The essay aims to explore the conditions under which the Venice Film Festival was held in 2020. This is a crucial historic moment in which the international festival system sees some events converted into a completely online version, others postponed to a later date, and still others articulated in a hybrid way, depending on the evolution of the pandemic in progress. Among these emergency solutions, discussed in the impalpable digital body of online culture, what are the choices adopted by the Venice Film Festival? While the exhibition reduces the glamorous aspects to reflect on the ways of organising and showing oneself, of protecting the spectators and giving them an idea of normality, the emphasis on the “ways of doing” of this edition is the subject of unprecedented media attention. By recording the tremors of contemporary history like a seismograph, the Venice Film Festival becomes a testing ground both for the Italian “country system”, in the idea of more general rebirths, and for the most innovative trends in film curatorship, confirming its role as a privileged witness of changes, adaptations and reflections in institutional policies linked to culture and its diffusion.
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