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Italian Premieres | Special Events out of competition

I limoni d’inverno by Caterina Carone

Tribute to Nico Cirasola

Golden Olive Tree Competition | Cristina Soldano Award

Mario Verdone Award| “Denti da squalo”

Festival OFF | SING’N’PLAY

The European Film Festival presents the world premiere of I limoni d’inverno by Caterina Carone (Room 2, at 8:30 p.m.). The meeting with the director, actress Teresa Saponangelo and screenwriter Alessio Galbiati, will be moderated by Maurizio Di Rienzo. The film (Italy, Poland, 2023) tells the story of two strangers struggling with their gardening business who, thanks to the proximity of their respective terraces, begin to weave a profound dialogue, which helps them ease the pain of something serious, a secret, that each of them tries to hide from themselves. The film, produced by Vision Distribution – A Sky Group Company, Bartlebyfilm, Agresywna Bandain, will be released on Nov. 30 distributed by Europictures.

In Room 2, at 6 p.m., the screening of Focaccia Blues (2009) will kick off the tribute to Nico Cirasola, the director from Puglia who was a close friend of the European Film Festival and recently passed away, with a retrospective of his feature films. His wife Lucia Diroma, his children Claudia, Dionisia and Luca, producer Alessandro Contessa, composer Nino Lepore, Nichi Vendola and some of his dearest friends connected remotely, Agostino Ferrente, Totò Omnis, Giovanni Piperno, Dante Marmone and Tiziana Schiavarelli, will be on hand to tell his story.

In Room 3, at 6 p.m., screenings of films in competition for the Golden Olive Tree – Cristina Soldano Award continue: Remember To Blink by Aust?ja Urbait? (Lithuania, 2022) is the story of a couple who adopt two children from a foreign country. To help with the translation, the children are accompanied by Gabriel, a 20-year-old who is just beginning to taste the sweetness of power.

At 8:30 p.m., in the same room, Légua by Filipa Reis and João Miller Guerra (Portugal, France, Italy, 2023) will be presented. In an old manor in northern Portugal, Ana helps her friend Emília, an elderly housekeeper determined to keep the absentee owners’ house in order. Mónica challenges her mother Ana’s choices, and three generations of women try to figure out their place in a fading world. Davide Di Giorgio will moderate the meeting with the filmmakers present in the theater.

In Room 5, at 6 p.m., Special Event of the Cinema & Reality section: Ascanio Petrini’s Universal Experience (2023), a journey into the experience of four young Apulian Civil Service volunteers between 18 and 28 years old, who show their commitment to improve the reality in which they work. A journey that turns out to be an opportunity for personal growth, produced by Rabid Film for Regione Puglia and Apulia Film Commission Foundation. The film will be followed by a meeting with the director and Puglia Region’s Councilor for Youth Policies Alessandro Delli Noci moderated by Davide Di Giorgio.

For the Mario Verdone Award, in its 14th edition, in Room 5, 7:30 p.m., Davide Gentile’s Denti di Squalo (Italy, 2023) will be presented. The film tells the story of 13-year-old Walter and the most incredible summer of his life. School is out and he has just lost his father. In his seemingly aimless wanderings around the Roman coast, an abandoned villa with a giant, murky swimming pool catches his attention. But the villa is not unguarded, and an unforgettable journey will begin for him

The tribute to Roman Polanski, “Protagonist of European Cinema,” continues in Room 1, at 6:30 p.m., with An Officer and A Spy (France, Italy, 2019): on Jan. 5, 1895, Captain Alfred Dreyfus is demoted and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island on charges of espionage on behalf of Germany. Among the witnesses is Georges Picquart, who is promoted to head of the Statistics Department, the same military counterintelligence unit that had mounted the charges against Dreyfus. But when Picquart discovers what kind of secrets were about to be handed over to the Germans, he is drawn into a dangerous spiral of deception and corruption that will put his own life at risk.

In Room 5, at 9:30 p.m., for the retrospective on Micaela Ramazzotti, “Protagonist of Italian Cinema,” A Flat for Three (2012) by Carlo Verdone will be screened. Three separated fathers, once esteemed professionals, are forced to pay almost everything they earn in alimony; they decide to move in together to share expenses. Thus begins their cohabitation and friendship, but one evening one of them falls ill. Along comes Gloria, a cardiologist who has just been dumped by her boyfriend….

For the Audience’s Lux Award, Room 1, at 9 p.m., Nicolas Philibert’s On the Adamant (France, Japan, 2023) will be screened: the Adamant is a unique day center with a floating facility located on the Seine that also takes in adult patients suffering from mental disorders. They are offered treatment to bring them back to reality, help them recover or lift their spirits. The group in charge of the center strenuously attempts to resist the deterioration and dehumanization often produced by modern psychiatry.

In Room 4, from 6:30 p.m., the short films of Festival in Corto will be screened: for CSC Roma Amarena by Alberto Palmiero and La replica by Mauro Diez; U piscaturi carmu by Marlon Sartore (CSC L’Aquila); Zio Palmiro by Luca Sorgato for the Emidio Greco Award; for Puglia Show La piccola estate by Sara Scalera, Il volto di Capgras by Nicole Turi and La striara e lo striu by Carlo Conversano. The short film screenings continue at 9 p.m. with A fior di pelle by Lorenzo Tardella (CSC Roma); Le variabili dipendenti by Lorenzo Tardella (CSC Roma and Emidio Greco); La notte by Martina Generali, Simone Pratola, Francesca Sofia Rosso (CSC Torino – Emidio Greco); Ali di carta by Camillo Sancisi (CSC Milan); Happy New Year, Jim by Andrea Gatopoulos (Emidio Greco); for Puglia Show Terre Ioniche Storie dell’XI secolo by Michele Alberto Chironi; La mia escort by Alessandro Porzio; Eight steps by Anna Seviroli.

Final Festival Party at Arryvo with SING’N’PLAY. The brainchild of Maria Enrica Lotesoriere, a multifaceted and brilliant singer, and Maurizio Fasano, DJ producer and charismatic music designer, SING’N’PLAY is a collection of ideas. Music has no boundaries, no rules to follow. It is a game to be played every time as if it were the first—as if it were the only one.

Start at 11 p.m., free admission.

Devised and organized by the Cultural Association “Art Promotion,” the European Film Festival 2023, within the framework of the Apulia Cinefestival Network 2023, is an initiative carried out by the Puglia Region, Apulia Film Commission and ARET PugliaPromozione as part of the intervention “Promoting the Puglia of Cinema 2023” with resources from the POR Puglia 2014/2020 – Axis VI – Action 6.8. and released resources from POR Puglia 2000-2006, Measure 2.1.

It is also realized with the support of the Ministry of Culture-Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual.

Recognized by the Ministry of Culture as an “event of national interest,” the Festival is a member of the Association of Italian Film Festivals and is organized with the support of the Municipality of Lecce and the University of Salento, and in collaboration with Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, S.N.G.C.I., FIPRESCI, S.N.C.C.I., National Short Film Center, Lecce Biblio-Museum Pole, and the Rotary Club of Lecce.

Media partners: Cinecittà News, Cineuropa, FRED Film Radio

Technical partners: Acqua Orsini, Agricole Vallone, Augustus Color, Futuro Remoto Gioielli, Liberrima, Quarta Caffè, Rai Cinema Channel