Photo: Venice Film Festival Through the Years – Celebrities at the historic Sala Grande where the main premieres and award ceremonies happen during the festival – At the iconic spot at Sala Grande with Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Pritan Ambroase, Scarlett Johansson, Timothee Chalamet, Cate Blanchett
Venice Film Festival and Cinema are Synonymous with Each Other
Cinema. I live for Cinema. My love, passion and respect for Cinema and Venice Film Festival has compelled me to write this letter. Long Live Cinema. Long Live Movie Theaters. Long Live Venice Film Festival. To me, there is Cinema, and the Venice Film Festival is the celebration of Cinema. Cinema and Venice Film Festival are synonymous with each other. Hence, my letter will speak on both, my passion for Cinema and my respect for the Venice Film Festival. They are incomplete without each other. The Venice Film Festival has kept Cinema at the high level of art it is today. It has curated, protected, and defended Cinema for the sake of us all – since 1932, making it the oldest film festival, Cinema celebrator, in the world. I appreciate the Venice Film Festival for being the beginning of such festivals all over the world. Venice is the precursor to Cannes. Without the Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, and the Academy Awards, etc, we would be drowning in sequels and a complete lack of originality. Films would be made purely for monetary profits without art or passion ever being considered as one of the primary motivations. Sure, finances are always going to be one of the guiding factors, but art and passion should be equally, if not more, important. For that reason and more, I thank the Venice Film Festival. Italy has long been the land that cultivates art, which includes Cinema and fashion. Venice Film Festival combines those two elements into a brilliant show of elegance, glamour and talent – it has rightfully achieved its status as the most glamorous film festival in the world. Knowing Venice’s past with luxury, glamour, and pageantry, this is hardly surprising. The magical city that has gloriously showcased the Carnavale di Venezia (Carnival of Venice) for centuries is definitely the right place for the momentous Venice Film Festival. Hollywood Insider CEO Pritan Ambroase Billionaire
My Passionate Affair with the Art of Cinema Began at the Age of 5
Again, for me to write about my love and respect for the Venice Film Festival, I must write about my passion for Cinema. My passionate affair with the art of Cinema began at the age of 5, well at least that is what I recollect from my earliest memories. I remember sharing with my parents that I wanted to live inside a movie. I was obsessed with cameras and camcorders – loved recording every experience and event. I wanted to look inside these things that always looked at us. I had this belief that people who lived inside a movie were far luckier than I was – for starters, they had a soundtrack to amplify their feelings. I thought that is where they lived – this better earth called Cinema. Black-and-white movies taught the child me about our world before it turned into color. That is exactly what I thought, that before technicolor, the world was fully in black and white. I wondered what it was like for my grandparents to live in a monochrome world and what the change must have felt like. That was the level of my reverence for Cinema – it was the holy grail for me. It taught me – LIFE!
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I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. For those two to three hours, from the moment the movie started, and the enigmatic studio intro began, the Columbia Tristar, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Disney, Paramount, etc, I was swept off my feet and transported into a world I far preferred – Cinema!
It was, is, and continues to be an affair that would last a lifetime. An affair to be remembered, lived, and loved. For some strange reason, I had begun watching Cinema in all languages from a very young age. I hated dubbed – as it took away the characters’ real voices – so I insisted on reading subtitles. Cinema taught me about our world, and the power of that one-inch barrier ended up erasing all man-made borders for me. That little Pritan could not have asked for a better teacher than the wise Cinema. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. With every new original movie, I was presented a whole new world. Over and over again. As I got older and life got a little shaky, I could always enter the black box known as a movie theater, or press play on the VHS, then DVD, and now streaming, and I would get transported away from my personal shaky world and back into my preferred world – Cinema. Cinema became my only constant in an ever-changing world. It taught me how to deal with personal issues that I had no answers for.
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Venice Film Festival is the Perfect Combination of Cinema, Glamour, and Love
And it is that same love for Cinema that turned me into a storyteller. Today, I feel lucky to call myself an artist with my chosen canvases being Cinema, media, TV and humanitarianism. And the artist in me enjoys being the CEO and editor-in-chief of Hollywood Insider, the media network that combines entertainment, education, and philanthropy. with good values, morals and ethics being the central guiding compass. Many believe that my entertainment career began with the first film I directed at 19, but that is not entirely correct as I was much younger when my journey as a storyteller began, I was 7 years old. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is being cuddled up in bed with my parents and sister early in the morning, and they would ask me to orally present one of my scripts to them. As the early sunrise flickered through our windows, I would be in the middle of narrating an exciting story of a film that I had written while away in boarding school. I was 7 years old then and I remember those early mornings clearly. I completed my first screenplay at 12. Such was my obsession with Cinema and filmmaking that my 18th birthday cake was in the shape of a film camera and clapperboard. I had inherited my dad and mom’s passion for Cinema. One of my family’s favorite pastimes was to go to movie theaters together.
From that 7-year-old storyteller whose audience happened to be his mom, dad and sister, to the Hollywood Insider media network and headlining many entertainment projects, it has been quite the journey. In 2017, when I received an official invitation to make appearances at the Venice Film Festival, I was overjoyed. For a man who lived, ate, and slept Cinema, this was the mothership calling. I only have the best things to say about the festival and the way it is so brilliantly organized. My collaboration with the Venice Film Festival began in 2017 and will continue on for life. To me, if I were, to sum up, my experience with the festival, then it would be the perfect concoction of Cinema, glamour, and love. I truly believe that Hollywood, Global Cinema, Fashion, and Arts can unite our world and make it a better place. Venice Film Festival is a prime example of that – it unites us from all corners of our world. Talent has no race, religion, class, sexuality, language, nationality, politics, etc.
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Despite the Global Political Unrest, Venice Film Festival Continues to Unite Us Through Cinema
The terrible political climate, unrest, and chaos going on around the world is intent on destroying bridges, building walls, and “other-ing” – the virus of division has infested many countries. Something like Venice Film Festival, it unites people from all around the world, be it Italy, UK, Japan, Ghana, Nepal, Brazil, Iran, France, USA, South Korea, Australia, etc. – as long as you have made quality Cinema, no matter where you are from, your talent is sacred, your Cinema is sacred, and you are provided a platform to showcase your Cinema to a global audience. The artists, filmmakers, producers are from all over the world and the people watching these movies without any prejudice are also from all over the world. Its only about your talent, and that’s what I love about the Venice Film Festival. You look around and there are all skin colors in equal numbers without the need for tokenism. It is refreshing to see so many countries/nationalities, races/ethnicities, skin colors, religions, politics, languages, sexuality, cultures, peacefully showcasing their Cinema at this festival. Venice Film Festival is the celebration of humanity, art, and unity. It is astounding to see how much greatness we can achieve if we work together as a united team globally.
Again, we are living in an era of mass consumerism which has directly caused a rise of sequels and prequels, and whatever else you can attach the suffix “quel” too. Venice, Cannes, Academy Awards, and many others are here to make sure art and originality still matter. Venice Film Festival has an added responsibility of being a gatekeeper for quality Cinema as it signals which films are going to be nominees and winners at the Academy Awards. Films that achieve accolades at Venice, most definitely go on to be noticed, nominated, and awarded at the Oscars. The Academy Awards may be the ultimate goal for many film artists, but the value of Venice Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, etc. continues to hold strong. Oscars is a day-long event, whereas Venice Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival are at least a week to ten days long. For that significant period of time you live, eat and sleep Cinema. You wake up and do the same all over again. And that experience cannot be challenged by the Oscars.
Art is the Signature of a Prosperous Civilization, Our Modern Society’s Signature is Cinema
I admire the value that Venice Film Festival places on global talent regardless of borders and languages. The democratic nature of showcasing Cinema at the festival is the key to its success. Oscars, more than often, prioritizes English-speaking Cinema and American/British Cinema, except the unicorns such as Bong-Joon Ho’s ‘Parasite’, Marion Cotillard, Roberto Benigni, etc. Additionally, the Venice Film Festival gives equal platform and respect to Cinema from all nations and languages – and that has to be respected. Venice is the epitome of talent being borderless. At the Venice Film Festival, all Cinema artisans of all nations and languages are sacred – and for that, I thank La Biennale di Venezia. Thank you to the Venice Film Festival for your jewels of diversity, variety, and democracy – art and Cinema is thriving in it and because of it.
Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. Art has always been the signature of prosperous civilizations. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. Every prosperous civilization has left behind art to signify their achievements. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. That dark hall, the movie theater has been witness to many of my integral life experiences such as family outings, friendly hangouts, romantic dates, intimate liaisons, emotional experiences, laugh riots, escapist adventures, etc.
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My love for Cinema should not be mistaken for a critique of streaming. Streaming is adaptive technology and should be championed. I have seen immense value in streaming and all its various platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, HBOMAX, etc. The positives brought by streaming is worthwhile. But streaming CANNOT and WILL NOT replace movie theaters. And that magical auditorium called MOVIE THEATER is the one and only true partner of Cinema. The experience of watching Cinema in a movie theater or as I like to call it Cinema House is unparalleled and can never be replaced. We, human beings, are social creatures, we believe in the power of community – watching a film in a dark movie theater with, complete strangers, a community of Cinema lovers has a beauty to it. It’s profound, the whole act of movie watching – for those 2 to 3 hours, we are collectively transported. We gasp together, we laugh together, we cry together, we feel together, we react together, we applaud Cinema together – a whole gamut of emotions being shared with complete strangers. And that collective viewership holds power. We experience the magic together. Streaming can never replace that. As humans, we tend to be scared of the dark, and will rarely step into a dark alleyway. But just in the name of Cinema, for the sake of Cinema, we go past all of our human instincts. We have all heard of the negative chatter regarding the end of movie theaters and Cinema houses – and I simply refuse to agree – it is blasphemous.
Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I continue to be highly impressed with the Venice Film Festival and it really reinforced my faith in humanity. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, art, fashion, sport, etc, and hopefully someday for politics. Please keep this going full speed.
Please keep Cinema going for always and forever.
Long Live Cinema. Long Live Movie Theaters. Long Live Venice Film Festival.
Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here. An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”
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