Variety spoke exclusively to Venice Artistic Director Alberto Barbera about how he’s been navigating the crisis, which has now led him to reduce the number of movies but keep the official selection structure intact. Roughly 55 titles will be world-premiering on the Lido either in competition, in the edgier Horizons section, or out of competition. Barbera is confident that most of the films will come with talent in tow. And, in an expected twist, says many of them are directed by women. Excerpts from the conversation.
How tough was it to decide to hold a physical festival?
There was lots of uncertainty at all levels. Nobody knew how the pandemic would evolve,