A conversation with Venice Film Festival artistic director, Alberto Barbera

and filmmaker Ricky D’Ambrose will follow the screening on April 22nd


 Sag Harbor Cinema celebrates the Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College Cinema on its tenth anniversary with a screening of one of its many success stories. Following a larger tribute organized by The Gotham Film & Media Institute and Netflix at the Paris Theater in New York, Sag Harbor Cinema will salute the festival’s renowned grant program for emerging filmmakers with the local premiere of The Cathedral, followed by a conversation between writer/director Ricky D’Ambrose and the Venice Film Festival Artistic Director and co-founder of the Biennale College Cinema, Alberto Barbera, moderated by SHC’s Founding Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan.

The Cathedral, which was inspired by D’Ambrose’s own childhood on Long Island, is a multigenerational tale that tracks one family’s rise and fall over decades, as seen through the eyes of its youngest member, Jesse, an only child who develops an interest in art. The film won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award for 2023 and is described by the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis as, “A movie filled with restrained feeling and shimmers of beauty. Over the course of this spare, precise, formally rigorous movie, Jesse grows from a quiet wide-eyed toddler into a pensive, watchful teenager.”

Biennale College Cinema was created in 2013 by Venice Film Festival Artistic Director Alberto Barbera, and Torino Film Lab leader Savina Neirotti. The annual grants program discovers and mentors twelve feature films projects presented by first and/or second time directors and rising producers at a two-week workshop at a former monastery on the island of San Servolo in the Venetian lagoon. Each year up to four projects get fully financed with a $200K grant and are set for a world premiere during the following Venice International Film Festival.

Biennale College Cinema shepherds movies through their entire production cycle while working closely with director-producer teams. Among the films that the College has produced over the years are The Fits, Hotel Salvation and This Is Not Burial Is a Resurrection. 


“I am thrilled to be able to offer to our audience a first hand introduction to the Venice Film Festival’s Biennale College and to screen The Cathedral, which is probably my favorite among the films the Festival’s grant program has produced. Showcasing the work of a very talented emerging local filmmaker and hosting the director of one of the most respected festivals in the world to introduce the Biennale College initiative will make for a special evening, emblematic of our mission at the cinema,” says D’Agnolo Vallan.

“The Cathedral is one of the best movies produced by Biennale College in its ten years of activity. The project, which originated as a collateral activity of the Venice Film Festival, aims to support young and talented filmmakers, granting them the opportunity to realize a first or second micro budget film. Each year, the selected teams are followed by experienced tutors through the process. I hope you will join us in celebrating the success of this unique initiative,” says Alberto Barbera.


Tickets will be available on the cinema’s website,

For more information about the film, see below:


Dir. Ricky D’Ambrose
USA, 2021; 87 mins, in English

An only child’s meditative, impressionistic account of an American

family’s rise and fall over two decades.


As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and have access to our member-only rooftop lounge, The Green Room.


Photos courtesy of Sag Harbor Cinema.


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