In its first two days, the Venice Festival has managed to avoid any cases, despite the throngs of people in attendance. That’s good going. There’s a long way to go, of course.
But so far, the protocols are holding up well. All guests must have proof of vaccination and are required to wear masks in festival venues. Those entering Italy from abroad must also prove a recent negative Covid test on arrival.
The first couple of days have seen some longer-than-normal queues due to security checks but there were fewer reports this morning of delayed screenings or holdups. The security has been rigorous, but that is ultimately in everyone’s best interests. If journalists need to get to screenings a little earlier than usual, so be it. It’s a small price to pay for being able to attend such a spectacular festival.
If it hadn’t already, the attention of most press and guests has firmly shifted from Covid protocols to the films on show. In its first couple of days journalists have been able to feast on anticipated new films from masters including Paolo Sorrentino, Jane Campion, Pedro Almodovar, Denis Villeneuve and Pablo Larrain.
This morning the buzz at the festival went up yet another notch, with the first press screenings for Villeneuve’s Dune reboot. I even spotted an A-list director in the queue for the 8.15AM screening. That is rare and a sign of the intrigue around the project.