Scorsese’s Studio City promo film to be screened in Venice

Martin Scorsese’s short film advertising Studio City and starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio will be unveiled at the Venice Film Festival next month.

The Audition, a 16-minute film, in which the actors are playing themselves and realise they are vying for the same role in a film directed by Scorsese, reportedly cost $70 million.

The slick advert’s screening will surely raise some eyebrows at a festival festival famed for launching highbrow films .

“It’s not as though film festivals have been sacred places. There have always been compromises between art and commerce. But this is a bit new,” Steve Fore, associate professor in the creative media school at Hong Kong’s City University, told the South China Morning Post.

“Taking a filmmaker of Scorsese’s calibre to make a film for them shows the power of the gaming industry,” the US scholar was quoted as saying. 

The film is one of numerous big budget marketing ads that operators have been pursuing in a bid to differentiate themselves and draw customers as the Macau industry faces headwinds. While some analysts have praised the bold marketing campaigns, others see the power of social media as a more effective vehicle for marketing and promotion.