The Venice Film Festival may be celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, but there’s a separate, smaller milestone contained within it: the tenth birthday of the independent Venice Days sidebar. Founded in 2004 by an association of Italian filmmakers to showcase offbeat independent work outside the main festival selection, Venice Days is effectively the festival’s equivalent of the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, and while it doesn’t get as much publicity, a number of significant films have premiered there over the past decade.
To mark the occasion, and to remind festival-watchers of its programme highlights, Venice Days organizers are holding an online poll, inviting film buffs to select their Film of the Decade from a selection of 50 standout films from the sidebar’s first nine years. Those interested can vote via Facebook: from the 10 titles with the most “likes,” a final winner will be elected and rewarded at the festival.
Among the films voters can choose from is one of the year’s most acclaimed releases so far, Sarah Polley’s playful, deeply personal docu-memoir “Stories We Tell,” as well as a 2010 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Denis Villeneuve’s politically-minded family melodrama “Incendies.”
Other notable options include Ramin Bahrani’s “Man Push Cart” (2005), Jean-Marc Vallee’s “C.R.A.Z.Y.” (2005), Hubert Sauper’s Oscar-nominated documentary “Darwin’s Nightmare” (2004), Shane Meadows’s “Dead Man’s Shoes” (2004) and Andrea Segre’s “Shun Li and the Poet” (2011). You can check out the full list of 50 titles here. Voting closes on August 20, if you feel like playing catch-up.
The Venice Film Festival runs from August 28 to September 7, with the full lineup likely to land next week.