80th Venice Film Festival Opens Amid Hollywood Strikes
The world's oldest and most prestigious film festival, the Biennale, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. However, its opening was less glamorous than usual due to ongoing strikes by Hollywood actors and writers. As a result, there were noticeably fewer familiar American faces on the red carpet this time, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.
Nevertheless, European productions will take centre stage, as reported by DW. T-shirts replaced the sparkle of the red carpets, and Hollywood stars steered clear of the event as they supported the writers' strike, according to The Guardian.
The Biennale festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly gathers top Oscar contenders. Eight out of the last eleven winners of the Best Director category at the Oscars had films that debuted at the Venice Film Festival.
It is safe to say that the world's oldest film festival has lost some of its shine this year due to the ongoing strike by actors and writers, which has brought Hollywood to a standstill, preventing stars from promoting their films, including on the red carpets and in interviews.
However, a few participants from this year's most popular films, such as Michael Mann's 'Ferrari' starring Adam Driver and Penelope Cruz in leading roles, and Luke Besson's 'Dogman' with Caleb Landry Jones, received a temporary break from the SAG-AFTRA union strike to engage in the promotion and advertising of their films at the festival.
It is expected that Adam Driver, who plays the lead role in Michael Mann's 'Ferrari,' will fly in and participate after the film received an exception for being shot outside the major Hollywood studio system. He was seen at the picket line and reportedly plans to wear a union T-shirt under his tuxedo.
During the festival's opening press conference, members of the jury, including directors Damien Chazelle, Martin McDonagh, and Laura Poitras, were also seen wearing bold T-shirts with the message: 'Writers Guild is on Strike!'
The most optimistic way to assess the consequences of the strikes is to hope that the absence of content from Hollywood studios creates space for independent and foreign films to fill the void. However, the core U.S. film industry may suffer irreparable damage.