Venice Film Festival 2017

I love the Venice Film Festival ... have been going for years. It is an unpretentious, welcoming and drippingly, unabashedly glamorous event, too long side-lined as a frivolous venue where nothing gets done. I may be partial, as Venice is a second home to me and I get there as often as I can to refuel my soul and re-ignite my writing inspiration. But as I sit back in my favourite spot in the Campo San Stefano, with Alexandre topping up my chilled Soave, I watch each year as the festival grows in gravitas- and the George Clooneys and Elton Johns of the world  "discover" the place and put it back on the map. As a testament to my devotion to the festival, I brave Venice in the sweltering, limpid heat of August and swim through the waves of tourists as they funnel through the rabbit warren of calli and ponti ...

Many don't know that Venice was the first film festival- and Cannes was only established as a political reaction to the very right-wing, Mussolini-dictated Venice. But these shameful shackles have long fallen fallow and the festival has swung to the other end of the political pendulum and is a place where every creative voice can be heard, whether it whispers or screams. 

For me, Cannes is too corporate and American, and Toronto is trying too hard (and is too cold), whilst Venice is effortlessly perfect.... where else can you have a meeting in the morning, lunch at the Monaco on the Grand Canal, a swim on the Lido in the afternoon, a film after that and then an endless stream of pre-pre, pre- and post parties, dressed in gauze and silk and jewels and dance in a medieval palazzo into the morning? For these are the places that provide the unforgettable circumstances and backdrops to where relationships are formed and business is done.... la dolce vita way .... the best way.