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Micaela Ramazzotti presents “Felicità” in Lecce

Special Unscheduled Event

“Bye Tibérias”

 presented by Luciana Castellina

In memory of Giuliano Montaldo 

the restored version of his debut film “Pigeon Shoot”




Micaela Ramazzotti, “Protagonist of Italian Cinema” in the 24th edition of the European Film Festival directed by Alberto La Monica will be awarded the Golden Olive Tree for Lifetime Achievement. The actress and director will present her directorial debut Happiness (2023) to the audience (Tuesday 14, 8:30 p.m., Room 1). Happiness is the story of a dysfunctional family with selfish and manipulative parents, a two-headed monster that devours any hope of freedom for their children. Desirè is the only one who can save her brother Claudio and will continue to fight against everyone and everything in order to pursue a bit of happiness. Enrico Magrelli will moderate the meeting.

With Ramazzotti, the festival celebrates one of the most outstanding performers of Italian cinema with a retrospective of the most representative films of her career.

Special unscheduled event (Room 4, at 6 p.m.) featuring Bye Tibérias by Lina Soualem (France, Palestine, Belgium, Qatar, 2023), which was screened at last year’s Venice Days and Toronto International Film Festival. The film will be introduced by Luciana Castellina.  At age 20, Hiam Abbass leaves her native village in Palestine to pursue her dream of becoming an actress in Europe, leaving behind her mother, grandmother and seven sisters. Thirty years later, as daughter and filmmaker, Lina returns with her daughter to the village, exploring her mother’s courageous choices, her exile, and how the women in the family influenced their lives.

For the films in competition for the Golden Olive Tree – Cristina Soldano Award, Midwives will be presented by French director Léa Fehner’s (Room 3, at 6 p.m.). Sofia and Louise, after five years of study, become midwives. They are greeted by a whirlwind of situations and emotions that interferes with their work. Will the understaffed maternity team manage to keep the ship afloat?  


Also in competition is the Germany-France co-production, Dead Girls Dancing by Anna Roller (Room 3, at 8:30 p.m.). Three girls embark on a journey throughout Italy. When their car breaks down, they wander into an abandoned village in the mountains and begin to test the boundaries of their newfound freedom.

Afterwards, there will be a meeting with the filmmakers moderated by Davide Di Giorgio.

To commemorate a great filmmaker who just recently passed away, the Festival presents the 4k restoration of the film Pigeon Shoot, which was Giuliano Montaldo’s debut feature (1961). The restoration, curated by CSC – Cineteca Nazionale at the laboratories of Istituto Luce – Cinecittà, was carried out from the original 35mm negative made available by Surf Film and from an optical sound positive and a preservation print helad the archives of the Cineteca Nazionale. Supervision of the sound restoration was by Federico Savina. Luca Bandirali will introduce the screening.


In Room 5, at 6:30 p.m., the Cinema & Reality section continues with GO, FRIEND, GO by Gabriele Licchelli, Francesco Lorusso and Andrea Settembrini (2022). Filmed along the borders of Greece, Serbia, Bosnia and Italy over two years’ time, this docufilm recounts the everyday life of some migrants attempting to cross borders, amid difficulties, hopes and violent rejections by border police. In the hall will be the filmmakers who will introduce the film together with Massimo Causo. At 8:30 p.m. also in Room 5, “Giorni Felici” by Simone Petralia, starring Anna Galiena and Franco Nero, will be shown again.

The tribute to Nico Cirasola continues with the screening (Room 4, at 8 p.m.) of Da do da (1994). This year’s European Film Festival is dedicating a retrospective of six feature films by this director who recently passed away. 

In Room 1, at 6 p.m., for the Lux Prize, the European Film Festival will present 20.000 specie di api by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren (Spain, 2023), which is about an eight-year-old girl who begins to explore her identity together with the women of her family during a summer spent among the beehives in the Basque countryside.


The retrospective dedicated to Roman Polanski, “Protagonist of European Cinema,” continues in Room 2, at 9 p.m., with The Tenant (France, 1976). The film tells the story of Trelkovsky, a modest Polish clerk recently naturalized as a Frenchman, who goes to visit an apartment he would like to rent. The man haggles over the rent with the landlord, who makes a series of recommendations for the tenants’ peace of mind and the honorability of the building. The deal still cannot be concluded as the previous tenant has thrown herself out of the window and is now in the hospital dying. Upon her death, Trelkovsky takes possession of the apartment and finds himself at the center of a series of unjust and incomprehensible persecutions.


In Room 5, at 9 p.m., for the Mario Verdone Award, a customary event within the Festival, now in its 14th edition, Amanda by Carolina Cavalli will be screened (2022). 

For as long as she can remember Amanda, 24, has never had any friends even though it is the thing she desires most. When she discovers that as infants, she and Rebecca spent a lot of time together, Amanda chooses her new mission: to convince her that they are still best friends.

In Room 4, starting at 9:30 p.m., the Festival of the short film section continues  with The Dead Don’t Die by Francesco Castellaneta (CSC, Rome); Passeurs by Margherita Ferrari (CSC, Rome); Una stella per amica by Chiara Pieraccioli (CSC, Milan); Group Photo by Tommaso Frangini (Emidio Greco Award); A Barren Path by Nicola Camoglio (EG); L’eroe degli antieroi by Andrea Salvatore; Nu ffischia by Pierdomenico Minafra, Antonio Carella; and Ughetto forno – Il partigiano bambino by Fabio Vasco (Puglia Show).


Gusto Liberrima, at 10 p.m., will host the evening event of Festival Off: Karima in concert with Lifetime, accompanied by Piero Fassi on piano. With only piano accompaniment, Karima tells her story through music, her faithful companion in life, taking a journey through memories, emotions and passion. Free admission subject to availability.


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