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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Adventures in the Biennale College at Venice

Arrived at Venice

The Biennale College is a new initiative started last year by the Venice Film Festival to help support new directors around the world who are trying to do their first or second feature film.

This year, I was one of the twelve directors selected by the Biennale College to develop my feature film project.

After four years since my last trip at the Venice Film Festival, I was able to return to Venice again. With Ming Jin as my producer. (Biennale College invites director-producer teams)

I left for Venice on October 3. And today, Oct 15, I am preparing to return to Malaysia.

Here are a series of photos and Facebook posts of mine that chronicled the journey.

How's the view up there, Winged Lion of St Mark?

My first night in Venice.

San Servalo at twilight. Realizing I had the wrong adaptor, I rushed out to San Marco to do some shopping. As I waited for the boat to San Marco, I saw this:

It was the high water season in Venice, while walking past Piazza San Marco, people were preparing for the flooding that would come at night by putting up planks and wooden platforms. I never saw the flooding though :(

It is high water season in Venice. When I was walking past Piazza San Marco, people were preparing for the flooding that would come at night. Wish I had seen the flooding though!

View from the Ponte dell"Accademia bridge.

View from the Ponte dell"Accademia bridge in Venice. Beautiful.

Enjoying cichetti by the canal.

Enjoying the delicious cichetti of Venice by the canal. An indescribable experience.

Another view I had while crossing one of the canals in Venice. It's as if anywhere I look, the scenery is beautiful.

The experience was very... Venetian?

But I wasn't there for vacation. Most of the time I was on the island of San Servolo, doing the workshops.

One of them, Paul Tyler's lego workshop, was particularly interesting!

For an hour and a half, we would map out the story of the film with lego pieces, going through each character's backgrounds and motivations, their relationships, the plot points, etc etc. The discussions are in-depth and insane. I was able to unlock some of the issues that I had with my story.

And at the end of the session, Paul would do a voice-recording that summarizes the entire film based on the lego blocks on the table, not forgetting any single bit at all.

Meanwhile, Venice, which was initially rainy in the first few days that I was there... became sunnier.

More of Venice while I was on a waterbus

I was finally able to see the sunset, its shift from evening to night. It was beautiful.

Magic hour in San Servolo Island, Venice.

A speedboat ride through Venice during the sunset is probably pretty epic.

Restaurant Aciugheta, Venice, where I just had my dinner.

Walked past Piazza San Marco and I heard Johann Strauss' "Roses from the South", wish I could stop or sit there to watch the performance. But I was in a hurry. As always.