We have been trying to work so closely with such an institution as the Academy for a long time. Over the last ten years, a connection has been growing between the two, with many films beginning their journey at Venice to later being awarded an Oscar. Last year, a board member followed the several titles screened here at Venice and met me to tell me how much they appreciated the Festival – the line-up, the panels… We then decided to make this relationship official. The Academy soon showed interest in understanding how the VFF works internally and is now presenting their new course of action here at the Festival. Not much about the individual enterprises, but their guidelines for the future. For us, this is obviously an important acknowledgement and the legitimization of a role and a prestige that we earned through the hard work of all involved. This is an extraordinary chance to see our effort recognized and valued by the greatest institution of American cinema.
I believe our way to see and work in the most independent possible way with cinema will be more and more appreciated over time and space. Although we work very closely with producers and distributors, we never took the easy way out as a selection committee. I think it all paid out in terms of reputation in the end. Whether the film in question is submitted to us, or whether it is us who ask for a preview, we decide if it will make it into the shortlist or not. We said no to primary productions. We are very clear in our approach and work hard to maintain the Venice Film Festival’s reputation, which is the only way that allows us to keep our head high and not bow to pressure.