response - Suspiria

Were you happy with the response to Suspiria? It was always going to polarize.

Of course it was. I told Luca that from the...
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