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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 September, 2004, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Pacino left seatless at premiere
Al Pacino
Al Pacino was said to be happy with the large turnout for the screening
The Venice Film Festival has been hit by a number of gaffes including Al Pacino ending up with no seat at his own movie premiere.

A computer glitch has been blamed for producing 200 too many tickets for the screening of The Merchant of Venice.

Pacino eventually got a place a few rows from the front, but the delay pushed back the premiere of Finding Neverland to 2am.

Organisers say the festival has fallen victim to its own success.

The Venice Film Festival has grown enormously this year, attracting more of Hollywood's big players who have chosen to premiere their films there.

"We have put a Ferrari engine in a small, old Fiat 500 car," said Davide Croff, president of the Venice Biennale, which oversees the festival.

Organisers admit there have been bigger crowds than anticipated, while many studios have demanded their films be shown in the first five days of the 11-day event.

'Never going back'

There has also been a problem with outdated infrastructure.

Pacino's problems with finding a seat meant the screening of The Merchant of Venice was 70 minutes late, pushing back the already tight schedule.

"In my entire life as a producer I've never seen anything like this at a festival, and for this reason I'm never coming back to Venice,", Merchant co-producer Michael Lionello Cowan told La Nuova newspaper.

But Merchant of Venice producer, Barry Navidi, said the situation resolved itself without too much problem.

Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino has selected rare Italian movies to showcase
"Even though there were a number of difficulties and a chaotic situation for the premiere, Al Pacino was delighted and happy that so many people wanted to see this movie," Navidi told news agency Cinecitta News.

The larger-than-life boss of Miramax, Harvey Weinstein, was less than thrilled that the premiere of his movie Finding Neverland was pushed back to early morning.

"Welcome to the breakfast screening of Neverland," Weinstein joked to the audience.

"This morning (festival director Marco) Muller will be serving the croissants and I'll be teaching him the meaning of 'timing'.

'Movie geek dream'

"Then I'll drown him in the lagoon, with his feet encased in cement."

Meanwhile, Quentin Tarantino has flown into Venice to present a retrospective of eclectic Italian films, along with Gremlins director Joe Dante.

The unusual selection, under the banner Italian Kings of the Bs, includes Cannibal Holocaust, Orgasm and The Big Gundown.

"To actually see them all in Italian, restored and in their original form, it's a movie geek dream," said Tarantino.


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