Mauro Gervasini Venice Festival Programme Advisor: Comedy is Welcome

It is a well-known fact that Comedy is a very tricky genre to work in. And it’s not just because of the recent political and cultural discourse. Recent Ofcom report has declared Comedy to be ‘at risk’ as far as BBC comedy scheduling goes. But there are of course, other avenues that comedy can pursue – VOD and big screens can’t seem to get enough of good comedy content.

And while we’ve seen a good line up of comedy at various Film Festivals – Parasites (Bong Joon Ho) The Square (Ruben Östlund), The Dead Don’t Die (Jim Jarmusch), The Meyerowitz Stories (Noah Baumbach) to name just a few – still, the genre one might say is underrepresented at festivals.

‘Is comedy worth as much as a drama in the selection?’, was the question we’ve put forward to Venice Film Festival’s Program Advisor Mauro Gervasini at an online masterclass organised by Film Centrum.

The mover and shaker of the filmmaking industry in Italy has confirmed what we all knew: “It’s more difficult to find good comedies than good drama to get films. Above all, in short films field.” Despite the limited ‘supply’, he confirmed, the Venice Film Festival “have no no problem with the comedy. And we had some very good comedy in main competition in the last ten years. We’ve had Roy Anderson films – two of them. We can call them dark comedies, but they are comedies nonetheless”.

Mr Gervasini continued, “Looking at the other festivals, the latest of Woody Allen film ‘Rifkin’s Festival’ opened San Sebastian Film Festival last year. Just to say that it’s a relevant position to opening festival.’

Same seems to go for out of competition section. “[Venice Film Festival] have also the ‘Out of Competition’ section. So there is a section without jury and usually films of greatest directors, but maybe not their best films. It’s a good place for comedies also.”

With message so inspiring and the DAFTAS filmmakers so adept, we are looking forward to see our alumni presenting their feature comedy films at some of the top Film Festivals in coming years.

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