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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Venice Days 1 &2

I arrived in Venice yesterday for the CICAE Arthouse Cinema Training and was reunited with some of my colleagues from last year: Francesco, Maureen, Julie, Cathleen, Silvia and Sylvie. We spent most of the day organising things for the trainees, who all start arriving tomorrow: Mostra accreditation, and less glamourous things like their meal tickets. When collecting the accreditation earlier we took a tour behind the scenes of the industry offices in the Pallazzo, and even though we are 48 hours away from opening night, it feels like a war zone.

Last night while walking on the Bridge of Sighs, I was telling Sylvie all about the wonderful CINEVILLE network in Amsterdam, and I suddenly heard my name being called out: "Jon?" - it was Niels Bueller, the director of the Dutch network, who is in town for the festival, and who'd overheard the name of his Amsterdam scheme. Tomorrow Niels and 50 other arthouse cinema managers from all over Europe (and South Africa and Lebannon) will be joining us for a welcoming party called "One Nation, One Bottle" where, irresponsibly in my opinion (as a non drinker) we encourage each participant to bring a bottle of liquor from their country. As a multinational myself, I chose to represent England best with a bottle of Pimms....we'll see how it goes down.

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