On its 19th edition, the Festival del Cinema Europeo continues in the name of Cristina Soldano, who supported and guided this project as Artistic Director since its beginning 19 years ago. It therefore pursues its mission to promote intercultural dialogue, peace and development through the borderless language of Cinema. Cinema that, if considered a mirror and a source of knowledge, can provide us with a concrete opportunity to question our identity and to access other worlds in a direct and peaceful way.
As always, the programme is made up of several sections devoted to the discovery and promotion of European cinema. First of all, the “Golden Olive Tree” feature film Competition: a selection of films portraying the present reality of their respective countries, trying to understand their cultural, social and territorial identities, and shedding light on the presence of extremely talented filmmakers, who have reached full artistic and formal maturity.
Then the Best European Comedies, a selection of five works never released before in Italy, which, also through the specific features of the Comedy genre, aims to value significant themes and modes of expression of the European scene. Michael Winterbottom and Ildikó Enyedi, Kim Rossi Stuart and Jasmine Trinca are the Protagonists of European and Italian Cinema of this edition: a tribute to leading personalities of the filmmaking scene, who will be the protagonists of the screening of their films and Q&A meetings with the audience, during which each of them will receive our “Golden Olive Tree Award” for Career Achievement.
Like every year, the Festival is glad to pay tribute to critic, essayist and film historian Mario Verdone, who was always ready to scout out talented artists, not only in the world of film but also in art in general. The Mario Verdone Award, in fact, continues to outline young authors who stood out within the Italian film scene with their debut films released in cinemas during the last season. The ninth edition of the award shows how, every year, the Italian cinema is enriched by the emergence of new directors and witnesses the growth of authors of indisputable artistic value.
With its constant attention to young, emerging filmmakers, the Festival stays also true to its mission to support short films seen as a training for new generations of filmmakers, by renewing the appointment with the “Short Matters” section (the screening of the short films selected for the last edition of the Best European Short Film Awards organised by the European Film Academy), the “Emidio Greco Award” for the best Italian short film and the “Puglia Show” Competition addressing young Apulian filmmakers, which has already been a launching pad for many authors who have then become nationally known.
But the Festival also has the right/duty to be an opportunity to expose and explore important social and cultural issues, topics and events dealt with in the “Cinema and Reality” section through the language of film and with a view to the present and our contemporary society.
Lastly, over the years the Festival has greatly contributed to the involvement of schools in the local community in which they operate and to the promotion of film as an educational tool, through the screening of films in their original language with subtitles and the Q&A meetings with both young filmmakers and established authors and actors.
The recognition of Cinema as a key factor of cultural, economic and social promotion and development will always be the primary objective of the Festival del Cinema Europeo.
Alberto La Monica
Festival del Cinema Europeo Artistic Director