Highlights 50 Pesaro Film Festival

Directed by Giovanni Spagnoletti, in the 50 years since its founding, the Pesaro Film Festival has maintained its identity as an event devoted to discovery and a platform from which young directors and new cinematic languages can reach out to the widest possible audiences. And as a festival that may be able to forego glitter and red carpets, but never culture, curiosity and experimentation. Despite its age, the Festival continues to offer a fresh, invigorating look at national and international films and, as always, invites viewers on a journey into today’s cinema, in order to discover the films of tomorrow.

Such is the underlying spirit of all the sections that, along with the Competition, at the heart of this year’s Festival. The retrospective of Italian animated cinema is showcase of the lively, and sometimes experimental, panorama of works made in the past decade that, thanks in part to the advent of digital, have found new forms of expression and distribution. While this year’s international Focus offers the Italian premieres of the most experimental and independent films being made in the US today.

Naturally, a large part of our programme will also be dedicated to celebrating the Festival’s 50th edition, through not so much a retro-spective but a pro-spective of the future of cinema and festivals in general.

New American independent cinema
Since the 1960s, the United States has been a hotbed of independent and experimental film. Curator Jon Gartenberg’s programme offers a lesser-known face of US cinema of the Third Millennium. No longer restricted to the underground experimentation of the past, today’s equally innovative films incorporate more narrative elements. The selected films – by John Gianvito, Abigail Child, James Franco and Bill Morrison, to name a few – were made outside the dominant realm of commercial production, granting the directors great freedom from formal expression.

Ranging from found footage and animation to live action and the hybrid form of docu-fiction, these stylistically heterogeneous films offer a compelling view of an interesting cultural and socio-political landscape that touches upon the themes of family dynamics, social fabrics, politics, historical personalities (such as Nixon) and the history of the US as seen through the eyes of African American photographers.

Italian animated films
Italian animation remains a little-known world, save for its most successful example: the Rainbow “factory” created in the Marches by Iginio Straffi for his Winx series, a phenomenon that proves the wealth of ideas and technical skills hidden behind one of the most complex and expensive sectors of the film industry.

This retrospective will shine a light on the original work being created by our country’s lesser known, though no less important, animation filmmakers. In this overview of contemporary history of Italian animation, we cannot ignore the fundamental role the Marches region has played and continues to play on the national level – thanks mainly to the hotbed of talent that the Urbino Scuola del Libro Art Institute has produced over the years. Its Animated Design department, established in 1951, has contributed to training some of Italy’s preeminent and most original illustrators and animators, including Gianluigi Toccafondo, Roberto Catani, Magda Guidi, Mara Cerri, Beatrice Pucci and Simone Massi, to name but a few.

Animation must exist outside the canonical rules of diverse genres in order to offer innovative explorations of artistic expression, and exploring this world means discovering the innovativeness, creativity and freedom of Italian artists. Elements that are further explored in the monograph Il mouse e la matita (edited by Bruno Di Marino and Giovanni Spagnoletti).

Pesaro 50: Cinema, the films/Tribute to Lino Miccichè
28th Special Event
The 28th Special Event, organized by Adriano Aprà, Bruno Torri and Vito Zagarrio, will take a look back and celebrate the Festival’s 50th edition through, among other events, a retrospective, a conference and a tribute to Lino Miccichè, co-founder of the Festival with Bruno Torri and its artistic director for 24 years.

Retrospective. Approximately 20 of the most important films presented (in their original versions) in the Festival’s first 10 editions, including: Diamonds of the Night (Jan Nemec, 1965), Identification Marks: None (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1965), Man Is Not A Bird (Dusan Makavejev, 1966), Not Reconciled (Jean-Marie Straub, 1966), Made in USA (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967), Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomas Gutierrez Alea, 1968), Satellite (Mario Schifano, 1968), Tropici (Gianni Amico, 1968), Night and Fog in Japan (Nagisa Oshima, 1960), Past and Present (Manuel de Oliveira, 1972), Once Upon a Time There Was a Singing Blackbird (Otar Iosseliani, 1970) and The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973).

The international conference (organized by Bruno Torri) will look at the meaning of new cinema in the past, present and, above all, future.

The Tribute to Lino Miccichè includes screenings of his documentaries, a selection of his most noteworthy television appearances (in collaboration with RAI Teche) and Lino Miccichè, mio padre. Una visione del mondo, the documentary by tribute curator Francesco Miccichè.

Pesaro Nuovo Cinema - Lino Miccichè Award
The Official Competition of seven of the best first or second films by (usually young) directors from cinematic hotspots throughout the globe, which would otherwise not be shown in Italy.

Cinema in the Square
Eight nightly screenings under the stars, in Pesaro’s main square, which unite quality with wide appeal for audiences, who choose each year’s Audience Award recipient.

Film cycle of the Tragedia Endogonidia
of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio theatre company
The film series – directed, shot and edited by Cristiano Carloni and Stefano Franceschetti – of the 11-play cycle of the Tragedia Endogonidia staged by the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio theatre company in 11 European cities from 2002 to 2004, and later throughout the entire world. The 11 videos are not simply a document of a theatrical project but are further objects of contemplation in their own right. Two electronic video installations created for three episodes of the theatrical cycle will accompany the project.

2014 Amnesty Prize
Established in 2007, the Amnesty Italia - Cinema and Human Rights Prize is awarded to the film that best depicts the manifold themes of human rights. The film is chosen from among competition and out-of-competition titles by a professional jury.

Workshop: Documentary and animation filmmaking
For years committed to audiovisual production, the Festival now opens a window onto the craft of filmmaking, with two practical workshops: on documentary filmmaking and animation. (Last year’s guest teachers were Gianfranco Pannone, Simone Massi and Daniele Gaglianone.)

Round Midnight
International Festival Signes de Nuit
LEMS Laboratorio Elettronico per la Musica Sperimentale
Five evenings of screenings, which take place round midnight in Palazzo Gradari, that comprise a video art program, a selection from the International Festival Signes de Nuit in Paris, and the presentation of a video project by the Pesaro-based Electronic Laboratory for Experimental Music (LEMS).

2014 CineMarche Giovani Prize – 4th edition
A competition of shorts of three minutes or less, by directors under 30 who live, study or work in Marches region. Jury: Paolo Angeletti, Pierpaolo Loffreda, Alberto Pancrazi, Ludovico Pratesi and Claudio Salvi.

Student jury – Guerrilla marketing
The Fondazione Pesaro Nuovo Cinema, with support from the Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo,” continues its collaboration with the university’s three-year programme and the masters degree programme in communications and advertising offered in Pesaro, through scholarships for students, a jury of approximately 20 young masters students who choose the best film in Competition and a guerrilla marketing campaign that uses the most innovative forms of viral communication.

Pesaro a Roma
The Kino summer movie theatre programme will feature “Pesaro in Roma” (July 2014), an exhaustive selection of films from across the Festival’s various sections.

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