19TH EUROPEAN FILM FESTIVAL

Lecce, 9 – 14 April 2018 | Multiplex Cinema Massimo

 

9th Mario Verdone Award to Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts

 

 

The 9th Mario Verdone Award goes to Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts, an intense but also highly realistic film that reveals, together with the topicality of its theme, a strong narrative ability ever since its first shots. A film about marginalization and desire for redemption that, without rhetoric, shows how – even in situations of evident social conflicts-  there is the possibility that a love encounter can win over the double existential unease experienced by the two protagonists, portrayed through a sensitive and careful directing style, and also an excellent direction of the whole cast. 

 

The Mario Verdone Award, now in its ninth edition, established by the Festival together with the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Foundation and the National Union of Italian Film Journalists, in agreement with the Verdone family, is assigned by Silvia, Carlo and Luca Verdone to a young author (under 40 years old) who has particularly stood out in the last film season with his or her debut film. This award aims to pay homage to critic, essayist and film historian Mario Verdone, who was always interested in scouting talented artists, not only in the field of Cinema but also in the world of art in general, as shown in his numerous essays and writings. 

 

Thanks to the European Film Festival, the Award dedicated to our father Mario has reached its ninth edition, and this year the choice of the winner is, once again, not easy. The young authors in competition are all talented and have shown great expertise in the making of their films – underline the Verdone brothers -. We are happy to see how, every year, the Italian cinema can rely on the emergence of new filmmakers, and how authors of undeniable artistic value keep growing professionally. The European Film Festival of Lecce proves once again to be a good launching pad for many of them”.

 

The Jury of the Mario Verdone Award 2018, composed by Carlo, Luca and Silvia Verdone, has stressed, more than in any previous edition, the quality of the finalist films, a varied selection that shows, more and more every year, the importance of an award that supports the films made by the youth, new filmmakers who prove to have an original and surprising vision even in the comedy genre.

 

It is the case of Simone Godano, one of the finalists, with his Husband and Wife, a work that is hilarious and original starting from the feeling it shows between the director and the two main actors, Pier Francesco Favino and Kasia Smutniak.

And it is also the case of Antonio Padovan, in competition with the most independent film of this year, The Last Prosecco, which, with levity and grace, ventures into noir comedy and manages to be fun.

 

For a similar quality, commitment and narrative originality –already evident in the screenplay- the Jury, though excluding him from the competition because of his familial relationship with the jurors themselves- awards a Special recognition to Andrea De Sica for Children of the Night, an objectively already mature and very promising debut, which does not deserve to be penalized by the risk of a  ‘conflict of interest’.

 

The 9th Mario Verdone Award goes, though, to Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts, an intense but also highly realistic film that reveals, together with the topicality of its theme, a strong narrative ability ever since its first shots. A film about marginalization and desire for redemption that, without rhetoric, shows how – even in situations of evident social conflicts-  there is the possibility that a love encounter can win over the double existential unease experienced by the two protagonists, portrayed through a sensitive and careful directing style, and also an excellent direction of the whole cast.  

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