In the wake of the devastating 6.2-magnitude earthquake that has left at least 250 dead in central Italy, the opening night gala dinner and reception for this year’s Venice Film Festival has been cancelled.
The event was to take place next Wednesday, and the festival said in a statement today: “La Biennale di Venezia shares in the bereavement, expresses its deepest sorrow for the victims, and its utmost solidarity and support to the communities struck by the earthquake.”
Rescue teams have been working around the clock to search for survivors in towns covered by rubble, but France Info radio has reported the death toll could rise to beyond 300.
The world premiere of Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone was the opening night film and the screening is still scheduled to take place, the post-screening gala however has been nixed. The Venice Film Festival runs from August 31st to September 10th.
In festival news of a happier tone, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama “Arrival” will be the opening-night film at the genre centric Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas on September 22nd.
Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner star in the film which will premiere at the Venice Film Festival then head to Toronto. It is currently set for a November 11th wise release. Fantastic Fest this year, which also boasts the U.S. premiere of Park Chan-wook ‘s “The Handmaiden”, runs September 22nd-29th.