LECCE 9 – 14 APRIL  2018


“Cristina Soldano Award for Best Film” Golden Olive Tree to The party’s over by Marie Garel-Weiss

Mario Verdone Award to Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts

FIPRESCI Jury Award to Scary mother by Ana Urushadze

SNGCI Award for Best European Actor to Goran Bogdan for Agape by Branko Schmidt

Agiscuola Award The party’s over by Marie Garel-Weiss

The 20th edition will take place from 8th to 13th April 2019


The 19th edition of the European Film Festival of Lecce has ended with great success and audience participation. This edition of the festival, directed by Alberto La Monica, has been dedicated to Cristina Soldano, artistic director ever since the first edition, who gave a great boost to this event with passion and professionalism. The screenings for students, attended by the protagonists of the films, who have discussed with the young viewers, have been met with similar participation and interest.

The 20th edition of the Festival will take place from Monday 8th to Saturday 13th April 2019.

The awards will be assigned during the awarding ceremony hosted by Virginia Panzera.

The Golden Olive Tree jury, chaired by Beki Probst (President of the European Film Market) and composed by Eleni Androutsopoulou (Selector at the Thessaloniki IFF), Adriana Chiesa Di Palma (Producer and distributor), Antonella Gaeta (Journalist and screenwriter) and Dubravka Lakić (Film critic) has awarded the following prizes:

“Cristina Soldano Award for Best Film” Golden Olive Tree unanimously to The party’s over (France, 2017) by Marie Garel-Weiss with the following motivation: “For its masterful portrayal of the sense of dissolution of social relationships, the desperate loneliness, the emotional drifting that has been a fil rouge of the European films proposed for selection in this edition. All of this expressed through the strength and the truth of the two protagonists”.

Best Screenplay award to Stienette Bosklopper for Cobain (Netherlands-Belgium-Germany, 2017) by Nanouk Leopold, with the following motivation: “Intense portrayal of an adolescent boy suffering from the lack of emotional bonds, communication, attentions and a sense of belonging”. 

Best Cinematography award to Marton Miklauzic for Yellow heat (Turkey, 2017) by Fikret Reyhan with the following motivation: “For having been able to make cinematography the absolute protagonist of the contrast between rural and industrial landscape, in a warm and realistic way”.

Special Jury Award to Disappearance (Netherlands-Norway, 2017) by Boudewijn Koole, with the following motivation: “For its ability to portray, in the setting of an icy landscape, the healing of the broken, or maybe non-existent, relationship between a mother and her daughter. A film dealing with the painful subject of letting go”. 

The FIPRESCI jury composed by Marta Bałaga, Tim Lindemann and Ignazio Senatore has awarded Scary mother (Georgia-Estonia, 2017) by Ana Urushadze with the following motivation: “For the ability to portray a woman who fights to liberate her own creativity and, as a result, gain her own freedom”. 

SNGCI (National Union of Italian Film Journalists) Award assigned by the members of the Union and the  Chair Laura Delli Colli to the best European actress/actor to Goran Bogdan for Agape (Croatia, 2017) by Branko Schmidt with the following motivation: “Perfect for this difficult and delicate role, which he played also conveying the emotion of a strong civic commitment”.

The Cineuropa Award jury, composed by Guillame Calop (Co-founder of Les Arcs European Film Festival, Paris Coproduction Village, FestiCiné), Françoise Lentz (Head of Promotion of the Film Fund Luxembourg), Altijana Marić Đorđević (Head of Programming of the Sarajevo Film Festival) has awarded The party’s over (France, 2017) by Marie Garel-Weiss.

The Audience Award goes to Disappearance by Boudewijn Koole (Netherlands-Norway, 2017).

The Mario Verdone Award 2018, ninth edition, has been awarded to Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts (Italy, 2017) with the following motivation: “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”. Special Recognition to Andrea De Sica for Children of the Night (2016).

The Emidio Greco Award on its sixth edition (selection committee: Jacopo Chessa, Lia Furxi, Alberto La Monica) has been awarded by the jury composed by the Greco family to Denise by Rossella Inglese (2017) with the following motivation, “For its ability to deliver, in just fifteen minutes, a portrayal of the post-2000 generation, which is never prey of do-goodism or value judgements; for the casting and direction of the young female protagonist, who embodies a teenage malaise that is never temporary, and above all for the ability to combine, with awareness and maturity, a fully realistic narrative style with a distortion of the film language conventions, which translates into a disarming look into the camera that makes it possible to control a series of acquired certainties”. 

The jury of the Puglia Show section, composed by Paolo Spina, Davide Barletti, Lia Furxi, has awarded the National Short Film Centre Award, Augustus Color Award, to Fine d’estate by Paolo Strippoli, with the following motivation: “Within a family and social portrait that is disrupted and lacks any points of reference and certainties, the film has described the special relationship between a father and his son hanging between an unbearable present and an uncertain future, and without any perspective of union and community cohesion. The aspect of the escape from the anthropic decay, depicted also with a surreal touch, is valuable from both a narrative and a linguistic point of view, generates vitality and an imaginative power”. 

Special Mention to Piccole italiane by Letizia Lamartire “For the maturity shown by the author in terms of both narrative power and production, and in the management of all the aspects involved in the making of the film, always with levity and fantasy. Qualities that allow her to deal with the heavy responsibilities arising from the direction of a feature film. This short film is an example of a smart political satire of any form of antidemocratic power”.   

The Rai Cinema Channel 3000 Euro Prize has been awarded by the jury composed by Maria Federica Lo Jacono and Manuela Rima to L’uomo proibito by Tiziano Russo: “for the ability to skilfully craft a work that looks at the future without losing credibility, and that is able to deliberately use a finally unconventional film language”.

The Unisalento Award, assigned by the jury composed by the students of the University Film Club, an activity for the promotion and study of audiovisual culture established by the Interdepartmental Research Centre in Digital Humanities of the University of Salento and supported by Apulia Film Commission Foundation, goes to Fine d’estate by Paolo Strippoli “for its ability to portray, through a great attention to inner details, individual growth in a world in which the pursuit of one’s goals at all costs overcomes morality”.

The Agiscuola Award, assigned by a jury of high-school students from Lecce, has been awarded to The party’s over “for its ability to deal with the strong and topical issue of drug addiction in an original and not obvious way. The film also teaches how the power of friendship makes it possible to escape from any downward spiral in which it is very easy to fall. Lastly, the hope emanating from the film provides us with the necessary dedication to improve ourselves, and mere survival is replaced by the ability to really be alive”. 

The European Film Festival is conceived and organised by the Cultural Association “Art Promotion” and produced by Apulia Film Commission Foundation and by Puglia Region and funded by Patto per la Puglia programme (FSC, Fund for Regional Development and Cohesion).

It is also supported by the Municipality of Lecce and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Directorate General for Cinema.   

Under the high patronage of the European Parliament and with the patronage of S.N.G.C.I., S.N.C.C.I., FIPRESCI, Agiscuola, University of Salento, the European Film Festival collaborates with Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Film Centre), Centro Nazionale del Cortometraggio (Italian National Short Film Centre), ARCI Lecce, and is a member of the Association of Italian Film Festivals.

Media partners: Cinecittà News, Cineuropa, FRED Film Radio

Technical partners: Rai Cinema Channel, Augustus Color, Liberrima, Passo Uno, Azienda Vinicola Apollonio, Aziende Agricole Stasi, Mocavero Salumi, Quarta Caffè, Calzaturificio Michelle, futuroRemoto Gioielli, Concessionaria Autosat

Press Office  

Giovanna Mazzarella & Cristina Scognamillo  

+39 348 3805201

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in collaboration with Sara Valentino +39 339 4648770

European Film Festival

organised by: Cultural Association “Art Promotion”

administrative office: Cineporto di Lecce c/o Manifatture Knos

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9th Mario Verdone Award