EXCLUSIVE: Zeitgeist Films, in association with Kino Lorber, has acquired North American rights to filmmaker and art critic Amei Wallach’s Taking Venice, a doc that explores the rumored rigging of the 1964 Venice Biennale.
Taking Venice will make its North American premiere at DOC NYC on November 10, followed by a theatrical release from Zeitgeist in spring 2024 alongside an educational, home video, and digital release on all major platforms by Kino Lorber.
More from Deadline
With expert interviews and extensive archival footage, Taking Venice uncovers the true story behind rumors that the U.S. government and a team of high-placed insiders rigged the 1964 Venice Biennale so their chosen artist, Robert Rauschenberg, could win the grand prize.
Full Synopsis reads: At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. State Department was determined to fight communism with culture, setting its sights on the 1964 Venice Biennale. They engaged the help of high-profile art insiders, including art dealers Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend and curator Alan Solomon, to ensure that a young Robert Rauschenberg, whose work was yet to be taken seriously, would become the first American to win the grand prize.
More than 800,000 people attended the most recent Biennale in 2022, the largest crowds in its history. The 2024 Biennale will mark the sixtieth anniversary of the historic year that Rauschenberg became the first American to win the Biennale’s Grand Prize, the International Prize in Painting.
The deal for Taking Venice was negotiated by Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman of Zeitgeist Films with Andrew Mer at BigFuss.
“We were fascinated by this unknown history that plays like a whodunit of the art world, and of course it’s wonderful to work with director Amei Wallach again,” said Zeitgeist Co-Presidents Emily Russo and Nancy Gerstman.
Director Amei Wallach added: “I am so excited to be working with Zeitgeist for a second time. Their sensitivity to art, history, and good storytelling make the Zeitgeist and Kino Lorber teams the perfect fit to bring Taking Venice to audiences in the U.S. and North America.”
Wallach is best known for her film Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress, and The Tangerine, which was also released by Zeitgeist Films.
Best of Deadline