World premiere screenings of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D

The world premiere screenings of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D as well as an exclusive look at The Princess and the Frog, together with an extensive Disney•Pixar Animation Master Class are among the initiatives planned by the 66th Venice International Film Festival to celebrate the historical lifetime award to John Lasseter and the Disney•Pixar directors, on Sunday September 6th and Monday 7th.

For the first time in the history of the Venice Film Festival, the award will honor not only the achievement of a single filmmaker but also the contribution of the directors of a visionary studio

The 66th Venice International Film Festival will run from 2 – 12 September 2009, directed by Marco Müller and organized by the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta

John Lasseter will be presented with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement on Sunday September 6th 2009, at 5 pm, during a special ceremony to be held in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at Venice Lido, in the presence of Pixar directors Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich

Commenting on the announcement, Lasseter said: “All of us at Pixar are extremely grateful and honored to be recognized by the Venice International Film Festival in such a special way. This is a great time for Pixar Animation Studios as we celebrate the release of our tenth feature-length film, Up, and the Premieres of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in Disney Digital 3D™. I am so proud of the directing teams we have at both Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, and their ability to keep pushing the boundaries of the medium while continuing to tell fresh and original stories and create characters that are meaningful to them and memorable to moviegoers all over the world

Andrew Stanton, the director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, said, “Pixar is unlike any other Studio, and we’re enormously proud of the ten films we’ve made since the debut of Toy Story in 1995. We are constantly searching for fresh and exciting stories to tell, and new and exciting ways to entertain audiences. We thank the Festival committee for this great honor

Peter Docter, the director of Up and Monsters, Inc. added, “John Lasseter and Ed Catmull have created an ideal environment for directors at Pixar, and a Studio where creativity is nurtured and story ideas are given the time they need to be properly explored and developed. Working on Up has been a fantastic experience. Its truly rewarding to see critics and moviegoers responding in such a favorable way to our wild and emotional adventure. I’m looking forward to being in Venice with my friends and colleagues, and celebrating Pixar’s achievements

Brad Bird said, “It’s a rare and wonderful thing to work at a company run by genuinely creative storytellers, and to have that company honored by the Venice Film Festival is doubly satisfying. Traveling to Italy with longtime friends like John Lasseter to discuss film, eat Italian food, and celebrate Pixar, the best creative environment I’ve ever worked in – what can I say? Life can be blissful

Lee Unkrich, director of the upcoming Toy Story 3 feature, added, “We all feel so lucky to be directing movies at Pixar. It’s the best job in the world. Being recognized by the Festival committee as part of Pixar’s directing team is the icing on the cake. We’re very honored to be given this recognition.”

World premiere of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 in 3D

(Toy Story: Sunday September 6th, Sala Grande, 2:45 p.m., followed by the award ceremony and by Toy Story 2).  Directed by John Lasseter, Toy Story (1995) was the world’s first computer animated feature, as well as the first full-length production from Pixar Studios, and was followed by a much loved sequel, Toy Story 2, in 1999, also helmed by Lasseter. Now, taking advantage of the latest advances in digital 3D technology to move even futher into “infinity and beyond,” the two films have been meticulously re-rendered in 3D from the original digital files. Both films will be released in the United States in a special “double feature” 3D presentation, on October 2nd

Exclusive world premiere presentation of advance footage from The Princess and the Frog (Sunday September 6th, Sala Grande, during the award ceremony), Disney’s much anticipated return to traditional hand-painted animation, and other surprises.

Directed by Ron Clemens and John Musker, this new interpretation of the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale is set in the New Orleans of the 1920s. It will be released in November 2009.

The Disney•Pixar career tribute will also include retrospective screenings of Andrew Stanton’s Finding Nemo, Brad Bird’s The Incredibles as well as the Italian premiere of Pete Docter’s Up.

Disney•Pixar Animation Master Class
On Monday, September 7th, in the Sala Perla, John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich will also hold a Disney•Pixar Animation Master Class, during which the filmmakers will discuss the development of Pixar’s pioneering animation process as illustrated through the evolution of the studio’s films. The filmmakers will also convene for a Panel Discussion and question and answer session for the special benefit of aspiring animators, film students, and industry professionals, to talk about their personal careers, their influences and their individual visions of the present and future of animated cinema

Source: la Biennale di Venezia