LEGENDS AND MAESTROS
2058 jurors for this annual, from 29 Countries, divided into five competitive film sections (Kidz, First Screens, Free To Fly, Y-Gen, Troubled Gaze) and two non film competitive sections (stage section KIDS IN WONDERLAND and music section GIFFONI MUSIC CONCEPT).
148 films chosen by the Artistic direction from a list of over 1800 films are presented at the Festival. The films competing are 77.
In Y Gen (jurors from 15 to 19 years) BLIND, a Dutch, Belgium, Bulgarian co-production, directed by Tamar van den Dop dominates. It is the heart breaking story of a blind young man and his female lecturer. Amongst the other films we cannot forget to mention riveting drama LINHA DE PASSE by Brasilians Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas (CENTRAL STATION) and Israeli SOMEONE TO RUN WITH from a story by David Grossman.
German LEROY wins the Free To Fly section (12-14 years): A black German boy falls in love with a girl from a racist family; infact the girl's brothers are naziskins and their main entertainment is to hunt and beat up "black bogey men". In the same section Australian DECEMBER BOYS – directed by Rod Hardy - stars Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe who plays an orphan boy looking for family and love in a village off the coast where he spends his holidays with his other orphan friends. THE BLACK BALLOON by Elissa Down is another Australian flick: it is a story about differences and love in which a boy finds himself having to deal and come to terms with his love and responsibility for his "different" brother and his first true love.
Amongst the short films there are two 2008 Academy Award nominees: NEW BOY and TOYLAND. The latter wins the prestigious Oscar statue.
In First Screens (9-12 years) the winner is the German film RED ZORA – by Peter Kahane - where a group of orphans must make ends meet on an island inhabited by hostile and powerful people. Interesting is Also the tender story of KARLA’S WORLD whose protagonist dreams about reuniting her family for Christmas. PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND stars Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Transamerica) and very young Elle Fanning and is directed by Daniel Baerz. This is a story about differences too. A little girl risks being isolated and discriminated and only whenl her illness is correctly diagnosed things will turn out better.
In Kidz (6-9 years) we find animated films like the winner: the italian LEO'S STORY, a lion in search of his family and identity, but also breath taking adventure S.O.S. SUMMER OF SUSPECT, Norwegian film directed by Arne Lindtner Næss ande Cingalese KING SIRI, whose protagonist strenuously fights for his right to study and to be treated equally as others.
In Troubled Gaze, the only section with an adult jury, the winner is the short film BENIGNO, written directed and played by Francesco Benigno. The film is the auto-biographical story of his troubled childhood.
Two important Italian premieres are screened at the Festival: THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (Walt Disney Pictures Italia), CAMP ROCK (Disney Channel) and MEET DAVE (Twentieth Century Fox).
Lots of guests make the Festival an incredible event. Directors MICHELE PLACIDO and STEFANO REALI talk about their art wonderfully with our jurors. And actors: TONI SERVILLO starring in huge Cannes hits "Il Divo" e "Gomorra"; PIERFRANCESCO FAVINO amongst the most appreciated young Italian actors, working in both Italy and the U.S.A; GIULIO SCARPATI, lecturing on cinema; PINO INSEGNO, presenting "Ti Stramo", his direction debut, accompanied by protagonists MARCO RULLI and CARLOTTA TESCONI and co-director GIANLUCA SODARO; VERONICA PIVETTI, Italian Tv actress starring in lots of Tv hits; ALESSANDRA MASTRONARDI, one of the young raising Italian Tv stars; ELEONORA GIORGI, great actress of Italian comedies, directing "L'Ultima Estate"; stand up comedian ALESSANDRO SIANI, many have defined as the New Massimo Troisi, and stunning ILARIA SPADA who starred with NICOLAS VAPORIDIS in a film by Paolo Genovese and Luca Miniero. LUCA BARBARESCHI visits the Festival both as MP hoping to help cinema develop with politics, and as representative of "Someone to Run With" produced by his Casanova Entertainment.
From the U.S.A.: MEG RYAN, who confesses she would have really loved working with Fellini and would be glad to work with Muccino; TIM ROTH, who talks about his intention to start directing and move on the other side of the camera and on top of that reveals his collaboration with Tarantino. Young actress ABIGAIL BRESLIN sweeps the jury away. Last year when she was 10 and she had an Academy Award nomination for Best supporting actress for her role and interpretation in "Little Miss Sunshine".
Huge success for the Stage and music sections. The show EMOTIONS BOX (LA SCATOLA DELLE EMOZIONI) (Compagnia Teatro Prova), wins the competition KIDS IN WONDERLAND. The show is also very popular amongst children on Raisat YoYo. GIFFONI MUSIC CONTEST is won by Sicilian band 7 Chords with the song Mani legate.