Teaser: The Venice Film Festival is not only the oldest but also one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. As in years past, ARRI was present and on the island of Lido for the 75th Biennale Cinema as well as behind the scenes of most of the festival’s top prize-winning films.
The 75th Venice Film Festival awards ceremony took place on September 8; an event watched by many as it is generally a good indicator of Oscar success the following spring. In 2018, 16 out of the 21 films nominated for the Venice Film Festival’s top category, Venezia 74, were filmed with ARRI cameras; 11 with ARRI digital cameras and 5 with ARRI 35mm film cameras.
The top prize at Venice, the Golden Lion, went to Alfonso Cuarón for his feature film ROMA. Curaón was the film’s director and cinematographer and chose to capture this piece with ALEXA 65 and Prime 65 lenses, both available exclusively from ARRI Rental. ROMA will be distributed later this year by Netflix. The Silver Lion – Grand Jury Prize went to director Yorgos Lanthimos for his film THE FAVOURITE; a feature shot by cinematographer Robbie Ryan BSC, ISC on ARRICAM. French director’s Jacques Audiard was awarded with the Silver Lion – Best Director prize for his work on THE SISTERS BROTHERS. This was Audiard’s first film shot on ALEXA SXT. For this same film, DP Benoit Debie SBC chose ALEXA Mini as the second camera.
The Award for Best Screenplay went to Ethan Coen and Joel Cohen for their work on THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS. This picture, produced by Netflix, was the Cohen Brother’s first foray into digital capture and was expertly shot by Bruno Delbonnel AFC, ASC with the ARRI ALEXA. Another standout award in the main competition, the Special Jury Prize, went to Jennifer Kent for her film THE NIGHTINGALE. DP Radek Ladczuk PSC shot the film with the ARRI ALEXA XT and the ALEXA Mini.
Again in Venice, ARRI took special interest and was particularly involved in a number of films that premiered during this year’s event. In the collateral prize section of the festival WERK OHNE AUTOR (NEVER LOOK AWAY) by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck was awarded the Leoncino d’Oro, a prize given by a jury of young students. WERK OHNE AUTOR (NEVER LOOK AWAY) was shot with ALEXA SXT cameras, Master Prime lenses, lighting, and grip equipment from ARRI Rental, while ARRI Media was responsible for image and sound postproduction. ARRI also supported the project as a sponsor. Also, in the main competition, the film AQUARELA was shot with equipment provided by ARRI Rental while image and sound was carried out by ARRI Media. Brady Corbet’s film VOX LUX was shot by DP Lol Crawley BSC on an ARRICAM supplied by ARRI Rental. SULLA MIA PELLE by Alessio Cremonini, an Italian Netflix funded project shot on ALEXA by Matteo Cocco in Super 16 mode, won various collateral prizes at the festival. This film also enjoyed great attention in Italy because it is based on a true story behind one of the most controversial Italian court cases in recent history.
For decades ARRI has fostered relationships with industry professionals from around the world. During the festival, ARRI also took the opportunity to talk with a number of directors and cinematographers about their current projects. In the main competition, WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE, was supported by ARRI’s International Support Program and serviced by ARRI Rental and postproduced by ARRI Media. This film was awarded the Segnalazione Cinema for UNICEF at the festival. Director Roberto Minervini, spoke to ARRI about his experiences on the film. “I struggled for years to find the right medium…we finally found this partnership with ARRI and its ISP program. Diego Romero (the DP) recommended that we test the AMIRA; he was sure it would serve the purpose of our film.” He continued, “the AMIRA gave us quality, portability, durability, and performance in low light conditions.”
Director of photography on WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THE WORLD’S ON FIRE, Diego Romero, commented, “Using the ARRI AMIRA for this movie was one the best decision I ever took in my career as cinematographer. I knew that there were no film negatives in the market right now capable of delivering the results that I achieved with the AMIRA.” Romero continued, “Since we were shooting handheld, the AMIRA allowed us to shoot long takes. The lightness of the camera, its ergonomics (it adjusts incredibly well to the shoulder), the integrated NDs (allowing us to work very fast), and the quality of the sensor are unique elements that a filmmaker cannot find in any other camera nowadays.”
DP Giovanni Macedonio, a student at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, spoke candidly about his short film STORIA TRISTE DI UN PUGILE SCEMO (THE LOONY BOXER), an entry in the I Love GAI section of the competition. “I think it’s essential students use the actual tools that are used in the industry in order to learn and experiment in real life situations.” He continued, This film was a school project with a very low budget, the whole film was shot with available light and practicals, I would not have been able to do this film this way with this type of lighting without the ALEXA.”