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Italian Premieres | 8 Days in August di Samuel Perriard

European Feature Film Competition | Golden Olive Tree – Cristina Soldano Award,

Cinema & Reality | Casablanca

FESTIVAL OFF| Stefano Di Battista in concert 

The fifth day of the 24th edition of the European Film Festival, directed by Alberto La Monica, is dedicated to Italian premieres and films in competition.

In Room 2, at 8:30 p.m., will be the Italian premiere of 8 Days in August (Switzerland) by Samuel Perriard. The film, a Swiss-Italian co-production by Catpics and Helios Sustainable Films, tells the story of Helena and Adam’s vacation on the Gargano with their son in the company of another couple of friends. A sudden illness with their son will put a strain on their relationship. The meeting with the director will be moderated by Massimo Causo.


In Room 3, at 6 p.m., for the Golden Olive Tree Competition – Cristina Soldano Award, Medium by Christina Ioakeimidi (Greece, Bulgaria, 2023) will be shown. Sixteen-year-old Eleftheria shares an apartment with her older sister. Soon she starts dating her neighbor Angelos, a medical student where a genuine and indescribable youthful love is born.

Also in competition, in Room 3, at 8:30 p.m., Solitude by Ninna Pálmadóttir (Iceland, Slovakia, France, 2022) will be presented. Gunnar, forced to sell the family farm, moves to the city, where he continues to lead a lonely life. Soon, however, he befriends the little boy across the street who delivers newspapers.       


In Room 1, at 8:30 p.m., for the tribute to Micaela Ramazzotti, “Protagonist of Italian Cinema,” Paolo Virzì’s The First Beautiful Thing (2010) will be screened. Anna Nigiotti, is crowned “most beautiful mom” at a famous beach resort in Livorno, attracting the flirtatious attentions of men while making her husband Mario angry and suspicious and her eldest son Bruno ashamed of her. Today, now in ill health her contagious vitality has remained. Bruno has long since cut ties with her, but his sister convinces him to come back to bid her farewell. The encounter forces Bruno to recall the past of those days so many years ago.


The tribute to Roman Polanski (Room 1, at 6 p.m.), “Protagonist of European Cinema,” continues with The Ghost Writer (France, Germany, 2010). A talented British ghostwriter agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. The project appears cursed from the start. His predecessor, in fact, died in an unfortunate accident. The ghostwriter sets out to join the PM at an oceanfront home, but on the day of his arrival, a former minister accuses Lang of authorizing the illegal capture of suspected terrorists and turning them over to CIA torture, a war crime.

In Room 2, at 6:30 p.m., the retrospective dedicated to Nico Cirasola continues with the screening of Albania Blues (2000), the story of an antenna technician, Fefè, who works around the towns of Puglia. After a romantic disappointment, he runs away from home and witnesses a group of Albanian refugees landing on the seashore. He meets a beautiful refugee, who asks him for shelter, but other relatives and compatriots arrive, and the house is soon invaded by delinquents and artists. Fefè seeks refuge precisely in Albania.


For the Cinema & Reality section, in Room 5, at 6:30 p.m., Adriano Valerio’s Casablanca (Italy, France, 2023) features a love story between Fouad, son of an Imam in a working-class neighborhood in Casablanca who is in Italy without papers while waiting for medical treatment, and Daniela, born into an upper middle-class family from Puglia. The two create an intimacy in which each succeeds thanks to the other in breaking free from the rejection of society.

In Room 5, at 9 p.m., for the 14th Mario Verdone Award, Margini by Niccolò Falsetti (2022) will be presented: Grosseto, 2008. Edoardo, Iacopo and Michele are young members of a punk band that finally gets a chance to get noticed by opening for a famous American band in Bologna. When the concert is canceled, the three refuse to give up and do everything they can to move the concert to Grosseto, an arduous plan that will jeopardize their friendship. 


In Room 4, starting at 6.30 p.m., in collaboration with the European Film Academy, five short films nominated for EFA’s European Best Short Film Awards will be presented: 27 by Flóra Anna Buda (France, Hungary, 2023); Aqueronte by Manuel Muñoz Rivas (Spain, 2023); Daydreaming So Vividly About Our Spanish Holidays by Christian Avilés (Spain, 2022); Flores del otro patio by Jorge Cadena (Switzerland, Colombia, 2022); Hardly Working by Total Refusal (Austria, 2022).


Also in Room 4, from 9.00 p.m., the short films of Festival in Corto  will be screened: Cojocabrón by Luca Draoli (CSC L’Aquila); Febbre by Emanuela Muzzupappa (CSC Rome); La vedova più bella del paese by Mino Capuano (CSC Rome); Residenza fittizia by Luca Capponi (Emidio Greco Award); and finally in competition for Puglia Show the short films Paramore by Andrea Lamedica and Francesco Mastroleo; Pierpaolo morto e risorto by Rocco Anelli; and Anxiety by Laura Rochira.


Double event for Festival Off: at 5 p.m., Liberrima Bookstore will host the presentation of the book Per i soldi o per la gloria. Storie e leggende dei produttori italiani dal dopoguerra alle tv private by Domenico Monetti and Luca Pallanch, with the authors present. The book definitively debunks the reductive view of a one-dimensional figure, pragmatically interested only in profit, and at the same time recounts a memorable season of Italian cinema, from the masterpieces of Fellini and Antonioni to the great comedies of Risi and Monicelli, up to the new masters of laughter: Verdone and Nuti, Troisi and Moretti.

At 10 p.m., the Apollo Theater will host a concert by Stefano di Battista, one of the top names in contemporary Italian jazz, who will present an ad hoc project for the European Film Festival: Musiche per il cinema. Lineup: Stefano Di Battista on sax, Matteo Cutello on trumpet, Andrea Rea on piano, Daniele Sorrentino on double bass and Luigi Del Prete on drums.


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