Tonight, the Award for the 90th Anniversary of Fipresci goes, for the fist and unique time among these great masters in Bari, to a woman film director:
MARGARETHE VON TROTTA,
who has already been awarded by our Federation in 1981 for her unforgettable and revolutionary Marianne & Juliane, winner of the Golden Lion in Venice Film Festival.
An award which acknowledges a great film director, and a great woman. First with her 30 film as an actress, and then with her 24 movies as a screenwriter and director – she stubbornly managed to dominate the German cinema scene (and the Italian one too), until she became one of the most relevant filmmakers in the world.
Beginning forty years ago, her career captured the international audience with films such as Sisters or The Balance of Happiness, Sheer Madness, Rosa Luxemburg, Love and Fear, The Long Silence, The Promise, Rosenstrasse, Visions and her latest success – Hannah Arendt.
An unyielding, accurate and sharp director, whose universally awarded opus is the main proof of the necessity to have more and more women directors – not only to build a richer and more complex cinema, but also for a better world.
The Award for the Ninetieth Anniversary of Fipresci, goes to a film director and artist whom, through his career, has been twice acknowledged by our association.
In 1984 at Venice with Heimat
In 1992 once again at Venice with Heimat 2 – Chronicle of a Generation
A director who carved his career and entire life path out of memory and research, giving life to an epic narration of the History and Destiny of a Nation, and his people, with the unprecedented saga of Heimat.
A tale commenced more than 30 years ago and amounting to 3500 minutes. 58 hours during which Cinema transcends Time and leads the audience through a journey of discovery among epochs, personalities, passions, emotions and memorable identities.
It is a true honor to confer the Fipresci 90 Award to Edgar Reitz: an extraordinary artist, intellectual and film director – able to get the meaning of time, and the relevance of its narration – and to transform it into great cinema.
Tonight, the Award for the 90th Anniversary of Fipresci goes to a director who won three Fipresci Prix throughout his career:
In 1959 at Venice with Ashes and Diamonds
In 1970 at Mifed with Birch Wood
In 1978 at Cannes with Man of Marble
Academy Award Winner
A revolutionary author who, through a deep and impassioned immersion in the human and social soul, questioned his own times and the pillars of a complex and sometimes painful contemporaneity.
His cinema, which includes films such as Kanal, Innocent Sorcerers, Without Anesthesia, Landscape After the Battle, Man of Iron, Danton, Katyn, Walesa – Man of Hope, is a unique cultural heritage – essential for the understanding of the underground movements of History and humanity; and of the meaning of Destiny itself.
In occasion of its 90th Anniversary and 43 years after having awarded him for Trevico – Torino during Mifed 1972, Fipresci acknowledges once again the talent of one of the greatest film directors of all times:
Over the years, this outstanding author has written and directed masterpieces that forged the imagery of audiences from the whole world, narrating with subtle and sometimes sharp irony both miseries and splendors, hopes and failures of his numerous and eternal characters, played by legendary actors: from Mastroianni to Gassman, Sordi, Tognazzi, Manfredi and Sophia Loren, just to name the Italian ones.
His cinema, ahead of his time and prophetic, moved generations of spectators to perceive under a different light the themes and ideas that, through shrewdness, wit, and sometimes piercing sarcasm, and with an impassioned amusement – narrate the stories of women and men of our times.
With movies like One Million Dollars, Will our heroes be able to, A drama of Jealousy, The Most Wonderful Evening of My Life, We All Loved Each Other So Much, Ugly Dirty and Bad, A Special Day, The Terrace, The Ball, Splendor, What Time is It? Capitain Fracassa’s Journey, The Dinner, How strange to be named Federico – just to name a few titles of his vast filmography both as a film director and screenwriter – Ettore Scola, with style and novelty, reached the acme of the artistic and cinematic excellency.
Tonight, the Award for the 90th Anniversary of Fipresci is assigned to another great European film director, whose cinematic opus was mostly dedicated to political and social commitment: Academy Award winner Costa-Gavras.
An unconventional film director whom we are even more pleased to award here at Bif&st 2015, dedicated to another of the founding fathers of European political cinema: Francesco Rosi.
Through stories full of honesty and free of compromises, Costa-Gavras analyzed and exposed the apparatus and distortions revolving around Power, granting us fierce emotions. Films such as Zed, The Confession, Music Box, Missing, Mad City, Amen and The Axe – to name just a few titles of a career spanning over 40 years – are the greatest proof of the foresight and strength of this great director, whom we wish to honor for his courage and willingness to truthfully explore politics and power
The Award for Fipresci 90th Anniversary goes to a visionary and daring artist, who, throughout his career, fully explored the endless potentiality of cinematography, granting us deep emotions and surprising us with innovative and touching movies: Jean Jacques Annaud.
His cinema embodies the strength, humanity and beauty of Nature with films such as Quest For Fire, The Bear, Two Brothers and Wolf Totem, which you will soon see.
At the same time, he deeply explored the human soul, with titles such as Enemy At the Gates, Seven Years In Tibet and Black Gold, also transposing on the big screen some of the most unforgettable masterpieces of literature such as The Name of the Rose and L’Amant.
Fipresci assigns the Platinum Award to Jean Jacques Annaud, a European author of major foresight, style and artistic sensibility.
The first Award assigned by Fipresci for its 90 years Anniversary at Bif&st 2015, goes to Sir Alan Parker, to celebrate the talent and cinematic opus of such a cultured and refined author.
A film director who, through his visionary films and a career spanning over 30 years, inspired various generations of his audience, and was able to reach the heart of young people with Pink Floyd – The Wall, Fame, The Committments, Birdy and Evita; and also with films characterized by great commitment and human value such as Mississippi Burning, Angela’s Ashes, The Life of David Gale and Midnight Express.
An extraordinary artist, distinguished by a great sharpness, whom Fipresci wishes to celebrate as one of the most original voices of European and international cinematography.
An extremely dense program with more than 300 events scheduled – in 8 days only. Among these, more than 200 feature films, documentaries, short films (first and second screenings included), a conference on Fritz Lang, a round table about Cinema&Fiction, 8 Cinema Master Classes, 7 “Focus on…” over the actors. Up to this date, 120 Italian and 50 International cinema press journalist have confirmed their accreditation. From film directors to actors, producers and distributors, more than 350 guests will attend the Festival. Bif&st 2015 overall budget is 1,200,000 euro (VAT inclusive), with a 100,000 euro cut compared to previous editions, yet with the same expected audience registered at Bif&st 2013 and 2014 – and corresponding to the full capacity of the 12 halls entirely dedicated to the Festival.
The ItaliaFilmFest Awards ceremony during the Festival closing soirée at Teatro Petruzzelli will be presented by actress and director Stefania Rocca. Among the actors and actresses awaited in Bari: Barbara Bobulova, Carolina Crescentini, Marco D’Amore, Libero De Rienzo, Ivan Franek, Massimo Ghini, Adriano Giannini, Lucrezia Guidone, Alessandro Haber, Marco Leonardi, Valentina Lodovini, Antonella Maddalena, Simona Marchini, Marcello Mazzarella, Francesco Pannofino, Marcello Prayer, Isabella Ragonese, Micaela Ramazzotti, Ksenia Rappoport, Katja Riemann, Michele Riondino, Alba Rohrwacher, Carolina Rosi, Claudio Santamaria, Greta Scarano, Sara Serraiocco, Alessandro Sperduti, Jasmine Trinca, Luca Zingaretti and many others who are about to confirm their participation.
During the closing March 28th press conference, Bif&st Director Felice Laudadio will announce the general guidelines to Bif&st 2016, which – according to the Teatro Petruzzelli availability – will be held April 2nd to 9th. Here is the festival detailed program:
“International Premières” at Teatro Petruzzelli
This non-competitive section will open March 21st with the movie Tempo instabile con probabili schiarite by Marco Pontecorvo, starring John Turturro, Luca Zingaretti, Lillo and Carolina Crescentini, to be released by Good Films on April 2nd; the film will be screened at the presence of the director and part of the cast.
On March 22nd, Jean-Jacques Annaud will present his latest film, with a budget of 38-billion-dollars and almost entirely shot in Mongolia, Le dernier loup (Wolf Totem), a coproduction China-France, where it recently obtained excellent praises both among the critics and the audience. Distributed in Italy by Notorious Pictures on March 26th.
On March 23rd, Universal International Pictures will present a film openly inspired by Metropolis by Fritz Lang (to whom Bif&st dedicates a vast retrospective): Ex Machina, an intriguing debut work of British director Alex Garland, starring Oscar Isaac (whom we will soon see among the cast of the upcoming J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars), Alicia Vikander and Domhnall Gleeson (protagonist of Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie). The movie will be released in theatres from April 30th.
On March 24th, the Teatro Petruzzelli will host the world première of Ho ucciso Napoleone, an amusing and exciting Italian comedy by Giorgia Farina with Micaela Ramazzotti, Libero de Rienzo, Adriano Giannini, Thony, Pamela Villoresi, Elena Sofia Ricci. The movie will be distributed by 01 on March 26th.
Starring Michael Fassbender (the multiple times awarded actor of 12 Years a Slave and Shame), and the very young yet renowned Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee – Slow West, the feature film debut of the Scottish director John Maclean, may be among Bif&st 2015 best discoveries. After being screened in Bari on March 25th, it will be released by BIM, fall 2015.
The International cast of the movie presented on March 26th is also remarkable: The Gunman by Pierre Morel, with Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, and set in Africa, London and Barcelona. The movie will be distributed by 01 on May 7th.
Two years ago, Margarethe von Trotta honoured Bif&st with the absolute première of her successful film Hannah Arendt, played by Barbara Sukowa. On March 27th this year, she will return to Bari to present the international première of her latest movie, The Misplaced World, at the Teatro Petruzzelli. The film, enthusiastically welcomed at the special screening organized on February 13th by Berlinale, features once again Barbara Sukowa, together with another great German actress, Katja Riemann, who will also be among Bif&st guests.
On Saturday, March 28th, the closing film of the festival will be the new, irresistible The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Richard Gere, Bill Nighy, Penelope Wilton and directed by John Madden, who attended Bif&st 2012 to present his first Marigold Hotel. Once again distributed by 20th Century Fox, this film will hit theatres April 30th.
The “International Première” section program, will be completed by two Special Events, both scheduled on the opening day of the Festival, March 21st: the preview of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck by Brett Morgen, released by Universal, April 28th – and the midnight screening of Humandroid (Chappie) by Neill Blomkamp (author of District 9 and Elysium). Also this movie, released by Warner Bros on April 9th, features a robot with very human feelings, inspired by Lang’s Metropolis robot, as a protagonist.
“International Panorama” at Teatro Petruzzelli
In the competition program of the “International Panorama” section, still held at Teatro Petruzzelli but during the afternoon (4pm and 6.30pm), it will be possible to see 12 of the best movies produced during the last year all around the world, and entirely unreleased in Italy. A Jury composed by 30 selected spectators and chaired by producer and distributor Valerio De Paolis, founder of BIM, will confer the Bif&st 2015 Award to the director of the best films, selected with the collaboration of deputy director Enrico Magrelli and programmer Giuliana La Volpe. These are the movies in competition: Shelter by Paul Bettany with Jennifer Connelly, debut work of the famous British actor (2014, Usa); Graziella by Mehdi Charef with Rossy De Palma (2014, France); Road 47 by Vicente Ferraz with Sergio Rubini (2014, Brazil-Portugal); Discount by Louis-Julien Petit with Olivier Barthelemy (2015, France); Jamais de la vie by Pierre Jolivet with Olivier Gourmet (2015, France); Accused by Paula van der Oest, Academy Award nominated movie (2014, Netherlands-Belgium-Sweden-Luxembourg); Miss Julie by Liv Ullmann with Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton (2014, Norway-UK-Ireland-France); L’antiquaire by François Margolin with Anna Sigalevitch and Michel Bouquet (2015 France); The Guide by Oles Sanin (Ukraine 2014); Le temps des aveux by Régis Wargnier with Olivier Gourmet (2014, France-Cambodia); Kafkas der Bau by Jochen Alexander Freydank, winner of the 2007 Best Short Film Academy Award (2014, Germany). Out of competition, Bif&st will also present the wonderful Italian documentary film Magicarena by Andrea Prandstraller and Niccolò Bruna, written and produced by Agnese Fontana, backstage to the superb staging of Verdi’s Aida, realised by La Fura dels Baus at the Arena di Verona.
“Cinema Master Classes” at Teatro Petruzzelli
An unprecedented parterre de rois, composed of eight great European film directors is about to take the stage of the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, to hold the always much awaited Cinema Master Classes. This year the lessons will run March 21st to 28th and they will be organized in collaboration with Fipresci, the International Federation of Cinema Press. The eight Master Classes, each beginning at 11.30am, and preceded at 9 am by a film of its “Maestro”, will start with Sir Alan Parker, introduced by film critic Derek Malcolm, who will begin his lesson right after the amazing 1978 movie Midnight Express (March 21st). It will then be the turn of Jean-Jacques Annaud, who, introduced by Michel Ciment, will begin after the screening of his 1997 movie Seven Years in Tibet (March 22nd).
Greek author Costa-Gavras’ lesson will draw on his 2002 film Amen, and on the controversial relationship between the pontificate of Pius XII and the Nazi regime (March 23rd). Then it will be the turn of a great maestro of Italian cinema, Ettore Scola, who will hold his Master Class after the screening of his Una giornata particolare (A Special Day). The 1977 movie, thanks to which Scola obtained his first Academy Award nomination, will be presented in a digitally restored copy by the CSC-National Film Archive, in collaboration with Surf Films (March 24th). Introduced by film critic Grazyna Torbicka, Polish Andrzej Wajda – winner of an Academy Award, and of a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, will deal with his 50 years of film making – starting from one of his latest titles: the striking 2007 Katyn, about the Soviets’ crimes in Poland at the inception of World War II (March 25th).
Introduced by Klaus Eder, another legendary author: German Edgar Reitz, director of Heimat – the longer than 54 hours movie in 30 episodes, which obtained countless prizes over the years – will begin his Class from the recently restored episode Hermännchen (March 26th). In 1981, in Venice, Margarethe von Trotta won both the Golden Lion and the Fipresci Award with The German Sisters (Die Bleierne Zeit); this will be the movie that will spring the discussion with the German film director (that will begin at 11 on March 27th).
Finally, introduced by French cinema critic Jean Gili, it will be the turn of another great Italian director included in the Cinema Master Classes panel: Nanni Moretti. His “lesson” will be surprising and particular – and it will begin right after the screening of Caro Diario, which received the Best Director Award at 1994 Cannes Film Festival, together with a plethora of other awards, among which the Fipresci Prix.
Fipresci 90 Award and Federico Fellini Platinum Award
The eight film directors of the Cinema Master Classes will receive the Fipresci 90 Platinum Award in occasion of the 90° Anniversary of the International Federation of the Cinema Press, which will be celebrated in Bari during Bif&st with the participation of about fifty cinema critics coming from all over the world. From 1946, the Fipresci Prix is the prestigious acknowledgment attributed by critics to the best films presented in major international festivals.
During the closing evening of the Festival, Nanni Moretti will also receive by Ettore Scola the Federico Fellini Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence.
ItaliaFilmFest/Feature films Competition
Together with the International films and retrospectives, the third Bif&st pillar has always been Italian cinema. The ItaliaFilmFest/Feature Films section (which does not include debut works) will feature a competition among the 12 best Italian movies selected from those released in theatre or selected in national and international festivals, March 2014 to March 2015. A Jury, expressed by the National Union of Italian Film Critics and composed by Franco Montini (SNCCI President), Vito Attolini, Paola Casella, Francesco Gallo, Andrea Martini, Cristiana Paternò and Federico Pontiggia, will assign the following Awards: Mario Monicelli Award to the best director; Franco Cristaldi Award to the best producer; Tonino Guerra Award to the best film subject; Luciano Vincenzoni Award to the best screenwriter; Anna Magnani Award to the best leading actress; Vittorio Gassman Award to the best leading actor; Alida Valli Award to the best supporting actress; Alberto Sordi Award to the best supporting actor; Ennio Morricone Award to the best score composer; Giuseppe Rotunno Award to the best cinematographer; Dante Ferretti Award to the best production designer; Roberto Perpignani Award to the best editing; Piero Tosi Award to the best costume designer.
First event of the season of major Italian cinema awards – Bif&st has each year anticipated later acknowledgments. During 2014 only, the films screened in competition in Bari have obtained 20 David di Donatello (out of 20), 20 Silver Ribbons and 16 Golden Ciak.
These are the movies in competition: on March 21st Torneranno i prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again) by Ermanno Olmi; on the 22nd Anime nere (Black Souls) by Francesco Munzi; and Hungry Hearts by Saverio Costanzo; on the 23rd Incompresa (Misunderstood) by Asia Argento; and Il ragazzo invisibile (Invisible Boy) by Gabriele Salvatores; on the 24th Biagio by Pasquale Scimeca; and Noi e la Giulia by Edoardo Leo; on the 25th Buoni a nulla by Gianni De Gregorio; and Il nome del figlio (An Italian Name) by Francesca Archibugi; on the 26th I nostri ragazzi (The Dinner) by Ivano De Matteo; and Il giovane favoloso (Leopardi) by Mario Martone; on the 27th Patria by Felice Farina.
ItaliaFilmFest/Debut Films Competition
The Jury of the ItaliaFilmFest/Debut Film section, composed by 30 selected spectators and chaired by critic and cinema scholar Jean Gili, director of Annecy Italian Film Festival, will attribute the Francesco Laudadio Debut Director Award to the director of the best first – or second – Italian feature film, chosen among the ones released in theatres or selected in National or International film festivals, March 2014 to March 2015. The following 12 films were selected: on March 21st Index zero by Lorenzo Sportiello; and Last summer by Lorenzo Guerra Seràgnoli; on the 22nd La foresta di ghiaccio (The Ice Forest) by Claudio Noce; and Vergine giurata (Sworn Virgin) by Laura Bispuri; on the 23rd Noi 4 by Francesco Bruni; and Le meraviglie (The Wonders) by Alice Rohrwacher; on the 24th Noi siamo Francesco by Guendalina Zampagni; and Senza nessuna pietà by Michele Alhaique; on the 25th La settima onda by Massimo Bonetti; and Fino a qui tutto bene (So Far So Good) by Roan Johnson; on the 26th Più buio di mezzanotte (Darker Than Midnight) by Sebastiano Riso; Perez by Edoardo De Angelis.
The same Jury will evaluate the best actors, to whom the Nuovo Imaie Award for Best Leading Actor and Actress, will be conferred.
ItaliaFilmFest/Out of Competition Documentary films
In the ItaliaFilmFest/Documentary films section, an extremely selected list of Italian documentaries will be screened. The films have been selected among the best of the year by the Artistic Direction, with the collaboration of Maurizio Di Rienzo. These are the selected movies: on March 22nd: Franco, un uomo in piedi e la signora vestita di nebbia. Una storia italiana by Mimmo Mongelli; and Come il peso dell’acqua by Andrea Segre; on March 23rd: Altamente by Gianni De Blasi; and SmoKings by Michele Fornasero; on March 24th: La zuppa del demonio by Davide Ferrario; and Qualcosa di noi by Wilma Labate; on March 25th: The special need by Carlo Zoratti; and Sul vulcano by Gianfranco Pannone; on March 26th: Triangle by Costanza Quatriglio; and Quando c’era Berlinguer by Walter Veltroni.
Before the Petruzzelli evening Premières some interesting “pills” of documentary films over Apulia, found in the vast Istituto Luce Archive: The construction works of the new Bari port, during the 20’s; Bari. San Nicola’s procession, during the 20’s; Bari. The Princes of Piedmont at the Fiera del Levante, 1931; The new road by Foggia, 1931; Taranto. Prolific families. The breeding of quadruplets and of eight brothers, 1937; Ascari’s Victory at the third Bari Grand Prix, 1949; In Rome, Bari wins against Verona and enters the Premier League, 1958; The History of Jazz according to Lino Banfi, 1971. Each “pill” runs between 1 and 2 minutes.
The Focus on… an actor or an actress interviewed in public by Franco Montini, president of the National Union of the Film Critics – has always been one of the classic and most successful Bif&st appointments. This year it will be the turn of Luca Zingaretti (March 21st), Alba Rohrwacher (22nd), Ksenia Rappoport (23rd), of a surprise guest (24th), Valentina Lodovini (25th), Marco D’Amore (26th) and Stefania Rocca (27th). Stefania Rocca will also present two short films she directed for ActionAid: Osa (10’) and L’abbraccio (4’22”). All these meetings will be held in the Foyer of the Teatro Margherita; the same place where the authors and protagonists of the scheduled movies, will hold their daily press conferences.
The memory of Cinema
1.Fritz Lang Festival – by Felice Laudadio and Carlo di Carlo, in cooperation with CSC-National Film Archive, Bologna Film Archive, RAI Teche, Friedrich-Wilhelm- Murnau-Stiftung, Goethe-Institut Rome, Sinister Film, Ermitage, Surf Film
2. Bif&st and CSC-National Film Archive present Tribute to Francesco Rosi – by Felice Laudadio, Emiliano Morreale and Orsetta Gregoretti, in cooperation with the Bologna Film Archive and RAI Teche.
At Bif&st the “Remembrance day” is every day. This is the reason why, in order to fight the growing and worrying phenomenon of a relapse into neo-fascism, Bari Film Festival will present the short movie SK-Sonderkommando by Nicola Ragone starring Marcello Prayer and Tommaso Lazzotti (2015, 18’) and will also present again ’43-’97 by Ettore Scola (1997, 9’).
Through the numerous commemorations of the beginning and horror of World War I – we strived to feature Torneranno i prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again) by Ermanno Olmi among our competing titles - Bif&st will pay tribute to an anniversary of which nobody seems yet to speak about: April 30th, 1975, with the fall of Saigon, 40 years ago – a date which marked the end of the atrocious Vietnam War, ruinously lost by the Americans. Under the “Vietnam Generation” label, we will present three documentary films, proposed by the Audiovisual Archive of the Democratic and Labour Movement (AAMOD): Le ciel, la terre by Joris Ivens (1966, 40’, France), Hanoi, martes 13 by Santiago Álvarez (1967, 38’, Cuba) and Vietnam, scene del dopoguerra by Ugo Gregoretti and Romano Ledda (1975, 97’, Italy). These three documentary films are part of a highly precious ensemble of materials over the Vietnam War – collected and conserved by AAMOD – which will be screened towards the end of spring in Rome at the Casa del Cinema, in collaboration with Bif&st and curated by Giandomenico Curi and Paola Scarnati.
Round Table – Cinema&Fiction: parallel convergences?
In the afternoon of March 27th and 28th, Bif&st will host an important round table titled Cinema&Fiction: parallel convergences?. Curated by Fabiano Fabiani (former Cinecittà Holding Managing Director and President of the APT (Association of Italian Television Producers), and by Bif&st deputy director Marco Spagnoli, the panel revolves around a highly topical theme, which was debated even by Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Spielberg: are the latest serials, notably the American ones, surpassing the qualities and values of cinema? Which are the trends that may be spotted in the current Italian fiction, compared to Italian cinema? Speakers: Matilde Bernabei, Gianni Canova, Daniele Cesarano, Umberto Contarello, Carlo Degli Esposti, Marco Follini, Carlo Freccero, Mario Gianani, Silvia Napolitano, Severino Salvemini, Andrea Scrosati, Alberto Sironi, Riccardo Tozzi, Pietro Valsecchi.
Workshop of Production and Costume design
Bif&st 2015 will host four Workshops dedicated to Set design (in his various aspects cinema, teatro and tv) and Costume design, led by Lorenzo Baraldi, Giovanni Licheri, Alida Cappellini and costume designer Gianna Gissi; and organized in cooperation with the ASC, Italian Production designers, Costume designers and Set decorators Guild.
Exhibition dedicated to Francesco Rosi – by Angelo Amoroso d’Aragona, in collaboration with the private collection Giuseppe Serra of Canosa di Puglia, with the Centro Cinema “San Biagio” in Cesena and the Mediateca Regionale Pugliese. Sala Murat, March 16th to 28th.
Exhibition dedicated to Fritz Lang – by Angelo Amoroso d’Aragona, in collaboration with the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek and the Mediateca Regionale Pugliese. Teatro Margherita, March 16th to 28th.
Bif&st in exhibit
Photographic Anthology by Nicola Amato and Pasquale Susca – Piazza del Ferrarese and Ex Palazzo delle Poste, March 21st to 28th
Cinema Shots – by Daniele Trevisi for the Apulia Film Commission. Ex Palazzo delle Poste 21st to 28th
An unprecedented parterre de rois, composed of eight great European film directors is about to take the stage of the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, to hold the always long awaited Cinema Master Classes. The lessons will run March 21st to 28th and will be organized by Bif&st, chaired by Ettore Scola and directed by Felice Laudadio, in collaboration with Fipresci, the world Federation of cinema critics, that will celebrate in Bari its 90th Anniversary.
The eight Master Classes, each preceded by a film of its “Maestro”, will begin with Sir Alan Parker, introduced by film critic Derek Malcolm, who will begin his lesson right after the amazing 1978 movie Midnight Express. It will then be the turn of Jean-Jacques Annaud, who, introduced by Michel Ciment, will begin after the screening of his 1997 movie Seven Years in Tibet. That very same evening at the Petruzzelli there will be the absolute Italian Première of his latest film Le dernier loup (Wolf Totem). Greek author Costa-Gavras’ lesson will draw on his 2002 film Amen, and on the controversial relationship between the pontificate of Pius XII and the Nazi Regime. Then it will be the time of a great maestro of the Italian Cinema, Ettore Scola, who will hold his Master Class after the screening of his Una giornata particolare (A special day). The 1977 movie, thanks to which Scola obtained his first Academy Award nomination, will be presented in its National Film Library restored copy. Polish Andrzej Wajda – winner of an Academy Award, and a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, will be introduced by cinema critic Grazyna Torbicka and will deal with his 50 years of film making – starting from one of his latest titles: the striking 2007 Katyn, dealing with the Soviets’ crimes in Poland at the inception of World War II. Introduced by Klaus Eder, another legendary author: German Edgar Reitz – director of Heimat, the longer than 54 hours movie in 30 episodes, which obtained countless prizes over the years and often run on the big screen – will begin his Class from the recently restored Tv series episode Hermännchen. In 1981, in Venice, Margarethe von Trotta won both the Golden Lion and the Fipresci Award with The German Sisters (Die Bleierne Zeit); this will be the movie that will spring the discussion with the German film director. On that very same evening and joined by main actress Katja Riemann, von Trotta will present the absolute Italian Première of her last film, The Misplaced World, triumphantly welcomed at the last Berlin Film Festival.
Finally, introduced by French cinema critic Jean Gili, it will be the turn of another great Italian director included in the Cinema Master Classes panel: Nanni Moretti. His “lesson” will be kind of surprising and particular – and it will begin right after the screening of Caro Diario which won the Palme d’Or at 1984 Cannes Film Festival, together with a plethora of other awards. All the film directors will be awarded with the Fipresci 90 Platinum Award. Nanni Moretti will also receive the “Federico Fellini Platinum Award for cinematic excellence”, during the Festival closing Petruzzelli soirée.
“Never before, in the world history of film festivals, which I know very well” – as stated by Felice Laudadio, former director of Venice Film Festival, TaorminaFilmFest, and more than twelve other festivals both in Italy and abroad since 1979 – “a similar group of extraordinary authors was ever reunited in a single place to hold Cinema Classes, one after the other. As a senior journalist, I wish that the mass media, of all kinds, may give this extraordinary event the same attention reserved to events which are surely more, let’s say “popular”, but far less relevant on both the cultural and cinematic level. And I am not saying it because Bif&st needs more public – for that matter, we wouldn’t know how to accommodate it: last year there were more than 70,000 spectators for 8 days, with an average of 1,200 participants to each cinema lesson at the Petruzzelli; fully sold out, marking a sensational phenomenon – but because this kind of initiatives, if properly reported on newspapers, Tv, radio and web, is the only means to fight and defeat the increasing cultural savagery.”
Bif&st – promoted by the Apulia Region/Department Mediterranean-Culture-Tourism and produced by the ApuliaFilmCommission – is an initiative financed by the Development and Cohesion Fund (FSC) 2007-2013 (APQ Framework) and by the European Regional Development Fund (FESR) 2007/2013”.
The documentary film by Brett Morgen, “Cobain: Montage of Heck” will be presented in Italian Première at Bif&st, Saturday March 21st at 4 pm at Teatro Petruzzelli (entry fee: € 1,00). The film will then be released by Universal Pictures International Italy on the 24th and 25th of March. It is the first fully-authorized documentary film about the Nirvana band leader Kurt Cobain, icon of the music history of the Nineties. The film, produced by Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of Cobain and Courtney Love, leads us right into the frontman’s private archive, with mostly unreleased materials: thoughts, words, unheard music, pictures and footages never seen before, intertwined with interviews to friends and relatives. In the first part of the film, drawings and art sketches by Cobain himself, are interchanged with computer animations realized by the director.
Nicknamed “the mad scientist” of documentary filmmaking, Brett Morgen worked over this project for eight years: writing, producing, directing and supervising the editing.
9 Academy Award Nominations were granted to one of the most fortunate movies screened in the Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari in occasion of Bif&st 2014 - held April 5th to 12th last year. The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson has been nominated to the most prestigious cinema awards in the world for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Makeup, and… dulcis in fundo, for Best Costume Design, realized by legendary Italian costume designer Milena Canonero, whom – after winning Three Academy Awards, the first of which in 1976 for Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick – is currently at her 9th nomination. Over the last days, Hollywood had already awarded The Grand Budapest Hotel with the Foreign Press Golden Globe for Best Comedy.
But, for the movies of Bif&st 2014, there is more: among the five shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film, there is also the winner of the sole Award for Best Director of the International Panorama section – assigned in Bari to the Georgian director Zaza Urushadze’s Tangerines, by the audience Jury chaired by director Francesco Bruni.
Bif&st joins the entire Italian and International Cinema in the sore grieving caused by the parting of a great father and mentor: Francesco Rosi. Bif&st – Bari International Film Festival (March 21st to 28th, 2015) chaired by Ettore Scola and directed by Felice Laudadio, announces a series of events to celebrate and remember his work and commitment. Together with the Bologna Film Library and the Teche RAI, a vast retrospective of his works will be organised, and it will include the two films recently restored: Salvatore Giuliano by the Bologna Film Library and Hands over the City by National Film Library.
In 2010 Rosi had received, by the very hands of Ettore Scola, the Federico Fellini Award for Artistic Excellence. But Rosi happened also to be the protagonist of the last Bif&st edition, given his long lasting collaboration with Gian Maria Volonté, to whom the 2014 Festival dedicated the widest retrospective ever realized. In that occasion, Rosi had released to the Festival one of his last interviews, which is now part of the Documentary Rosi racconta Volonté, which will be screened again in the upcoming edition of the Festival, together with plenty of unpublished materials.
Georgian director Zaza Urushadze’s “Tangerines” is running for the 87th Academy Awards, that will be assigned February 22nd in Los Angeles. The Estonian-Georgian movie was selected among the 9 shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film.
Last April, Tangerines received the International Bif&st Award, assigned by an audience Jury chaired by director Francesco Bruni – with the following citation: “The movie has the great value of dealing, in a simple yet refined way, with the nonsense of war: especially when it happens between people who have the same face, speak the same language, and often find it extremely hard to perceive themselves as enemies. Here two soldiers, one Abkhazian and the other Georgian, both severely wounded, are sheltered under the same roof by an old and patient Estonian peasant. While forced to live together, they share many minor moments of the day – and the fierce hate among them is destined to become meaningless – for you can only hate what you do not know.” Right after, Zaza Urushadze released the following declaration: “I warmly thank you for this extraordinary Award. It is an authentic privilege to me. It is an honour granted not only to myself, but to the entirety of both Georgian and Estonian Cinema. Gratitude and best wishes for your Festival from us all”.
Another movie triumphantly welcomed and awarded at Bari which has recently gained International recognition is: La mafia uccide solo d’estate by Pif (Pierfrancesco Diliberto). The film, which has just received the European Film Award for Best Comedy of 2014, won the Francesco Laudadio Award for First Time Director. The prize was assigned by an Audience Jury chaired by director Giuliano Montaldo, with the following citation: “For the touching novelty with which the movie deals with the theme of mafia – through a biting and ironical, mostly incisive and head on style”. On that occasion, Pif starred in the crowded Bif&st 2014 closing Cinema Masterclass with Andrea Camilleri at Teatro Petruzzelli.
FRITZ LANG FESTIVAL
The Bif&st will tribute a major retrospective to the great Austro-Ungaric Author Fritz Lang, born in Vienna December 5th, 1890 and emigrated in France in 1933 and in the States in 1934, forced to run away from the Nazi regime, after having realized his first masterpieces in Germany. The retrospective, which will feature almost the entire opus of Lang’s both European and American movies, will be curated by Felice Laudadio and by director and critic Carlo di Carlo, in cooperation with Teche RAI, the National Film Library and the Bologna Film Library.
Considered “the symbol itself of Cinema” (by Jean-Luc Godard), and “the greatest master of German Cinema” (by Sandro Bernardi), between 1919 and 1960 Fritz Lang shot 15 silent films (the first two of which are lost) and 27 sound movies. He went through the melò, the feuilleton adventure, the moral story, the legend, the sci-fy, the spy story, the almost-psychoanalitical crime-drama, the musical, the comedy, the social tale, the western, the standoff or war drama; and “his poliedric personality and the complexity of his opus make it impossible to catalogue such director under any label” (Lotte Eisner). “Fritz Lang’s style in one word? Relentless” – says François Truffaut – “each and every framing, every camera movement, every change of an actor’s position – every gesture has something defining and inimitable.”
In addition to the forementioned movies, Francesca Maria Cadin, Orsetta Gregoretti and Patrizia Prosperi, in cooperation with RAI Teche, are researching among documentary materials over the entire opus of Fritz Lang.
The Fritz Lang Festival – comprising his movies and others which have been inspired by Metropolis – features 48 films, plus documentary materials, and will be held at the Multicinema Galleria of Bari; 21st to 28th March, 2015. It will be an unprecedented full immersion in the work of one of the greatest protagonists of the History of World Cinema.