The twentieth birthday of the European Film Festival. With so many novelties that make it one of the mostunique 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. 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 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. 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 onit. For this reason, we are innovating our promotion strategy in the great international shows and exhibitions, talking no longer only 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 togo hand in hand with beauty. 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.
Assessor for Tourism and Culture of Apulia Region
From 8th to 13th April, the town of Lecce will be glad to host, once again, the European Film Festival, now on its 20th edition.Just like in all its past editions, the Festival will boast the presence of international film personalities. It is an exceptional opportunity for the City of Lecce to attract an increasing number of visitors to a place that is a filmmakers’ favourite. Thanks to its undisputed beauty, its enchanting placesand magical architecture, the town of Lecce is more and more often chosen as the setting of stories that, through cinema, reach millions of people, this waycreating a synergy between the town and the relevant film production, which promote each other. The many film enthusiasts who will stay for the first time in Lecce on the occasion of the Festival will get toknow the town, where as all those who are already familiar with it will have an extraordinary opportunity totake a closer look at that wonderful factory of dreams and emotions that cinema represents.The Festival and the town have grown together over the past few years, becoming a point of reference forlong-time film enthusiasts and also for newbies. The wide variety of films screened by the Festival, indeed, is enough to satisfy any kind of audience, fromthe more “cultivated” and shrewder to those more interested in light entertainment. Against the backdropof this enchanted town, the emotions conveyed through the big screen blend and melt with those arising from the uniquely beautiful and scenic streets and palaces.The collaboration between the “European Film Festival” and the “City of Lecce” can provide an important contribution to both the growth of film culture and the development of the local community.Lastly, I wish to thank Alberto La Monica, who works every year to craft, with passion and patience, editionafter edition, the much-awaited “European Film Festival”, and, in expressing the hope that its partner ship with the City of Lecce can be long-lasting, I wish to welcome everyone who will take part in the event during that week.
Good European Film Festival 2019.
Ennio Mario Sodano
The Emergency Manager of the City of Lecce