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57th Pesaro Film Festival - Program

Donato Sansone’s opening theme for the 57th Pesaro Film Festival 

Competition “Pesaro Nuovo Cinema” – Lino Miccichè Award 

An inclusive competition open to all films, directors, formats, and durations 

[selection by Pedro Armocida, Paola Cassano, Cecilia Ermini, Anthony Ettorre, and Raffaele Meale] 

A big revolution in the international competition: its focus is still the ‘new cinema’, but it opens to all film formats and directors, regardless of age, duration, and genre. It is a unique case in Italy and counts few equals abroad, in an effort to keep up with the most innovative cinema that is made throughout the world, where all conventional categories have lost most of their meaning. Moving images follow viewers on all kinds of devices and duration is the time that we agree to devote to watching. Our competition will look more like an outrider showcase of the new languages and the most innovative forms of film-making. 

The competition counts 16 films including shorts, medium-length and features-length works from all over the world. A few highlights: The Witches of The Orient, the latest ‘sports documentary’ by Julien Faraut – the director of John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, winner of the 2018 Pesaro Film Festival – who has focused on the famous Japanese women’s volleyball team that dominated throughout the sixties and won the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, becoming an icon in their country. An animated series was inspired by them, the famous Attacker You! manga cult of a whole generation. Alexandre Koberidze’s What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? comes straight from the Berlinale where it premiered and depicts love at first sight in a poetic and atypical manner. The setting is a nondescript town of former SSR Georgia dominated by the passions for soccer games and music alike. American film-maker and poetess Lynne Sachs in Film About a Father Who follows the dynamics of her own family with an intimate, but multifaceted approach, focussing on the complex personality of her father through the use of footage and diverse supports from the eighties up to the present. 

Among the Italians, notice should be taken of the new work by Luca Ferri, mille cipressi, where a silent man with his meticulously packed lunch explores a superb architecture designed by Carlo Scarpa, the Brion Tomb, accompanied by the architect’s voice-over reflections all the way through. Adriano Valerio’s The Nightwalk is a short set in Shanghai right at the time of the pandemic. Isolation, desire to escape, and dark thoughts begin to overwhelm him until he does escape, walking across the deserted city. The ‘matterist cinema’ of Gianmarco Donaggio lands in Pesaro with his short Manifestarsi, a microscope investigation of the material component of billboards posted in Milan and a though-provoking exploration of matter. 

Another notable short is Mouaad el Salem’s This Day Won’t Last, a surprising debut filmed clandestinely at the Tunisian borders with the purpose of conveying the urgency of filming from within a world of oppression. 

The competition is judged by two juries. The professional jury is presided over by Walter Fasano, the director of Pino, a documentary shortlisted at the David di Donatello awards and one of the major film editors of Italian cinema (including Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name). The jury of students is made of fifteen students from different universities, film schools, and fine arts academies from all over Italy. 

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Opening film: 40 years of Indiana Jones – Tribute 

Raiders of the lost ark 

Keeping the tradition of the opening night with a classic Hollywood film, this year the setting of Piazza del Popolo will be inaugurated by a milestone of adventure film, Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The first episode of the exciting saga that follows the journeys of the most famous archaeologist of cinema, Indiana Jones, was released precisely 40 years ago. Here Indiana must get hold of the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do, venturing in jungles and exotic countries. 

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Special Event – Liliana Cavani 

(in collaboration with Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale) 

World premiere of Beyond Good and Evil restored  

The Festival’s Special Event dedicated to Italian cinema celebrates Liliana Cavani, 88, among the first and most important women directors of the Italian and international scene. In collaboration with Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale and with Cinecittà Luce, we will present all Cavani’s films for theatrical release, spanning from The Cannibals to Ripley's Game, from Francesco to Galileo, including the world premiere of Beyond Good and Evil restored. A round table with film directors and critics will discuss the cinema of Liliana Cavani, which is also the sole subject of the Marsilio book Liliana Cavani. Il cinema, i film, edited by Pedro Armocida and Cristiana Paternò, and published by Marsilio. 

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Five-Star Movies – by Paolo Mereghetti and Piera Detassis 

It’s impossible to think of a movie guide and not associate it to Paolo Mereghetti and his four stars, those that are assigned to the masterpieces of cinema. This year, the film critic launches his brand-new five-star classification, right here at the Pesaro Film Festival. On this occasion, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris will be screened, along with the five-star film chosen by Piera Detassis, Artistic Director of the David di Donatello Awards. 

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Finite Rants – A project by Fondazione Prada 

Finite Rants is an online project of Fondazione Prada curated by Luigi Alberto Cippini and Niccolò Gravina. For the first time, visual essays on film-makers, artists, intellectuals, and scholars will be projected on the big screen. The authors involved are film director and writer Alexander Kluge, photographer Satoshi Fujiwara, director Bertrand Bonello, director and actor Brady Corbet, economist Christian Marazzi, director Eduardo Williams, directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel, videomaker REMEMBER, writer and cultural critic Shumon Basar, and photographer and videomaker Alessia Gunawan. 

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Open Access Cinema 

A curatorial project on Open Access Online Cinema + bilingual e-book (Italian and English) 

This project curated by Gianmarco Torri intends to provide critical reflections on what happened in 2020 in terms of film fruition. Screenings and conferences will (almost) only take place online.  

In spite of the widespread desire to organize and watch screenings in physical spaces, throughout this period we have learned how to take advantage of the potential of the World Wide Web when it comes to watching films. Surely, when we get back to the ‘old’ habits, we won’t stop accessing the film heritage available online. 

The question is: how can or will this affect film curatorship or programming? 

Throughout this year, we have incessantly been finding new resources. We have realized how rich the world of cinema online can be. This does not (only) apply to the offer of paying platforms or the materials uploaded on purpose by institutions and festivals, but also and above all to audio-visual items that were already available online, even if less visible. 

The project Online Cinema is thus focused on films that are accessible on the official websites of institutions or of someone who owns their rights and makes the films available online for public fruition ‘permanently’ and free of charge. 

Aside from some pioneering projects, very few instruments as well as experiences and reflections have been devoted to the approach and exploration of this huge opportunity.  

The Pesaro Film Festival takes this unique opportunity and offers five curated film programmes, IRL and online. An e-book in Italian and English will also be published with the essays written to this purpose by nine curators, inspired by their own experience and sensibility in their own explorations of the World Wide Web. 

The project follows three main routes: critical reflections on the meaning of curating an online film programme and how it can influence film culture and curatorial practice; viewing programmes that each reader/spectator is free to follow on their own, reading the essays and accessing the films via the ULRs provided; and a list of the available online resources used by the curators in the construction of their essay/path. 

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The Image and Its Double – Women producers in Europe 

Film production in Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain 

Thanks to the collaboration of three young Italian curators who live abroad – Glenda Balucani, Lucia Pagliardini, and Annamaria Scaramella – the Pesaro Film Festival has organized a series of meetings with women producers who make films in four countries of Mediterranean Europe: Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain. This is an opportunity to let professionals of film industries who already work in co-productions meet in person and discuss the meaning of ‘making films’, especially in the post-pandemic era. 

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Cinema at the Beach (in collaboration with the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia) 

35mm Films – 100 years with Giulietta Masina 

The Festival goes back to the seaside, namely at the beach resort Bagni Agata, where great Italian movies in 35mm film will be screened thanks to the collaboration with Cineteca Nazionale, the Italian National Film Archive. The common denominator of the programme is the presence of movie theatres, as if to wish well for the reopening of Italian cinemas. 

The silver screen at the beach will also remember the figure of legendary actress Giulietta Masina on the 100th anniversary of her birth from an alternative point of view, i.e., the characters she played outside of the films directed by Federico Fellini. 

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The Wall of Sound: “Silent Concert” by N.A.I.P.  

X Factor star N.A.I.P. plays a concert on avant-garde cinema 

The Wall of Sound, traditional afterhours event dedicated to live soundtracks along with pictures projected in a unique setting, comes back in Piazza del Popolo. This year, the initiative welcomes the first concert played by N.A.I.P., the breakthrough artist from the talent show X Factor. The Italian singer-songwriter and performer will deal with the avant-garde cinema of the twenties, Dadaism and Surrealism, playing a live soundtrack exclusively for the Pesaro Film Festival. 

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BEST IN SHORTS 2021 – Contemporary Italian Animation 

Focus on Michele Bernardi, Magda Guidi 

The 7th edition of BEST IN SHORTS 2021 – Contemporary Italian Animation, the non-competitive section curated by Pierpaolo Loffreda and made in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts of Urbino, the Fuorinorma Festival, the Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche of Urbino, the Ravenna Academy of Fine Arts, and the Istituto d’Arte Scuola del Libro in Urbino, showcases the latest inventive, moving works made by Italian animation film-makers, i.e., over twenty shorts by both very young and established animators, including the new works of Gianluigi Toccafondo and Simone Massi as well as those made by the students of the Scuola del Libro. Moreover, the Pesaro Film Festival is proud to present the world premiere of the very latest short by Magda Guidi, Dieci storie vere. 

This year’s Best in Shorts boasts two Focus programmes, dedicated to Michele Bernardi and Magda Guidi. 

Michele Bernardi is the author of this year’s festival poster. He made several renowned music videos for the Italian indie scene before debuting with his own animated film in 2008. His works Tinnitus, Djuma, and Lost in Emotions were acclaimed in festivals worldwide and Mercurio was shortlisted at the 2018 Silver Ribbons Awards. 

Magda Guidi designed the Festival’s poster in 2014. As one of the outstanding animators in Italy, she also had a retrospective that year. Her films have screened in major animation festivals and her cartoons are exhibited in many art galleries in Italy and abroad. Her latest work, made in collaboration with Mara Cerri, Sogni al campo was selected in the Venice section Orizzonti in 2020 and is now showcased at the Pesaro Film Festival along with her other films. 

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Opening Theme by Donato Sansone 

Paper + Computer Graphics + 3D 

Donato Sansone, one of the outstanding contemporary Italian ‘animators’, created a unique opening theme for the 57th Pesaro Film Festival, combining traditional and digital animation techniques. Sansone, whose work was the object of last year’s Focus, experiments with a multidisciplinary approach with drawing, animation on paper, computer graphics, 3D, and compositing. 

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Vedomusica – Italian music videos 

Music video of the year 

Focus UOLLI 

There is a new section at the Pesaro Film Festival, and it is dedicated to the vibrant world of music videos. Curated by Luca Pacilio, it presents 20 Italian works released over the past year, including those of Madame, Gianna Nannini, Mahmood, and Ghemon. A contest will take place via the social networks to appoint “the music video of the year”. 

In line with the other festival sections, a focus is also included in Vedomusica. This new Focus is dedicated to the film-maker UOLLI, aka Tomas Marcuzzi. UOLLI began as a graphic designer but soon switched to digital animation and film direction. He made music videos for artists such as Meg, Lo stato sociale, Brunori Sas, Populous, Yombe, Franco Battiato, Niccolò Fabi, Bowland, and many others. He was responsible for the media campaigns of Moleskine and Illy, among others. With his naïf world and tactile compositions, he was featured in SkyArte’s “Artisti in fuga”. In 2012, UOLLI made the opening theme of the Venice Film Festival. 

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(Re)Edit Competition. Cinema through images 

Video essays 

The (Re)Edit  Competition is the first one in Italy, and one of the few in the world, reserved for video essays, the new form of film criticism.  The curators Chiara Grizzaffi and Andrea Minuz will shortlist five video essays/re-cuts/mash-ups/remixes. The winner among these will be screened during the festival. 

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Lino Miccichè Award for young film critics 

Young critics 

In collaboration with the Italian Film Critics National Union (SNCCI), the Pesaro Film Festival – traditionally keen on the education of new audiences and in line with the whole of initiatives implemented to involve young viewers - organizes a competition for film critics/reviewers named after Lino Miccichè (founder of the Pesaro Film Festival). The two competition sections are reserved for A) high school students and B) university students. 

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The school on the big screen. A training project in collaboration with the network of small schools INDIRE 

Festival’s films accessible to teachers and students 

In collaboration with INDIRE (Istituto Nazionale di Documentazione, Innovazione e Ricerca Educativa), the Pesaro Film Festival participates in the initiative “La scuola allo schermo” (The school goes to the cinema) by providing a number of films from the past editions that will contribute to an archive of audio-visual materials. This will be available for teachers and school principals, for students, researchers, or instructors in the educational sectors, including whoever wants to explore the themes relative to the world of school and Italian society from the post-war to the present day. 

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spaziobianco gallery 

Morgan Menegazzo Mariachiara Pernisa 

After the successful launch last year, spaziobianco, the new gallery dedicated to art and photography, hosts an installation and screenings of the works of Morgan Menegazzo and Mariachiara Pernisa, an original project curated by Mauro Santini. 

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Moreover… 

A GREEN festival 

Pesaro Film Festival Circus - Cinema for kids 

Emergency Charity Partner - Premiere of Margherita Ferri’s new film 

Pesaro Film Festival’s historical archive opening to the public 

Pesaro ranks as the town with the highest number of sustainable means of transport and as the first in Italy – joint with Bolzano – when it comes to using bicycles. This was made possible particularly thanks to its nearly 100-km bike lane network and a ‘green’ approach that the Festival shares fully, as all its venues are in walking or bicycling distance. The bicycle is the official vehicle of the Pesaro Film Festival. Guests and collaborators are given bicycles for free. The only physically distant venue is Bagni Agata, which host Cinema at the Beach (4.5 km from the city centre), but it is reachable by way of route #2 of the bicipolitana, the city cycle route (to be found on Google Maps too), in 15 minutes.  

The brand-new addition to the festival programme is Pesaro Film Festival Circus, a space reserved for kids in terms of screenings (a selection of five films) and workshops conducted by animation film-makers where they will create a short film. The heroine? A ‘green bicycle’ to ride through a village of film. 

After the shared experiences of the past few years, from this edition Emergency becomes the Festival’s Official Charity Partner. Among the initiatives, the premiere of a short directed by Margherita Ferri, Capitan Didier, produced by Groenlandia. 

Over its almost 60 years of existence, the Pesaro Film Festival has produced and collected a huge number of publications, documents, photographs, and footage with an incredible scientific and historical relevance. In fact, on June 12, 2020, the Ministry of Culture has declared it is an archive of particularly important historical interest. While the Fondazione is implementing a project to make its resources available to the community, during the Festival its headquarters will open to the public. 

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