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



European Feature Film Competition | Golden Olive Tree “Cristina Soldano” Award


The Protagonists of Italian Cinema | Stefania Sandrelli


The Protagonists of European Cinema | Aleksandr Sokurov


New Italian Comedy | Nino Frassica | Paola Minaccioni | Alessandro Siani


10th edition of Mario Verdone Award


7th edition of Emidio Greco Award


Golden Olive Tree to Luciana Castellina


Golden Olive Tree to Fulvio Lucisano


Tribute to Walter Chiari


Special premiere events

Il campione by Leonardo D’Agostini with Stefano Accorsi

We’ll Rise at Dawn by Jean-Marie Benjamin

Smuggling Hendrix by Marios Piperides

Twin Flower by Laura Luchetti







Press Office  

Giovanna Mazzarella & Cristina Scognamillo  

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in collaboration with Sara Valentino +39 339 4648770




European Film Festival

organised by: Cultural Association “Art Promotion”


Stefania Sandrelli and Aleksandr Sokurov, alongside Nino Frassica, Paola Minaccioni, Alessandro Siani for the “New Italian Comedy” section and Luciana Castellina, Fulvio Lucisano, Carlo, Luca and Silvia Verdone, are the protagonists of 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.


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 to one of the 12 films in competition and coming from all over Europe. The winning film will be selected by the jury chaired by Marco Müller.


Twenty years, an opportunity to celebrate the successes and achievements made, through an edition full of events. And ten years of the Mario Verdone Award. A double anniversary and so many novelties. A long list of premieres and special events, including: “Il Campione” (produced by 01 Distribution) by Leonardo D’Agostini, who will be in  Lecce together with Stefano Accorsi, Matteo Rovere, Sidney Sibilia, Paolo Del Brocco, Luigi Lonigro; “Twin Flower” (produced by Fandango) by Laura Luchetti, who will attend the Festival along with Giuseppe Gallo and Gianluca Pignataro; “We’ll Rise at Dawn” (Aladino Production) by Jean-Marie Benjamin, who will introduce the film together with leading actor Andrea Solombrino and in the presence of the Archbishop of Lecce Mons. Michele Seccia and the Archbishop of Manfredonia – Vieste – San Giovanni Rotondo Mons. Franco Moscone; “Smuggling Hendrix” (produced by Tucker Film), introduced by director Marios Piperides and leading actor Adam Bousdoukos.

This year the Festival will award Luciana Castellina, who has always been a  “friend” of the event, the Golden Olive Tree for her key contribution to European culture and cinema; the Golden Olive Tree will also be awarded to Fulvio Lucisano for his fundamental contribution to Italian cinema.

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. Also two Photography exhibitions will be held: “Stefania Sandrelli, Icone du Cinéma Italien” by Antonio Maraldi, at the Ex Convento dei Teatini, and “20 anni di Festival del Cinema Europeo” at the Castle of Charles V.





Stefania Sandrelli will open the 20th edition of the European Film Festival on the evening of 8th April at the Multiplex Cinema Massimo. The actress will receive the Golden Olive Tree for Career Achievement after a meeting with the audience hosted by Fabrizio Corallo.

The following films will be screened: Divorce Italian Style by Pietro Germi (1961), La bella di Lodi by Mario Missiroli (1963), Seduced and Abandoned by Pietro Germi (1964), I Knew Her Well by Antonio Pietrangeli (1965), The Conformist by Bernardo Bertolucci (1970), We All Loved Each Other So Much by Ettore Scola (1974), The Key by Tinto Brass (1983), Evelina and Her Sons by Livia Giampalmo (1990), I Can See It In Your Eyes by Valia Santella (2004) and The First Beautiful Thing by Paolo Virzì (2009).

The tribute to Sandrelli will include, in addition to the retrospective, a Photography Exhibition titled “Stefania Sandrelli, Icone du Cinéma Italien” and curated by Antonio Maraldi, with photos taken from the archive of Centro Cinema Città in Cesena.



The great Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov is the “Protagonist of European Cinema”, with a tribute by Massimo Causo that will retrace the most significant moments of the career of the director – winner of numerous Awards at international Festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Moscow, Toronto, Venice –  offering a retrospective of some of his most representative films, made from the late ’90s to the present day, including the whole tetralogy of power: Taurus,  Moloch, The Sun and Faust (Golden Lion at Venice 68, in 2011).

The retrospective will also include the Italian première screening of A Russian Youth by Alexandr Zolotukhin, a former disciple of Sokurov, who is the creative producer of the film, screened at the Forum of the past edition of the Berlinale.

On 11th April, the European Film Festival will devote an entire day to Sokurov, with a master class moderated by Massimo Causo with Aliona Schumakova, taking place at the Multiplex Cinema Massimo. On the evening, the filmmaker will be awarded the Golden Olive Tree for Career Achievement, at the end of a meeting with the audience hosted by Marco Müller. This moment will be followed by the screening of Russian Ark, a film chosen by Sokurov himself and very important to him, which through a single amazing long take tells 300 years of Russian History crossing the halls of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. The scheduled films are: Francofonia (France, Germany, the Netherlands, 2015); Faust (Russia, 2011); Alexandra (Russia, France, 2007); The Sun (Russia, Italy, Switzerland, France, 2005); Father and Son (Russia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, 2003); Taurus (Russia, 2001); Moloch (Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, France, 1999); Mother and Son (Russia, Germany, 1997); A Russian Youth by Alexandr Zolotukhin, with Alexandr Sokurov as creative producer (Germany, 2019).



12 films, selected by Alberto La Monica and Luigi La Monica, will screen for the first time in Italy, introduced 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 Audience Award, awarded through voting by the Festival’s audience.


Blind spot by Tuva Novotny (Norway, 2018) tells, through a single long take, about the struggle of a woman dealing with the teen problems of her daughter. But a much bigger tragedy is about to hit the entire family.

Cronofobia by Francesco Rizzi (Switzerland, 2018), starring Vinicio Marchioni, who will attend the festival together with the director, is the story of Michael Suter, a mysterious and solitary man who, during the day,  travels through Switzerland, creating new identities and evaluating the quality of customer service in shops and hotel rooms, while at night secretly observes the life of a woman…

Genesis by Árpád Bogdán (Hungary, 2018) interweaves the story of a young Roma boy, whose childhood reaches a sudden and drastic end when he loses his family, to that of a young female lawyer, who undertakes the defence of a man facing trial for a series of racist murders…

Her job by Nikos Labôt (Greece, France, Serbia, 2018). Panayiota, a 37-year-old illiterate housewife, leads a quiet life with her husband and their children in a modest neighbourhood in Athens, Greece. To cope with the recession that has been affecting her family for some time, Panayiota finds a job for the first time in her life…

Journey to a mother’s room by Celia Rico Clavellino (Spain, 2018), is a film about the ties that tightly bind a mother and a daughter, so delicate they can easily tangle them. The two women will have to face a new time in their lives.

Jumpman by Ivan I. Tverdovskiy (Russia, Lithuania, Ireland, France, 2018) is the story of Dennis, a boy who grew up in an orphanage. He is a special boy, who due to a rare illness is immune to pain, and this makes him popular among other boys. One day his mother turns up out of the blue and takes him to Moscow…

Oray by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay (Germany, 2019). In an argument with his wife Burcu, Oray pronounces the Islamic word for separation, talaq. The Imam informs him that he must now part from Burcu for three months. Oray uses the enforced break in their relationship to make a fresh start, moves to Cologne and seeks out a new Muslim religious community, led by the young Imam Bilal…

Paper flags by Nathan Ambrosioni (France, 2018), is the story of Charlie, a young girl who dreams of being an artist and finds it difficult to make ends meet. When her brother comes to find her after an absence of 12 years, everything is turned upside down. 

Stitches by Miroslav Terzić (Serbia, 2019), based on true events, takes place in contemporary Belgrade, 18 years after a young seamstress was informed of her newborn’s sudden death. She still believes the infant was stolen from her…

Summer survivors by Marija Kavtaradze (Lithuania, 2018). Indre, an ambitious young research psychologist, has reluctantly agreed to transport two patients from one psychiatric unit to another in exchange for research privileges at her clinic. But she finds herself the leader of a rather rag-tag band on the long journey to the new seat…

The pig by Dragomir Sholev (Bulgaria, 2018). Pig is a quite overweight boy of 13, who suffers every day the bully of his classmates. One day he becomes a victim of another mockery attack by a new boy, Martin, and, in his attempt to get free from the scuffle, Pig instinctively fights back with just one, but probably lethal strike…

Two for joy by Tom Beard (UK, 2018). Aysha suffers from a paralyzing depression after the death of her husband. As a result, her adolescent daughter has had to take on enormous responsibilities at a young age, and little Troy wanders along without any responsible adult figures…



The 20th edition of the European Film Festival will include an out-of-competition section devoted to European Comedy and the New Italian Comedy, with the premiere of five European feature films and a series of screenings and meetings.

The Lecce Festival has for some years endeavoured to reflect on European and Italian comedy together with artists, producers, screenwriters and journalists. This year, the Festival taking place in Salento will broaden its horizons to embrace particularly representative exponents of this film genre, hosting in Lecce Nino Frassica, Paola Minaccioni and Alessandro Siani,  who will receive the Silver Olive Tree Award for their contribution to the New Italian Comedy. The three artists will meet groups of students in the morning and the Lecce audience in evening meetings moderated by Valerio Caprara, Marco Giusti, Enrico Magrelli.

The day of Tuesday 9th April will be dedicated to Paola Minaccioni with the screening of Fasten Your Seatbelts by Ferzan Ozpetek (Italy, 2014); on Friday 12th April the Festival will host Alessandro Siani, with the screening of The Unlikely Prince by Alessandro Siani (Italy, 2013); on Saturday 13th April Nino Frassica, with the screening of Il Bi e il Ba by Maurizio Nichetti (Italy, 1986).

The five films premiering for the European Comedy section:

Butterflies by Tolga Karaçelik (Turkey, 2018). Three siblings come back to their village after 30 years upon their father’s request. When they arrive to the village, they realize that their father is dead and in his will he asks to be buried when the butterflies come to the village to die. Three siblings who do not know each other will have to kill time in this village. As they start to find out more about their father and about each other, they also start to know more about themselves.

Happier times, Grump by Tiina Lymi (Finland, 2018) tells about the willpower of a grumpy old man who wants to die, because all the work is done, and the meaning of life is gone. But just as his own coffin is being finished, a new life appears to the Grump… 

Hopelessly devout by Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz (Spain, 2018). Carmen, a devout Catholic woman from Malaga, is about to be chosen leader of her local religious guild, but it all goes up in smoke when her biggest rival is chosen. Life, however, is always surprising, and what at first seems like a terrible predicament could turn into Carmen’s chance to fulfil her dream.

I feel good by Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern (France, 2018). Monique runs an Emmaus community near Pau, in the South of France. After being estranged for years, her no-good brother Jacques shows up with a single obsession: to find the idea that will make him rich. Rather than a family reunion, it’s two different worldviews clashing. 

What Have We Done to Deserve This? by Eva Spreitzhofer (Austria, 2018) is the story of Wanda, an atheist feminist from Vienna who faces her worst nightmare when her teenage daughter decides to convert to Islam and wear a headscarf. Wanda’s world is turned upside down, but she finds a supporter: it’s Hanife – a mother of Nina’s friend Maryam – who together with her parents immigrated to Austria 35 years ago in order to be saved from the outdated image of women having to cover their hair….  



For this edition, the European Film Festival has organized a series of evening events that will take place every day at the bookshop Liberrima/all’Ombra del Barocco. The Lecce audience and the Festival guests, in the convivial atmosphere of the bookshop, will have the chance to meet the protagonists of the New Italian Comedy and Cinema and Books sections.

On Tuesday 9th April, meeting with Paola Minaccioni hosted by Enrico Magrelli; on Wednesday 10th April, Luciana Castellina will present to the audience, during a meeting hosted by Silvio Maselli, her book Amori comunisti (published by Nottetempo cronache); on Thursday 11th April, Carlo Verdone and Enrico Magrelli will present the book Carlo Verdone by Gian Luigi Rondi (published by Edizioni Sabinae), based on an unreleased interview to the actor made by Gian Luigi Rondi one month before his death; on Friday 12th April there will be a meeting with great Italian producer Fulvio Lucisano, hosted by Laura Delli Colli, author of the book Fulvio Lucisano. Sotto il segno del cinema (published by Edizioni Sabinae); on Saturday 13th April, meeting with Nino Frassica hosted by Marco Giusti.



On Tuesday 9th April, there will be the Italian premiere screening of Smuggling Hendrix by Marios Piperides, winner of the Best Film award in the International “Narrative Competition” section of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is set in Nicosia, Cyprus, the last world’s capital city to be divided into two different zones. According to the Law, no animal, plant or product can be transferred from the Greek side of Cyprus to the Turkish one, and the other way round. So, when the dog Jimi Hendrix accidentally crosses the UN Buffer Zone, his master, rocker Yiannis, who was about to leave the island  to seek a fortune elsewhere, has to stay there, doing all he can to bring his dog back.

On Wednesday 10th April, the screening of We’ll Rise at Dawn by Jean-Marie Benjamin, attended by the director and leading actor Andrea Solombrino. The story of two boys, 12-year-old Luca and 13-year-old  Sebastiano, who decide to make a research on Padre Pio by gathering the testimonies and the stories of those who knew him. They go along the Gargano streets on their bicycles, looking for authentic testimonies in order to write a book on the Friar from Pietrelcina. Their research – that also becomes an encounter between the new generations and the faith and charisma of the Capuchin friar- interweaves with the family matters of the  two boys. Luca’s family, also made up by his little sister Miranda, is solid and united, whereas Sebastiano has an ill mother and an alcoholic father.

On Thursday 11th April, director Laura Luchetti will introduce the premiere screening of the feature film produced by Picture Show Twin Flower (Italy, 2018), together with producer Giuseppe Gallo and distributor  Gianluca Pignataro, a project also made with the contribution of the Apulia Film Forum of Apulia Film Commission and distributed by Fandango. This work, set in a Southern Italy full of beauties but also hidden dangers, tells the story of two teens, Anna, whose father has been killed, and Basim, an immigrant orphan. They set off together for a new start, going through the mysterious landscapes of Sardinia, as if they were the protagonists of a dark fairy tale.

On Friday 12 April, Stefano Accorsi and director Leonardo D’Agostini will introduce the premiere screening of the film The Champion (Italy, 2019). Very young, extremely talented, undisciplined, rich and spoiled, Christian Ferro is a brilliant and unregulated  soccer star, the new idol who attracts the attention of the supporters of a whole town and of the Serie A Championship. Valerio Fioretti, a shy and lonely man dealing with economic problems and a shadow from the past looming over the present, is the teacher chosen by the President of the soccer club when – after yet another stunt of the young goal scorer – he decides it’s time for someone to give Christian a little discipline. They clash with each other at first, but soon develop a deep relationship that will help both of them grow and change.


WALTER CHIARI AND PUGLIA | Wednesday 10th April

Never-before-seen footage, anecdotes, stories and surprises by Tatti Sanguineti

The European Film Festival, thanks to Tatti Sanguineti, pays tribute to the genius of Walter Chiari and shines a light on the Apulian origins of the comedy actor. Sanguineti, a renowned film critic and great long-time friend of the actor, tells stories, trivia and tidbits about his life, prepared just for the occasion. What emerges is a maybe lesser-known, but equally fascinating side of Chiari, who preferred life and TV to cinema, as well as his relationship with women, his excesses and the rivalry with his often jealous colleagues, which led to resounding judicial and political news. Walter Chiari was famous for his obsessive passion for improvisation, and he had a particular talent for amusing his partners who were frightened and fascinated by the stage, helping them to feel at ease. His life was a crossroads of adventures and encounters and provides a cross section of Italian history. So, Puglia and Walter Chiari, or rather Walter Annichiarico, an inseparable pair with a visceral, affectionate and ignored relationship. His father came from a family of sharecroppers from Grottaglie and was a security sergeant. His mother came from an upper class background and was a primary school teacher  from Andria.  




This section aims to focus attention, through cinema, on significant social and cultural issues, providing an opportunity of reflection and better understanding of matters and events of our contemporary reality. The screenings will be attended by the directors of the films.


Be kind by Sabrina Paravicini and Nino Monteleone (2018) documents the story of Nino, a 12-year-old little boy who was diagnosed with a severe, though not serious, form of autism at two-and-a-half years old. After he stopped speaking and looking into his mother’s eyes, his growing inner isolation began to threaten, day after day, his interaction with others, with the world.

Non più, non ancora by Mariagrazia Contini, Paolo Marzoni, Vito Palmieri (2018). Love, friendship, school, sensitiveness, a changing body, bullying, the internet, family, future: a look at pre-adolescence through the voices of 100 boys and girls, interviewed by Mariagrazia Contini (full professor of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Education of the University of Bologna). And also through the videos shot by the teens themselves without a crew, with just phones or small cameras.

Selfie by Agostino Ferrente (2018) is a documentary film telling the story of Alessandro and Piero, two 16-year-old boys living in the Traiano Neighbourhood in Naples, close friends with totally different and complementary characters. They have accepted the director’s proposal to use the iPhone to make a live account of their own daily life, talking about their friendship, their quarter as it becomes deserted in the midst of summer, and the tragedy of Davide, a boy their age who was accidentally shot dead.  

Tomi Janežič – La cura del teatro by Anna Maria Monteverdi (2018), a stage documentary that is a journey around the figure of Slovenian stage director Tomi Janezic, focusing on his presence in the town of Campi Salentina for the “Mundi, Crocevia dei Balcani” Festival, in Lubjana, in Krusce and at the Napoli Teatro Festival. Moments taken from the psychodrama workshops organized between Italy and Slovenia alternate with fragments of the multi-award winning show Il gabbiano, produced by the Novi Sad National Theatre (Serbia). Narrated in the first person by Anna Monteverdi, who followed the director for three years, the documentary was made in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Lecce.



On Saturday 13th April, the 10th edition of the Mario Verdone Award will be held. The Award was 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 Award is assigned by Silvia, Carlo and Luca Verdone to a young filmmaker (under 40 years old) who has particularly stood out in the latest film season for 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.

The 12 filmmakers in competition this year 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 If Life Gives You Lemons; Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo with Boys Cry; Margherita Ferri with ZEN in the Ice Rift; 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.

The finalists of the 10th edition are: Ciro D’Emilio with If Life Gives You Lemons, Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo with Boys Cry, Margherita Ferri with ZEN in the Ice Rift.

The winners of the previous editions were: Susanna Nicchiarelli for Cosmonaut, Aureliano Amadei for 20 Cigarettes, Andrea Segre for Shun Li, Claudio Giovannesi for Ali Has Blue Eyes, Matteo Oleotto for Zoran, My Nephew the Idiot, Sebastiano Riso for Darker Than Midnight, Duccio Chiarini for Short skin, Marco Danieli for The Wordly Girl and, last year, Roberto De Paolis for Pure Hearts.  



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 a Prize in memory of filmmaker Emidio Greco, with the aim of awarding a young Italian filmmaker (maximum 35 years old) for his or her talent in the making of a short film.

The Selection Committee is composed by Jacopo Chessa (Director of the National Short Film Centre), Lia Furxhi (President of National AIACE Association) and Alberto La Monica (Director of the European Film Festival) and the Jury composed by the Greco Family will select the winner.

The ten short films selected for the final are: A pelo d’acqua by Rafael Farina Issas (2018), Acquario by Lorenzo Puntoni (2018), Egg by Martina Scarpelli (2018), Im Bären by Lilian Sassanelli (2018), La Bête by Filippo Meneghetti (2018), Labor by Cecilia Albertini (2018), Mulini a vento by Simone Spampinato (2018), Ninfe by Isabella Torre (2018), Quelle brutte cose by Loris Giuseppe Nese (2018), Yousef by Mohamed Hossameldin (2018).

The first edition was won by Gabriele Mainetti with Tiger boy, the second by Cristina Picchi with Zima, the third by Federico Di Corato and Alessandro De Leo with La baracca, the fourth by Francesca Mazzoleni with Lo so che mi senti, the fifth by Giovanni Fumu with Good News, the sixth by Rossella Inglese with Denise.



This section aims 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. Every year, the Festival presents a restored feature film and some of the graduation films of the students.

This year, the Festival has involved not only the Rome headquarters, but also the Centro Sperimentale branches in L’Aquila, Milan and Turin, which will all take part in the “showcase”, each with works linked to its specific courses, i.e. cinema, animation, advertising and corporate filmmaking, audiovisual reports.

For the Rome headquartes (cinema): A pelo d’acqua by Rafael Farina Issas (2018), L’accoglienza by Gianluca Granocchia (2018), Così in terra by Pier Lorenzo Pisano (2018), Fino alla fine by Giovanni Dota (2018), Il giorno della patata by Veronica Spedicati (2018), Il nostro sangue by Gino Palummo (2018), L’amata by Domenico Croce (2018), Nessun dorma by Paolo Strippoli (2018).

For the L’Aquila branch (audiovisual reports): Ogni giorno by Martina Galiè (2019), L’albero dai mille colori by Greta Rossi (2019), Tecchiaioli by Alessio Salvini (2019).

For the Milan branch (advertising and corporate filmmaking): Bandiere arancioni – Touring Club Italiano by Giulia Canella and Giovanni Iavarone (2015), CPM Music Institute – Batteria by Andrea Cima (2018), Credits by Valentina Landenna (2016), DFS-T Fondaco dei tedeschi by Francesco Guarnori, Alessandro Marin, Guido Pedroni and Matteo Trincanato (2018), Il sospiro del vino by Giuseppe Bonasia and Federico Tarchini (2018), L’uomo che uccise James Bond by Francesco Guarnori (2017), La magia del fuoco by Francesco Guarnori (2018), La nostra famiglia by Bejna Hoxha, Alberto Mazzotta and Stefano Scarano (2016), Marry Up by Matteo Polo, Matteo Zanin, Marco Serpenti (2016), Ninnananna by Antonio Conte, Camillo Sancisi, Michele Stella (2017), Non farti fottere by Giovanni Iavarone (2016), Oltre lo schermo by Marco Bonaschi, Guido Tabacco (2016), Quei giorni insieme a te by Marco Oriani (2018), Sciacca Street Food Festival 2018 by Pietro Taronna (2018), Sìdera by Pietro Taronna (2018), Toscolano 1381 by Vincenzo Campisi (2016), Vittime del dovere by Pablo Poletti, Valentina Landenna (2015), Vittoria by Francesco Quadri, Stefano Scarano (2017).

For the Turin branch (animation): Arzena velenifera by Ludovica Ottaviani, Anna Sireci, Maria Testa (2016), Humus by Simone Cirillo, Simone Di Rocco, Dario Livietti, Alice Tagliapietra (2017), L’anguilla by Silvia Bassoli, Giacomo D’Ancona, Maria Virginia Moratti (2018), Merlot by Marta Gennari, Giulia Martinelli (2016), New Neighbours by Andrea Mannino, Sara Burgio, Giacomo Rinaldi (2018), Polvere sottile by Alessandra Boatto, Gloria Cianci, Sofia Zanonato (2018).

Lastly, in collaboration with Cineteca Nazionale, the restored version of St. Michael Had a Rooster by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (1972) will be screened.



Twenty-three short films have been selected for PUGLIA SHOW, the traditional competition for young Apulian filmmakers under 35 years old, a section managed by Luigi La Monica.

The Jury of the Competition, chaired by Giovanni Robbiano and composed by Alessia Barela and Corrado Azzolini, will award the CNC-National Short Film Centre Award, the Augustus Color Award.

Other awards will be the €3.000 Rai Cinema Channel Prize, awarded by the Jury composed by Maria Federica Lo Jacono and Manuela Rima (Marketing and Commercial section of Rai Cinema channel), and the Unisalento Award, awarded by the Jury composed by 25 students of the Cineclub Universitario (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.  

The short films in competition are: 11 by Piergiorgio Martena (2019), Albert lo zombie by Paolo Rollo (2019), Aria prima by Gaetano Mangia and Luca De Paolis (2018), Be Cruel by Vincenzo Stigliano (2019), Dakota by Eugenio Pranzo (2019), Danil by Davide Angiuli (2018), Dustland by Davide Cantelmo (2018), E il naufragare m’è dolce in questo mare by Maria Bulzacchelli (2018), Et in terra pacis by Mattia Epifani (2018), Giulia una storia qualunque by Vincenzo Ardito (2018), Hora by Maria Alba and Graziana Saccente (2018), Il gioco del silenzio by Ilaria Giangrande (2018), La strega del lago by Lorenzo Manisco (2018), Liminal by Antonio Stea (2018), Nessun dorma by Paolo Strippoli (2018), Nessuno si lascia a Natale by Fausto Romano (2018), Nuvole soprattutto by Antonio Bizzarro (2018), Peccatrice by Karolina Porcari (2018), Satyagraha by Nuanda Sheridan (Simona De Simone) (2018), Vacuum by Andrea Giuseppe Leonetti Di Vagno (2018), Vita 2 by Antonio Cofano (2018), Vita di un poeta by Pierfrancesco Gatto (2019), Vivi la vita by Valerio Manisi and Giovanni Siliberto (2019).

The out of competition short films are: Debris by Giuseppe Boccassini (2017), Fili by Sabina Andrisano (2019), Il mondiale in piazza by Vito Palmieri (2018), Il segreto di Maria by Gianni Ippoliti (2019), Midnight Special by Francesco Giorgi (2018), Storia triste di un pugile scemo by Paolo Strippoli (2017), U muschitteri by Vito Palumbo (2018).



LUX PRIZE of the European Parliament

Through this film competition the European Parliament aims to foster a debate on the social issues and values that are most representative of the European society.

The purpose of the Prize is to share the richness and diversity of European cinema with as many European citizens as possible,  and to stimulate a debate on the issues dealt with in the films selected.

The Parliament supports financially the translation and subtitling of the three finalist films into the 24 official languages of the EU, as well as the adaptation of the winning film for hearing or visually impaired people.

During the European Film Festival it will be possible to watch the three finalist films: Woman at war by Benedikt Erlingsson, winner of the Lux Prize 2018, Styx by Wolfgang Fischer (Germany, Austria, 2018), The other side of evrything by Mila Turajlić (Serbia, France, Qatar, 2017).



The screening of the short films receiving a nomination at the Best European Short Film Award 2018 by the European Film Academy:

Aquaparque by Ana Moreira (Portugal, 2018), Burkina Brandenburg Komplex by Ulu Braun (Germany, 2018), Graduation ’97 by Pavlo Ostrikov (Ukraine, 2017), I Signed the Petition by Mahdi Fleifel (UK, Germany, Switzerland, 2018), Kapitalistis by Pablo Munoz Gomez (Belgium, France, 2017), Container by Sebastian Lang (Germany, 2017), Meryem by Reber Dosky (the Netherlands, 2017), Prisoner of Society by Rati Tsiteladze (Georgia, Latvia, 2018), Release the Dogs by Manue Fleytoux (France, Belgium, 2017), Shame by Petar Krumov (Bulgaria, 2017), The Escape by Laëtitia Martinoni (France, 2018), The Years by Sara Fgaier (Italy, France, 2018), Those who desire by Elena López Riera (Switzerland, Spain, 2018), What’s the damage by Heather Phillipson (UK, 2017), Wildebeest by Nicolas Keppens & Matthias Phlips (Belgium, 2017).


CINEMA AND MUSIC | 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. 



 “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 take place at the Ex Convento dei Teatini, and 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.   



Photos by: Piero Giannuzzi, Claudio Longo, Massimiliano Spedicato, Alessandro Colazzo, Beppe Ardito.

Twenty years of the European Film Festival celebrated through significant images of its history: photos, faces, frames of a film shot in front of the Lecce audience, collected for an exhibition showcasing and retracing the protagonists of Italian and European Cinema that have been guests at the Festival. An opportunity to see again, all together, the most beautiful images from the exhibitions dedicated to Aki Kaurismaki, Isabella Ferrari, Carlo Verdone, Christian De Sica, Valeria Golino, Margherita Buy, Claudia Cardinale, Sergio Castellitto, Michelangelo Antonioni. A family album of the festival, offered not only for the pleasure of seeing again the friends of this event, but also because the charm of cinema is made of beautiful looks, frames capturing unforgettable moments of a film, the portrait of a star, the art of posters, the flashes of photographers capturing the happiness of a star celebrated by their audience.



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




For the first year, the European Film Festival, together with the Rotary Club Lecce association, establishes the Rotary Club Lecce Award with the aim of awarding one of the films screening at the Festival that, for its themes and narrative form, is deemed particularly in line with the mission of this humanitarian association: serving others and promoting integrity and international understanding.


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.

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, Rai Cinema Channel, Augustus Color, Austrian Cultural Forum, Arci Lecce, Rotary Club Lecce, Liberrima, Manifatture Knos, Officine Cantelmo, MUST Lecce, Quarta Caffè, Apollonio, Stasi Azienda Agricola, Passo Uno, futuroRemoto Gioielli, S.T.P. di Terra d’Otranto, Concessionaria Autosat.

Media partners: Cinecittà News, Cineuropa, FRED Film Radio, Rai Radio3.











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