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Alberto Barbera Extends Contract as Venice Film Festival Director Through 2026

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Alberto Barbera has extended his contract with the Venice International Film Festival and will remain on as artistic director on the Lido through 2026.

The board of directors of La Biennale di Venezia, the umbrella organization that runs the Venice festival, approved the two-year contract extension, unveiling the decision on Friday.

In a statement, the board said in his time as festival head, Barbera had been successful in “discovering and launching new talents on the international stage, in spreading and advancing the culture of cinema, and in expanding audiences” at the world’s oldest film festival.

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“I felt an immediate understanding with Alberto Barbera and I have great respect for the expertise, professionalism, and passion he has demonstrated in the years that he has directed the Venice Film Festival, which have enhanced the prestige of the oldest film festival in the world. I am extremely pleased that La Biennale will continue down this path with him,” said La Biennale president Pietrangelo Buttafuoco.

Barbera has been artistic director in Venice since 2012 and held the position from 1998 to 2001. In his most recent tenure, he has helped revive the festival’s global standing, by bringing in high-profile awards-worthy studio productions — Joker, Dune, Poor Things — and by embracing Netflix, welcoming features such as Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and Bradley Cooper’s Maestro to festival competition, in contrast to Cannes, where the streaming giant remains persona non grata.

Barbera started as a film critic and journalist and chaired the A.I.A.C.E., the Italian association of friends of arthouse cinema, from 1977 to 1989. He served as director of the Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani (now the Torino Film Festival), from 1989 to 1998 and from 2002 to 2006 was co-director of RING! Festival della Critica in Alessandria. In 2002 he became a consultant for the National Museum of Cinema in Turin and served as its director from 2004 to 2016.

French actress Isabelle Huppert (Michael Haneke’s Elle, The Piano Teacher, La Cérémonie) will serve as the president of the international jury of the competition at the 81st Venice International Film Festival. Australian director Peter Weir (Dead Poets Society, The Truman Show) will be honored this year with Venice’s lifetime achievvement award.

The 2024 Venice film festival runs Aug. 28-Sept. 7.

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