BFI Patrons at Venice International Film Festival

Glamourous world premieres, sensational dining and opulent hotels were the highlights of the BFI Patrons trip to beautiful Venice.

BFI Patrons walked the red carpet at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony

BFI Patrons walked the red carpet at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony

BFI Patrons allow our charity to champion the past, present and future of the moving image, and their generosity is instrumental to everything we do. In return, we are delighted to offer them opportunities to deepen their knowledge and experience of film culture both at BFI venues and around the world, through our annual trips to international film festivals.

In early September 2019, we took a group of 26 Patrons to the 76th edition of the fabulous Venice International Film Festival, one of the most glamorous fixtures on the cinema calendar and the oldest film festival in the world. Our itinerary included accommodation at the sensational Hotel Danieli, a number of red carpet film premieres, accreditation to access day-time screenings, an invitation to the Closing Night Awards Ceremony and after-party and some spectacular dinners showcasing the very best of Venetian cuisine. Our trip also coincided with the Venice Art Biennale, the world-leading contemporary art exhibition, and we were thrilled to take guests on a private tour around the prestigious pavilions.

Upon arrival we checked in at Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice. Hotel Danieli is one of the world’s most celebrated hotels; a 14th century Venetian palazzo steeped in heritage and positioned on the iconic Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront, overlooking St. Mark’s Basin. On the first evening, following the World Premiere of Gloria Mundi (directed by Robert Guédiguian and competing for the festival’s prestigious Gold Lion Award), we enjoyed a late supper at the hotel’s Restaurant, Terazza Danieli, savouring breath-taking views across the lagoon.

BFI Patrons stayed at Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

BFI Patrons stayed at Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice

The following days included two more World Premieres: La mafia non è più quella di una volta (Dir Franco Maresco, which went on to win the festival’s prestigious Special Jury Prize); and Waiting for the Barbarians (Dir Ciro Guerra), with Johnny Depp and Mark Rylance in attendance. We also enjoyed lunch with wine pairing at the stunning, Michelin-starred Ristorante Quadri, and the trip culminated in us walking the red carpet for the final time at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony with an after-party on the beach at the Hotel Excelsior. Death in Venice fans, eat your heart out!

While sad to return, we were comforted by the fact that our own BFI London Film Festival is just around the corner. Our Patrons enjoy the greatest access, from their very own BFI Patrons’ Gala (this year we are delighted to present the European Premiere of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Dir Marielle Heller) to priority access and a personalised booking service.

Here’s whats ome of the BFI Patrons who went on the trip had to say:

“Attending the Venice Film Festival as a BFI Patron was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was a unique way to meet and get to know fellow patrons, enjoy a variety of international films and live life like a movie star by walking the red carpet, staying in the finest hotel in town and eating at the best restaurants. The BFI team made sure our every need was catered for with a wonderful attention to detail and organisation. Any Patron who has the opportunity to take part in a trip like this should seize it!” Paul Ashurst

“What a wonderful time and a lifetime experience! The trip was organized so beautifully: the incredible access to films, the tour through the Biennale and of course, staying at Hotel Danieli.” Lynn Lewis

“Everyone had a wonderful time at the Patrons’ visit to Venice for the Film Festival’s closing weekend. I met new members of the BFI family, and reunited with others. The premieres were great, the food amazing and Venice itself is just a beautiful city! A big thanks to the BFI team for making the weekend a lot of fun!” Gareth Hughes

For more information on how you can enjoy these fabulous activities, while playing an instrumental role in securing our work, please visit our BFI Patrons page.

For further information on how you too can enjoy the most luxurious accommodation in Venice, please visit


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