Dedicated to Morando Morandini, irreplaceable guarantor and excellent critic, the European Film Festival still pursues its aim to resist the homogenisation of feelings, desires, and thoughts.
Its focus on Europe and Italy is a sign of this eagerness to go beyond the limits of everyday experience, of the common desperate need for the sublime.

The ten lms in Competition fully examine a wide range of issues, conveying a series of images, feelings and ideas that represent the worldview of the complex European reality, and allow us to delve into the melting pot of European lm culture. They are jewels of language put on screen by means of unique narrative structures. Mainly oriented towards the examination of the con icting nature of human beings, and especially of the “very young ”, the Competition also re ects on the hegemonic nature of power, which produces gaps, wounds, an objecti cation of conscience, and prevents individuals from making of their own life like an art work is made.

Protagonist of the European cinema is Krzystozf Zanussi, one of the most outstanding representatives of international intelligentsia, an example in his disquieting re ection on a way of being human that has been brutally obliterated by a long time of development without progress. This intellectual, director, producer and screenwriter perceives man as a big mystery and a deep abyss.

Analysed from a mostly philosophical and religious perspective, and also from the viewpoint of the history of literature and politics, his cinema digs deep down to nd the meaning of the many signs of reality, and describes the inconceivable and irrational gap between the individual and collective dimensions of post-war human society and the society devastated by today’s wars.

He alters the optimism of the bourgeois world and forces us to question the existing order, despite not expressly “taking sides”, indicating the understanding of the signs of reality, enhanced by the knowledge deriving from the Humanae Litterae and Science, acting as a divine force, as a way of changing the world. Today’s society, lost in its journey towards nothingness, still has the chance to set in motion a cultural development that can change the face of mankind, the only reality that actually goes beyond the single individual and his or her body, in order to overcome the widespread, epidemic fear of the future, that has now become a nightmare, rather than being a source of hope.

The Festival pays tribute to the recently deceased director, critic and writer Andrzej Żuławski, an investigator of reality, who explores with almost surgical zest the irreconcilable deep impulses of man, who sadly still lives in a shadow, rejecting light.
Born in 1940, in one of the darkest periods of History, a time of perquisitions, extrajudicial killings, nebulous atmospheres, piled bodies whose image, seen from one of the balconies of his large house, penetrated his eyes and his esh.

His denied infancy, his unlimited knowledge, his clinical knowledge of the schizophrenic insanity of man are the sources of his narrative tinged with green-grey and blood red colours.
“Plato, Kundalini, Freud, Buddha, Jesus, are exponents of human thought, which I, with arrogant humbleness, consider my eld.” Filled with lyricism and drama, his cinema manages to captivate viewers thanks to its dizzying ability to explore the dark places of the mind and of sexuality in all its forms, considering the latter as a key element, indicative of the human nature.

His is a cathartic cinema, which pessimistically acknowledges the stubborn attempt of man to oppose the course of history. “As a lmmaker I feel that I can openly share my excesses, my frenzy, my nightmares. With writing, on the other hand, I do not renounce the privilege to re ect on a world still dominated by corrupted groups of power and a treacherous culture, and I prefer silence to compromise.”

Christian De Sica is a charming and unique exponent of the Italian histrionic art, an elegant heir of the best tradition of Italian and international show business.
Extremely sophisticated, magni cent, ingenious actor, who has built his career with the only strength of his undisputed talent and of a constantly exercised and developing professionalism, able to experience with equal intensity comedy, farce, and drama.

His enormous sensitiveness, enhanced by his love for culture and his unlimited knowledge of cinema, translates into a dynamic and complete acting style, which makes him a charming storyteller, an inexhaustible source of stories, a witty prose author who reminds of the loneliness of a satire writer, who is never unsettled by human boundaries. Perfect in his comedy timing, he seems to wear a peculiar mask, reminiscent of silent cinema, that attests his deep analysis of the weaknesses of the human creature, especially when he plays roles of awful characters.

An authentic, real myth in a world of appearance.

Elio Germano, or the passion for theatre as a “workshop of details”.
A stubborn voluntarism characterises the outline of this young and eager seeker of the essence of acting. “I fell in love with the job of actor while practising it. Being an actor means embarking on an emotional journey across other ways of being. Acting means communicating emotions.”
Free from stereotyped ways of performing, he builds on an unwitting communication, on a kind of e uence, rather than guiding his performance towards a planned direction. With his poetic doubts, in a sort of anchoritic withdrawal that allows him to escape from real life and reach an illusory dimension, in which he loses and forgets himself, and after a careful study of the historic circumstances that a ect each of his characters, he believingly inhabits the character himself becoming part of his esh. Self-critical, “Person” endowed with a contagious energy, always consistent with his philosophy of life, he decided to join the political struggle to defend his own dignity of human being, and asks himself, and this is very unusual today, what the purpose of his actions is.

The new section of the Festival devoted to the European comedy focuses on the necessary amount of non-sense pertaining to this genre, which reveals the coarseness of conventional morals, the signi cant demands and the arrogant certainty to understand reality found in the several countries attending in this section. A di erent gaze, that re lls the human reality with its authentic and dangerous complexity, through a miscellaneous collection of themes, images and styles.

The choice of the debut lms selected for the Mario Verdone Award and the Emidio Greco Award shows the great love of the Festival for auteur cinema, with the unveiling of the names of young Italian directors standing out in the past season for their ability to describe a present time that is practically experienced, a happiness that is always temporary, the love for things the way they are, the never satis ed passion, the full acceptance of the randomness of life.

Both of these Awards aim to give a representation of the emerging gures of Italian cinema with their distinctive narratives and di erent aesthetic taste.
Through the “Cinema e Realtà” (Cinema and Reality) section, lastly, the Festival addresses its critical and not positivist gaze towards society in order to denounce our inconsistent idea of progress and recover the source of the creation of a common world, where it is possible to rediscover, change and protect ourselves against the expropriation of our rights and resources, by means of a collective commitment.

Cristina Soldano & Alberto La Monica –  Artistic Director