Let’s get the facts straight: The Venice International Film Festival is actually the oldest film festival in history, undoubtedly marking the start of awards season. In fact, eight of the past eleven “Best Director” Academy Award recipients have previously debuted their films at the Venice Film Festival. It’s no wonder that Venice the place to be this time around, as it’s the first major global event in the entertainment industry to come after the long summer break. For an inside look at the inner magic of the star-studded festival, V‘s host this year was luxury maison Cartier, one of the official partners of the festival and our frequent collaborator. 

Discover a full diary recap of the festival, below!

For a third year in the row, the Venetian gothic palazzo Gritti, located on the Grand Canal, is the main social hub of the festival. Famous Gritti is the official Cartier headquarters where numerous brunches, lunches, dinners and after parties are hosted daily. This should be no surprise as throughout its rich history Gritti was hotel of choice for Mr. Hemingway, Mr. Churchill, Mr. De Gaulle, Princess Grace of Monaco and many, many others. 
Cartier bellboys in their signature red uniforms are literally everywhere in Venice. You will see them from morning screenings to evening after parties. They are especially crucial if one is wearing high heels as help is very much needed when entering or leaving the boat. Imagine them as Venetian version of beach lifeguards.
This little deck at Hotel Excelsior is possibly the most photographed one in history. It’s the main entry point for the Lido where all the premiers and important events are being held. The number of movie legends that posed to photographers from here is astonishing. No matter if you are famous or not; this deck will always welcome you to the festival. There is no such thing as a “backdoor” entrance in Venice. 
Until recently I had no idea who strictly coordinated red carpets are! Everyone has their own rigorous time frame that has to be respected. You will be escorted at the start line, gently rushed and then guided off by an army of experienced handlers. Basically you will have no idea what just happened. It’s that kind of cinema magic.
One of the highlights of Venice is “Glory to the Filmmaker” award and this year it went to iconic Wes Anderson. American filmmaker is one of the most popular in the fashion industry because his movies are so often referenced both off and on the runway! Don’t forget that this is the genius behind The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
If you are an ornithophobe, Venice is probably a bad idea. Both pigeons and seagulls literally do whatever they want in Venice restaurants and celebrated hotels. The only thing that can push the waiter over the edge is not a demanding customer but a stubborn pigeon. Many waiters have tiny water gun toys in pockets to fight their nemesis but very often even that is not enough. 
Essence of the Italian soul is always food! So don’t be surprised that next to the movies; main theme of the Venice Film Festival is always food! Good movie premier is equally important as a good lunch! All time favorite spot is Harry’s Bar as a personal favorite of Ernest Hemingway and birthplace of Bellini cocktail!
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