This morning the selection of the 19th edition of Giornate degli Autori, headed by President Andrea Purgatori, working alongside the Board of Directors, General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti, and Artistic Director Gaia Furrer, was unveiled. The sidebar will run from August 31st to September 10th, during the 79th Venice Film Festival.
The beloved sidebar, which features great auteurs and artists yet to be discovered, features a few interesting cinematic events this year. It opens with Irish filmmaker Mark Cousins' The March on Rome, a collection of archival images on the rise of fascism in Italy, perhaps a mirror to be held up to Europeans in this current political and social climate.
The closing film will be Steve Buscemi's The Listener, featuring American TV and film actress Tessa Thompson in a script by writer/producer Alessandro Camon.
"It goes without saying,” declared the President of the cultural association Giornate degli Autori, Andrea Purgatori, “that our focus will be primarily on a bold selection of offerings that are particularly receptive to major social issues and political passions past and present, and look to a horizon spanning very different cultures and embracing, especially this year, the winds of change blowing towards Europe from the Mediterranean. Italy itself can boast four films on the lineup, including the hotly anticipated Padre Pio by Abel Ferrara; even more important, this edition is remarkably rich in events, talks, dialogues with filmmakers – almost as numerous as the films to be screened, which is a tribute to Giornate’s original calling, when it was created back in 2004.”
Ferrara's new film, his mystical, feverish Padre Pio, features a star turn by Shia LaBeouf, a sort of comeback we hope for the actor who disappeared in the early 2000's and only re-emerged in 2019 in Honey Boy, based on his own life. Ferrara's latest revisits a tragic early-twentieth century event in Italian history, the San Giovanni Rotondo Massacre in October 1920.
Gaia Furrer explained the Giornate poster by writing: "With a golden leap, drawn for us by Italian artist Rä di Martino, designer of our poster this year, based on an image from his series Allunati, the 19th edition of Giornate degli Autori shoots for the moon as well, dreaming of a landing on the satellite that harbors earthlings’ hopes and dreams. And it does so by way of a poetic leap that speaks of the urgency to move forward, explore lands unknown, sound out new chances. This leap of ours is an active, political act, just as the films on our lineup are: political themselves, and full of yearning."
As far as offerings from the MENA, The Last Queen (pictured in the header) by Adila Bendimerad and Damien Ounouri takes a leap backwards into the 16th century, to tell the epic tale, part legend, part historical record, of the last queen of Algiers.
Furrer also described two more of the films from the Region: "fast forward to the present day – a present that is oppressive, contradictory, yet not without glimpses of hope – for the two films Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous by Wissam Charaf and The damned don't cry by Fyzal Boulifa. In the former, two young lovers, a Syrian refugee and an Eritrean caregiver, pursue the thrill of romance against the backdrop of a country on the verge of collapse, Lebanon. In the latter, a mother and son, united, yet distant from each other at the same time, travel across Morocco, a nation riven by social and economic differences."
The Iranian documentary Alone by Jafar Najafi, deals instead with a little boy who doesn’t want his sisters, still children, to wed and tries to overturn a rule but also, in the process, the entire world.
Two unique occasions make the list this year. The first, courtesy of a collaboration between Isola Edipo and the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, takes place on September 5th and revolves around the great Armenian artist Artavazd Peleshian, a spokesman for Inclusion 2022, in Venice with a selection of his short films and his most recent work, Nature. The second, thanks to SIAE’s invaluable support, brings a star exponent of Italian independent film to Venice: Daniele Ciprì, dazzling cinematographer on hand at Giornate with his storytelling and directing verve put to work in the short film La fornace.
"To describe our program this year,” observes General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti, “we could do worse than quote Shakespeare, with a smile: ‘There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ The truth is that a single overriding passion brought together ideas, people, works, supporters, consultants and programmers, all united by a shared mission; to show the world and its complexity through images and words, commentary and dreams, and without any barriers between invention and chronicle, or any hierarchy between master artists and beginners; and above all, with no fear of displaying courage. My heartfelt thanks, therefore, to all the individuals, collaborators, institutions and enterprises at our side, for their gift of enthusiasm and utopia.”
BENTU - Salvatore Mereu
BĚŽNÁ SELHÁNÍ/ORDINARY FAILURES - Cristina Groșan
BLUE JEAN - Georgia Oakley
DIRTY, DIFFICULT, DANGEROUS - Wissam Charaf
EL AKHIRA. LA DERNIÈRE REINE/THE LAST QUEEN - Adila Bendimerad, Damien Ounouri
LES DAMNÉS NE PLEURENT PAS /THE DAMNED DON'T CRY - Fyzal Boulifa
LOBO E CÃO/WOLF AND DOG - Cláudia Varejão
PADRE PIO - Abel Ferrara
STONEWALLING- Huang Ji, Otsuka Ryuji
THE MAIDEN - Graham Foy
OUT OF COMPETITION - SPECIAL EVENTS
ACQUA E ANICE/OLIMPIA'S WAY- Corrado Ceron
ALONE- Jafar Najafi
SIAMO QUI PER PROVARE/WE'RE HERE TO TRY - Greta De Lazzaris, Jacopo Quadri
CASA SUSANNA - Sebastien Lifshitz
MARCIA SU ROMA/THE MARCH ON ROME - Mark Cousins
THE LISTENER - Closing film - Steve Buscemi
IL PAESE DELLE PERSONE INTEGRE/ LAND OF UPRIGHT PEOPLE - Christian Carmosino Mereu
KRISTOS, THE LAST CHILD - Giulia Amati
LA TIMIDEZZA DELLE CHIOME/THE CROWN SHYNESS - Valentina Bertani
LAS LEONAS- Isabel Achával, Chiara Bondì
LE FAVOLOSE - Roberta Torre
PABLO DI NEANDERTHAL/PABLO FROM NEANDERTHAL - Antonello Matarazzo
SE FATE I BRAVI - Stefano Collizzolli, Daniele Gaglianone
SPACCAOSSA/THE BONE BREAKERS - Vincenzo Pirrotta
UN NEMICO INVISIBILE/ AN INVISIBLE ENEMY -Riccardo Campagna, Federico Savonitto
MIU MIU WOMEN'S TALE
#24 CARTA A MI MADRE PARA MI HIJO - Carla Simón
#23 HOUSE COMES WITH A BIRD - Janicza Bravo
For more information, check out the Giornate degli autori website.
All images courtesy of Giornate degli autori, used with permission.