Recent editions: 2000-2011
In 2009 the Festival awarded John Lasseter and the Disney•Pixar directors the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The retrospective on Italian cinema continued with These Phantoms: Italian Cinema found again (1946-1975), curated by Sergio Toffetti. Director Marco Müller added the Controcampo Italiano section to the official selection, the new section being intended towards focusing on trends of Italian contemporary cinema. The Venezia 66 international jury, chaired by Ang Lee, awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film to Lebanon by Samuel Maoz. Among the stars who attended the Festival were Colin Firth, Tom Ford, Julianne Moore, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Giuseppe Tornatore, Sergio Castellitto, Eva Mendes, Nicolas Cage, Werner Herzog, Michael Moore, Riccardo Scamarcio, Diane Kruger, Isabelle Huppert, Viggo Mortensen, Jacques Rivette, and Jane Birkin.
In 2010, the Festival opened with Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan; the opening screening was attended by President Giorgio Napolitano. Ten years after the death of Vittorio Gassman, the Festival honoured one of the most extraordinary personalities of Italian cinema with the screening of Vittorio racconta Gassman, una vita da Mattatore, a documentary based on footage of the actor speaking about his career. The jury of the 67th Venice Film Festival awarded the Golden Lion for Best Film in Competition to Somewhere, directed by Sofia Coppola. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement went to legendary Hong Kong movie director John Woo. Among the stars appearing on the red carpet were Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Jessica Alba, Elle Fanning, Stephen Dorff, Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Vincent Gallo, Willem Dafoe, Catherine Deneuve, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, John Turturro, Monte Hellman, Takashi Miike, Marco Bellocchio, Alessandro Gassman, and Kim Rossi Stuart. The 2010 edition saw the Orizzonti section thrown open to a vast range of productions. Even more so than in previous years, Orizzonti became the reference section for the more innovative and experimental filmmakers. The retrospective section was dedicated to Italian comedies and was titled La situazione comica (1937-1988).
In 2011, through an agreement with the City of Venice a radical renovation restored the historic Sala Grande (1937) to its original style. The whole walkway leading from the Hotel Excelsior to the Casino Palace was refurbished. The Lion's Bar was completely redeveloped focusing on quality design also for the adjacent areas. The festival opened with the American film The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney. Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio, among the most influential directors in the Italian filmmaking industry and one of the undisputed masters of contemporary cinema, was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. American actor and film director Al Pacino was presented with the 2011 Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Film-maker Award. Out of Competition, Al Pacino also presented the world premiere of his film Wilde Salome. The Persol 3D award went to the Zapruder Filmmakers Group, which, for many years, had been exploring the possibilities of stereoscopic film for the production of films and installations that borrow the techniques of 3-D cinema. The L’Oréal Paris cinema award went to Nicole Grimaudo.
Jury members Eija-Liisa Ahtila, David Byrne, Todd Haynes, Mario Martone, Alba Rohrwacher, André Téchiné, and jury president Darren Aronofsky awarded the Golden Lion to Faust by Russian director Aleksander Sokurov. Among the stars appearing on the Lido red carpet in 2011, in addition to George Clooney and Al Pacino, were Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Madonna, Abbie Cornish, Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Monica Bellucci, Louis Garrel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, James Franco, Jessica Chastain, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Willem Dafoe, Emile Hirsch, David Cronenberg, Steven Soderbergh, Abel Ferrara, Johnnie To, and William Friedkin. The retrospective section was titled Orizzonti 1961-1978 and was dedicated to Italian avant-garde films of the 1960s-70s.