Lecce, 8th – 13th April 2019 | Multiplex Cinema Massimo


Waiting for the Festival

Series of screenings “Cinema a Cena”


Pre-opening events

The Golem: How He Came Into This World by Paul Wegener at the Cinelab Giuseppe Bertolucci

with the original music by maestro Admir Shkurtaj performed live by Mesimèr Ensemble


TarantaVirus Jazz Night

Concert and presentation of the new album by Cesare Dell’Anna at the Manifatture Knos


“Nino Rota. Musica per il cinema”

Concert by OLES, the Symphonic Orchestra of Lecce and Salento, at the Teatro Apollo


Preview of the Festival’s programme

European feature competition Cristina Soldano Memorial Golden Olive Tree Award


The Protagonists of Italian Cinema | Stefania Sandrelli


10th edition of the Mario Verdone Award


In the “Giuseppe Bertolucci” hall of the Cinelab at the Cineporto in Lecce, a preview was given of the programme of the 20th edition of the European Film Festival in the presence of Loredana Capone, Assessor for Tourism and Culture of Puglia Region, Simonetta Dellomonaco, Chair of Apulia Film Commission, Alberto La Monica, Director of the European Film Festival, and Luigi La Monica, Director of the “Puglia Show” competition. 

“The twentieth birthday of the European Film Festival. With so many novelties that make it one of the most unique and innovative festivals. We wanted the link between the Festival and the town of Lecce to become stronger and stronger, and our request was fulfilled. Because the pairing of culture and  cinema greatly contributes to make our local area an attractive place. Because all the businesses taking place in Lecce, from commercial activities to handicraft, should benefit as much as possible from this festival  – says Loredana Capone-. The more the town is involved in the festival, the more we will be able to promote our territory, creating new economic opportunities. But the European Film Festival is particularly important for us because, along with the Bif&st, it opens the season of the great network of Apulian festivals. And we have been focusing very much on this network. It is not by chance, indeed, that the Board of Apulia Film Commission includes, for example, a professor of the DAMS (Faculty of Arts, Music and Entertainment) of Lecce, Luca Bandirali. It was essential for us to collaborate with the University of Salento, as with the National Film School of the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. After thirteen years we finally managed to establish, here in Lecce, a field office of the Rome Centre with a three-year course on the restoration of old films, which will start next October”. Then she goes on – “Therefore, Lecce now has what it takes to become world-renowned as extremely important centre of expertise. We must promote all of this, and capitalise on it. For this reason, we are innovating our promotion strategy in the great international shows and exhibitions. I wish you had been present at the Tourism Fair in Berlin. Because there, for the first time, we chose to no longer only talk about our sights, sea, monuments, landscapes, but also about all the activities and talents that make our places a unique experience to enjoy 365 days a year. We want talent to go hand in hand with beauty. And the feedback was amazing. From the European Film Festival to the Bif&st, from Medimex to the Notte della Taranta. Because Puglia is also and above all this, a land that welcomes international artists and then is not only loved and respected by them, but also manages to work with them”.

The Chair of AFC Simonetta Dellomonaco added: “I want to say that I am really happy to be here, it’s an extraordinary moment for Puglia, as the film industry needs exactly the policies the Tourism and Culture Department is implementing. More and more filmmakers choose to shoot their films in Puglia meeting the requirement of hiring local staff, and for this reason the whole production chain of the region is providing an increasing number of professionals and employees in this field, and Apulia Film Commission is growing together with the local territory. The European Film Festival is not only a wonderful moment of cultural growth for the territory, but also a moment of economic growth”.

The 20th edition of the European Film Festival directed by Alberto La Monica and taking place in Lecce from 8th to 13th April 2019 at the Multiplex Cinema Massimo. An opportunity to celebrate the great achievements and milestones reached over the past 20 years, through an edition full of special events and screenings taking place before the festival proper in some of the most significant places of the town. 

Since last year, the Festival has been dedicated to the memory of Cristina Soldano, who had been artistic director ever since the first edition, and whose passion, professionalism and commitment have always given impetus to the whole event.

The main prize, the Golden Olive Tree | Cristina Soldano Award for Best Film, will be awarded in her memory.

This year, the Festival taking place in Salento will be enriched with the “Aspettando il Festival” (Waiting for the Festival) initiative, a series of live soundtracking performances, concerts and film screenings ahead of the opening night on 8th April with Stefania Sandrelli, a “Protagonist of Italian Cinema” of the 20th edition.

The first pre-opening event will take place on Saturday 6th April at the Cinelab Giuseppe Bertolucci of the Cineporto in Lecce, with the screening of a restored version of the classic silent film The Golem – How He Came Into This World (Der Golem – Wie er in diese Welt kam) (1920, 76’) by Paul Wegener, a version by Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (Cinematek). The Golem will be screened in a new digital copy made from the original negative, which had been believed to be lost, through a 4K  restoration by Wiesbaden-based Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Stiftung and Brussels-based Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (Cinematek). The digital restoration was done by the “L’ Immagine Ritrovata” lab in Bologna.

The screening of the film, which opened the last edition of the Venice International Film Festival, will be accompanied by the original music of composer Admir Shkurtaj, commissioned on an ad-hoc basis by the  Biennale, performed live by Mesimèr Ensemble made up by: Hersjana Matmuja (soprano), Giorgio Distante (trumpet in Bb, trumpet MIDI), Pino Basile (cupafon – a set of drums, percussion instruments and ocarina), Vanessa Sotgiù (synthesizer, piano), Iacopo Conoci (cello), Admir Shkurtaj (conductor, electronic music, accordion, piano).


Later on, at the Manifatture Knos, the Maestro Cesare Dell’Anna will present the Italian premiere of his latest work “Tarantavirus Jazz Night” – in which electro music, the traditional music from Salento and jazz melt together – , which will be released on 20th March and is produced by 11-8 Records label. Tarantavirus is the result of an ongoing music research, the expression of a change and renewal of Salento rites and music tradition, in a unique and fascinating project, in which electro and traditional music combine with the sounds of jazz, a genre the maestro had never before explored. Under the conduction of Cesare Dell’Anna, a trumpeter and founder of Opa Cupa and GirodiBanda, some of the most outstanding and beloved contemporary Italian jazz musicians have performed on stage, from Gianluca Petrella and Roberto Ottaviano to Fabrizio Puglisi and Giovanni Guidi, from Zeno De Rossi, Marco Bardoscia and Gianfranco Salvatore to Redi Hasa, Rocco Nigro, Andrea Doremi and Giuseppe Oliveto. The ensemble will also feature Enza Pagliara, Irene Lungo, Rachele Andrioli and Emanuele Licci.

The third pre-opening event, scheduled for Sunday 7th April at the Teatro Apollo, is the concert “Nino Rota. Musica per il cinema” by OLES, the Symphonic Orchestra of Lecce and Salento. The European Film Festival and OLES work together to pay tribute to Nino Rota on the 40th anniversary of his death. Rota was one of the most significant music personalities of the 20th century, working mainly in Puglia as a composer, with a huge production of symphonic, opera and chamber music, but also as a teacher and director of the  Niccolò Piccinni Conservatory in Bari for over thirty years. The concert by the Symphonic Orchestra of Lecce and Salento OLES, conducted by Eliseo Castrignanò, will feature, alternating music and short readings, the film scores that made him famous all over the world. The arrangements for symphonic orchestra are created by  Fabrizio Francia. The programme of the concert includes: Suite sinfonica from “I vitelloni”, Fantasia e canzone from “La dolce vita”, Suite from “The Godfather” trilogy, Valzer Verdi e Valzer del commiato from “Il Gattopardo”, Fantasia from “Amarcord”, Preludio, danza e canzone d’amore from “Romeo e Giulietta”, Preludio, canzone e fox-trot from “Le notti di Cabiria”.

Admission is free to all the pre-opening events.

Moreover, within the “Aspettando il Festival(Waiting for the Festival) initiative, every Thursday starting from 14th March until 4th April, the European Film Festival, in collaboration with the bookshop Liberrima all’Ombra del Barocco, will hold CINEMA A CENA, a series of screenings of European Film Academy Award-winning films. Four evenings with four different films to enjoy while soaking up the convivial atmosphere created near the bookshop:

Thursday 14th March: Oh Boy by Jan Ole Gester (Germany, 2012). European discovery – Fipresci Prize EFA 2013

Thursday 21st March: Mr. Ove by Hannes Holm (Sweden, 2015). Best Comedy EFA 2016

Thursday 28th March: Olli Mäki by Juho Kuosmanen (Finland, Sweden, Germany, 2016). European discovery – Fipresci Prize EFA 2016

Thursday 4th April: The Square by Ruben Östlund (Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark, 2017).  Best Film and Best Direction EFA 2017




Stefania Sandrelli will open the 20th edition of the European Film Festival, on the night of Monday 8th April at the Multiplex Cinema Massimo. A tribute to the great diva and Lady of the Italian cinema, who throughout her long career has worked, and still works, with the most important directors, enriching the films she stars in with her distinctive acting style. The following films will be screened: Divorzio all’italiana by Pietro Germi (1961), La bella di Lodi by Mario Missiroli (1963), Sedotta e abbandonata by Pietro Germi (1964), Io la conoscevo bene by Antonio Pietrangeli (1965), Il conformista by Bernardo Bertolucci (1970), C’eravamo tanto amati by Ettore Scola (1974), La chiave by Tinto Brass (1983), Evelina e i suoi figli by Livia Giampalmo (1990), Te lo leggo negli occhi by Valia Santella (2004) and La prima cosa bella by Paolo Virzì (2009).


The tribute to Sandrelli will include, in addition to the retrospective, a Photography Exhibition titled “STEFANIA SANDRELLI, ICÔNE DU CINÉMA ITALIEN”, with photos taken from the archive of Centro Cinema Città in Cesena. The exhibition, curated by Antonio Maraldi, will retrace her artistic journey, including her most relevant and significant roles, her starring roles, her collaborations with famous directors in the more than 100 films she has starred in, many of which are part of Italian film history. Sandrelli’s career began at a very early age, soon after the middle of last century, and still goes on in film, on TV and on stage –where she debuted in the 1990s with Le faremo tanto male, directed by Pino Quartullo-. She also made her directorial debut in 2010 with Christine Cristina, a biopic of poet Cristina da Pizzano. All these experiences make her one of the most complete Italian artists. Her accolades include the David di Donatello and Nastro d’Argento Awards for Lifetime Achievement and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2005 at the 62nd Venice Film Festival.



12 films, selected by Alberto La Monica and Luigi La Monica, will screen for the first time in Italy, presented by their respective directors or some of the actors, who will meet the audience after the screening.

The Jury of the “Golden Olive Tree” Feature Competition, chaired by Marco Müller and composed by Guillame Calop, Pippo Mezzapesa, Ana Urushadze and Olena Yershova, will award the “Cristina Soldano Award” Golden Olive Tree for Best Film, the Special Jury Award, the Best Cinematography Award and the Best Screenplay Award. The same films in competition will also compete for the FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Journalists), awarded by the Jury composed by Francesco Grieco, Anders E. Larsson and Georgios Papadimitriou; the Cineuropa Award awarded by the Jury composed by Stefan Kitanov, Stefan Laudyn, Stefan Uhrik; the Award of the National Union of Italian Film Journalists for Best European Actor,  awarded by the Jury chaired by Laura Delli Colli; the Agiscuola Award, awarded by a jury of Lecce high school students.

THE FILMS IN COMPETITION: Blind spot by Tuva Novotny (Norway, 2018); Cronofobia by Francesco Rizzi (Switzerland, 2018), starring Vinicio Marchioni; Genesis by Árpád Bogdán (Hungary, 2018); Her job, by Nikos Labôt (Greece, France, Serbia, 2018); Journey to a mother’s room by Celia Rico Clavellino (Spain, 2018); Jumpman by Ivan I. Tverdovskiy (Russia, Lithuania, Ireland, France, 2018); Oray by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay (Germany, 2019); Paper flags by Nathan Ambrosioni (France, 2018);  Stitches by Miroslav Terzić (Serbia, 2019); Summer survivors by Marija Kavtaradze (Lithuania, 2018); The pig by Dragomir Sholev (Bulgaria, 2018); Two for joy by Tom Beard (UK, 2018).



PUGLIA SHOW, the traditional short film competition for young Apulian filmmakers, managed by Luigi La Monica, made in collaboration with the CNC-National Short Film Centre and Augustus Color.

A Jury of experts will award the CNC Award and the Augustus Color Award, a prize consisting in a series of workshops worth 1.800€. Other awards will be the €3.000 Rai Cinema Channel Prize and the Unisalento Award, awarded by the Jury composed by the students of Cineclub Universitario (University Film Club), an activity for the promotion and study of audio-visual culture established by the University of Salento and supported by Apulia Film Commission Foundation.

The participation in the selection for the competition is free of charge and reserved to Apulian filmmakers under 35 years of age, and the term expires on Monday 11 March. The call can be found online at the following link:




Together with the Competition section, the Festival offers numerous in-depth focus, sections devoted to short films and documentaries that represent attempts of research of new themes and new audiovisual languages.

THE EUROPEAN COMEDY, a showcase offering a selection of five works in Italian premiere.

MARIO VERDONE AWARD, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary, 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. The authors of the 12 films competing for the 10th edition of the Mario Verdone Award, which will be awarded by the siblings Carlo, Luca and Silvia Verdone during the Festival, are: Pietro Belfiore, Davide Bonacina, Andrea Fadenti, Andrea Mazzarella, Davide Rossi with Si muore tutti democristiani; Alessandro Capitani with In viaggio con Adele; Ciro D’Emilio with Un giorno all’improvviso; Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo with La terra dell’abbastanza; Margherita Ferri with Zen sul ghiaccio sottile; Letizia Lamartire with Saremo giovani e bellissimi; Matteo Martinez with Tonno spiaggiato; Francesca Mazzoleni with Succede; Daniele Misischia with The End? L’inferno fuori; Fulvio Risuleo with Guarda in alto, Antonio Pisu with Nobili bugie; Emanuele Scaringi with La profezia dell’Armadillo.

CINEMA AND EUROPE: LUX PRIZE and SHORT MATTERS-LUX PRIZE of the European Parliament. SHORT MATTERS!, the section screening the short films nominated for the Best European Short Film Award 2017 by the European Film Academy.


Thoughout the week of the Festival there will be Special Events out of competition and in Italian premiere,  the Cinema and Reality section, which has always focused attention, through cinema, on significant social and cultural issues. For the seventh consecutive year, the European Film Festival, together with the National Short Film Centre and in agreement with the Greco family, will assign the Emidio Greco Award in memory of the filmmaker himself. Like every year, there will be a section devoted to the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – CSC Foundation Showcase – to promote some of the activities carried out by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia Foundation, in the field of film restoration and cultural distribution with the Cineteca Nazionale, and education with the National Film School


THE FESTIVAL PARTY: “The Festival Band” live concert and DJ set

On the night of Wednesday 10th April, the Party of the European Film Festival will take place at the Officine Cantelmo; a party offered to the town with the concert by The Festival Band, followed by Fabio Tosti’s dj set. The music group The Festival Band boasts among its members three film festival directors, Stefan Kitanov (Director of Sofia Film Fest), Stefan Laudyn (Director of Warsaw IFF) and Stefan Uhrik (former Director of Prague IFF). The other members of the group are musicians Petar Georgiev “Pesheto”, Anton Sekerdjiev “Toni”, Radoslav Milev “Rado” and Ljubomir Bozadjiev. Since 1997, this very special band has been a regular guest at the closing party of the Sofia Film Fest, with a repertoire ranging from British rock classics to US rock. After the concert, the party will go on with the DJ set by Fabio Tosti, one of the Italian DJs and Producers who are most appreciated in the international house scene. Fabio Tosti works with some of the most important international record labels and with famous exponents of the house scene. One of his hits is “Jingo”, published under the pseudonym TnT Inc, a song released by the top label Salted Music and staying at number one of the TOP Download for a month in summer 2010.


“OMBRE DI LUCE” (SHADOWS OF LIGHT): Photography Exhibition by Claudio Onorati

On the occasion of the 20th edition of the European Film Festival, the Italian premiere will take place of the photography exhibition Ombre di luce by Claudio Onorati, at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. Over his 40-year-long career, Claudio Onorati has met and photographed the elite of worldwide cinema. His pictures are unforgettable and many artists have asked him to be given such photos in order to save the memory of a particular moment forever. The great sensibility of this artist while capturing a look or a movement of a person make his pictures original moments of life. In his Exhibition “Ombre di Luci” Onorati will showcase black and white portraits in which he has caught, with a careful eye, small shades of the artists he photographed. From the more extravagant to the more intimate ones. The structure of the exhibition, conceived on an ad hoc basis for the European Film Festival, aims to give new life to the many characters “captured” by Onorati’s sensitive eye, and on the occasion of the Festival, the characters chosen are all Italian and European talents, with a particular focus on those who have been guests of the Festival over the past editions.



The Festival has always promoted the involvement of the young and of local schools and Universities, looking at cinema as a useful educational tool.

A series of matinees will be held every day, with the screening of films in their original language, tailored to the field of study and age group of the young participants. After each showing, the students will have the opportunity to take part in Q&As with the actors and directors of the movies.


Again this year, Countess Maria Josè di Pietraforte, who has always supported the Salentine festival, will contribute to the promotion of film culture by offering free entrance for the students of the University of Salento to watch a film of their choice. The first 300 students who show up at the ticket counters of Multiplex Cinema Massimo (presenting a valid University student ID card) will receive a free ticket


The recognition of cinema as a key factor of cultural, economic and social promotion and development will always be the primary objective of the European Film Festival. 


The European Film Festival, conceived and organized by the Cultural Association “Art Promotion”, is produced by the Apulia Film Commission Foundation and by Puglia Region with funds 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.

The European Film Festival, recognised as an “event of national interest” by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, is a member of the Association of Italian Film Festivals and can boast the Patronage of the European Parliament and the collaboration with the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Experimental Film Centre), S.N.G.C.I., FIPRESCI, S.N.C.C.I., Centro Nazionale del Cortometraggio (Italian National Short Film Centre), Agiscuola. 


Media Partners: Cinecittanews.it, Cineuropa, FRED Film Radio.


Technical partners: Rai Cinema Channel, Augustus Color, Passo Uno, futuroRemoto Gioielli


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Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo...

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Nino Frassica awarded with...


Closing day of the 20th edition of...

Vinicio Marchioni wins the...

The SNGCI Award for Best European Actor has been awarded today. The award,...

Italian Premiere Il...

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