Help us develop our program and catalyze critical ocean literacy by donating below

Skip to navigation Skip to main content


Floating cinema

Unknown Waters


Admission fee
Free of charge

Booking is required at cinemagalleggiante@gmail.com

From August 27th, some of the most important local and international cultural organizations that work in the city will be given an opportunity for collective reflection made possible by a unique film festival on the water.

The Cinema Galleggiante, a project conceived by Edoardo Aruta and Paolo Rosso (Microclima), in collaboration with Ocean Space / TBA21−Academy, Pentagram Stiftung and Palazzo Grassi - Punta della Dogana - Pinault Collection, will consist of a series of film screenings on a floating platform, positioned in the middle of the lagoon behind the Giudecca island, close to the Rio of Sant’Eufemia. The program will run from August 27th to September 5th 2020, starting at 7pm. Spectators will be able to watch the screenings with a free reservation from their own boats, or from a floating platform designed for members of the public without access to a boat, divided into families in order to respect social distancing.

In response to the period of social and environmental uncertainty that the world is currently experiencing, many initiatives have emerged that recognize the common sense of urgency to come up with new forms of dialogue. As a playful expression of the imagination, and as the archetype of a city in which the fragile relationship between human beings and the environment is ever-present, Venice can act as a catalyst for experimentation and new ideas, which may start locally, but have the potential to create global ripples. So, from August 27th to September 5th, the Cinema Galleggiante initiative will be established in the middle of the lagoon, bringing together for the first time in the city’s history some of
the best known institutions and cultural organizations, both homegrown and from afar.

The unique feature of this collective initiative is that both the screen and the audience are on the water, gathered together in a true amphibious setting. The themes of instability, the unexpected, resistance, technological solutions, and the water’s potential for creating routes for transport and communication inform the theme of the film festival: Unknown Waters. Partner institutions and both local and international organizations have been asked to offer films (feature films, short films or art films) linked to these issues, with the aim of bringing out a collective vision. In terms of programming, a collective decision was made to alternate between local and international directors and artists, both young and well-established.

Picture: Still da video Supersurface: An alternative model for life on the Earth, Superstudio, 1972 – elaborazione grafico studio2800a


The floating film festival "Unknown Waters" will start on Thursday August 27th with the first selection of screenings chosen by the Venice Civic Museums Foundation - Fortuny Museum, Ocean Space / TBA21 – Academy, Iuav University of Venice and the Venetian cultural association Awai.

Among the evening's titles, a special mention must go to the film “Hunga Tonga” by the Danish collective SUPERFLEX, which will be premiered in Venice, subtitled in Italian.

The first evening will be inaugurated with a piano improvisation by Ulisse Trabacchin, Associate Chorus Master at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, accompanied by unseen footage from Mariano Fortuny’s private archive.

7.00pm: Meeting point Cantiere Chia people without boat.

7.30pm: Meeting point people with boat.

8.10pm: Talk.

8.20pm: From the private archive of Mariano Fortuny. 9,5mm and 35mm films, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, 1905-1930 (25’) piano accompaniment by Ulisse Trabacchin, ”Associate Chorus Master”’ of the Teatro alla Scala di Milano choir. Selected by Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia - Museo Fortuny

8.55pm: Un Sogno, Un Pesce, Petrit Halilaj and Alvaro Urbano, 2020 (4’19’’) commissioned by TBA21– Academy with the support of Institut Kunst HGK FHNW, Basel. Selected by Ocean Space / TBA21−Academy.

9pm: Hunga Tonga, SUPERFLEX, 2019 (21’22’’) commissioned by TBA21–Academy
selected by Ocean Space / TBA21−Academy.

9.25pm: Into perpetual night, Valentina Furian, 2016 (14’49’’) selected by Università Iuav di venezia - Facoltà Di Arti Visive.

9.45pm: Mining for Ringwoodite, Inhabitants, Margarida Mendes, 2016 (3’49”) selected by Ocean Space / TBA21−Academy.

9.55pm: Making A Splash, Peter Greenaway, 1984 (23’47’’) selected by Awai


Free event, reservations required on www.cinemagalleggiante.it starting from August 20th.

For members of the public without access to a boat, contributions towards the boat transfers will be expected

By foot: from the Giuecca Palanca vaporetto stop, turn right and take the first street on the left, Calle lunga dell’Accademia dei Nobili, at the end of which (after around 250 meters) you will find the entrance to the Chia boatyard, the reception for the event.

By boat: the Cinema Galleggiante is located in the shallow area adjacent to the Retro Giudecca Canal, close to the Rio de Sant’Eufemia canal. Arriving from Zattere, take the Rio de Sant’Eufemia canal, between the eponymous church and Harry’s Dolci. At the end of the canal, on the left, you will find the reception at the Chia boatyard. If you already have your mooring number, proceed directly towards the Cinema Galleggiante. Arriving from the Retro Giudecca Canal, the floating cinema is located in the shallow area opposite the Chia and Manin boatyards.