The curtain has opened on the 77th Venice Film Festival under tight anti-COVID protocols.
Despite coronavirus cases on the rise in Italy and neighboring European countries, the world's oldest film festival opened on Wednesday evening with strict safety measures imposed by Venice organizers to try to safely host the first major coronavirus-era physical fest when others canceled or went online.
"We know the festival of Venice will be a sort of test for everybody. We worked a lot on strict plans of safety measures to ensure that everybody who attended the festival would be safe until the end,” said festival director Alberto Barbera.
Australian actress and jury president of the Venice fest Cate Blanchett also hailed the festival’s organizers to open it amid coronavirus in a show of solidarity for filmmakers.
A total of 18 films in the main competition are vying for the festival's top prize, the prestigious Golden Lion. Last year, it was won by ‘Joker’.
The 77th annual Venice International Film Festival is currently being held from 2 to 12 September 2020.