Friday, 20 April 2018 13:49


“It is always painful having to reject many of the works we are presented with, as it is a great responsibility to approve those that will become part of the corpus of selected titles that will be shown to the jury. Each film is watched and analysed with great cure, love and respect.”

With these words the director of Giffoni Experience, Claudio Gubitosi, comments the process of films selection of the titles that will be concurring in the 48th edition of Giffoni Film Festival, that will be held from July the 20th to the 28th. Giffoni’s art direction team is evaluating the impressive number of 45000 works, short films and feature films, for the pre-selection.

“Selecting films for the various different sections of the Festival - he adds – is a complex cultural and organisational process. Being a selector is a challenging task, because they are constantly confronted with their choices and the need to deliver to the kids engaging stories. Then, the final picks go through teamwork for each and every section”.

Tactful yet deeply moving stories. Thus, the shortlist of feature films that will be proposed to the 5601 jurors slowly takes shape. They will be disclosed into seven different sections for the competition: Elements +3 (3-5 years of age), Elements +6 (6-9 years of age), Elements +10 (10-12 years of age), Generator +13 (13-16 years of age), Generator +16 (16-17 years of age), Generator +18 (18 years of age and older) e Gex Doc (section dedicated to teachers and filmgoers). As is traditional it will be the jurors, boys and girls from 52 different countries, to decide who wins the Gryphon Award. Following below are the first selected titles:


For the festival’s youngest jury the film “MY GIRAFFE” (Holland/Germany/Belgium, 2017) by Barbara Bredero. Patterson’s best friend is Raf, a giraffe. When they both turn old enough to go to school, they are overjoyed. The first day of school, Patterson stores in his bag a snack for his friend but, soon enough, he will discover that in his school animals are not allowed. Thankfully, the boy will come up with a plan to sneak Raf in.


Friendship, father-son relationship, seemingly distant cultures, the challenges of growing up that from childhood through to adolescence: these are the themes of section Element +6. The first film is “RUNNING LIKE WIND” (China, 2017) by Zhong Hai that, entertainingly shows the frustrating life of the coach of girls’ football team in the province of Hainan, China. The film depicts sportsmanship as a great asset to have to go through adolescence and, with a touch of humour, talks about Asian's culture and its graceful traditions. Menawhile, director Dorte Bengtson makes her comeback at the festival. After her short film “Vitello Dig A Hole” - that concurred in this same section in 2015 – it’s the turn of feauture film “VITELLO” (Denmark, 2018). Vitello lives with his mother in a small terraced house close to the highway. His life is that of a normal boy his age if it wasn’t for one small detail: he doesn’t have a father, or better, he doesn’t know who it is. His mother is not very helpful and fends off any question he has about him with a simple: “He’s a scoundrel”. But this is not enough for the boy, who decides to embark on a search for his parent. On the other hand, “SUPER FURBALL” (Finland, 2018) by Joona Tena, talks about adolescence with a touch of magic. Emilia is 11 years old and lives in the suburbs of Helsinki with her mother. The girl sees herself as boring and unpopular compared to her peers, until a guinea pig will take her though a series of surprising adventures.


Coming of age stories on the big screen able to tug at the heartstrings of the jurors: the feature films selected for Elements +10 will not fail to live up to the expectations of the young audience. Adapted from the children’s book of the same title, “ROSIE & MOUSSA” (Belgium/Holland, 2018) by Dorothee Van Den Berghe, tells a story about friendship, growing up and courage. The film shows the complex circumstances of Rosie’s family, having just moved to another city and with her father in jail. The girl will find in Moussa someone to support her through this difficult time. In fact, the film “ZOO” (Irland/Canada, 2017) by Colin McIvor is based on a true story. During Germany’s aerial bombing on Belfast of 1941, Tom fights to save Buster, a baby elephant. The protagonist is portrayed by Art Parkinson, also known for the role of Rickon Stark in “Game of Thrones”. The actor also appears in “I Kill Giants”, film selected for section Generetor +13. Next is “THE WITCH HUNTERS” (Serbia/Macedonia, 2018) by Rasko Miljkovic. Jovan, a ten years old child, has partial cerebral palsy, a condition that has shaped his existence and that has convinced him of being invisible to the eyes of others. Thanks to his creativity and the power of imagination, he often seeks refuge into a fantasy land where he can be whoever he wants to, and even a superhero with the powers that everyone wishes to have. However, his routine gets disturbed by his friendship with Milica. The girl will ask for his help to free her father from his new wife, the stepmother who believes to be a witch. With “THE WAR GAME” (Sweden, 2017) by Goran Kapetanovic, the audience will be transported into the life of 11 years old Malte, a boy wit a great passion for complex strategy games. When he bumps into a conflict between two courtyards, he finds a practical use for his theories. He will too late realise that his interference transforms the game into reality, enough to start an actual war. Will he manage to stop it?


The collision between fantasy and reality, the intricacy of first romances, and parent-child relationship are some of the core themes of section Generator +13. The actor Art Parkinson returns in “I KILL GIANTS” (Belgium/England/US, 2017) by Anders Walter, as he was the main protagonist in “Zoo” in sector Elements +10. Moreover, the graphic novel of the same name – that inspired the film adaptation – tells the story of a girl that runs away from her difficult circumstances to an imaginary life where she becomes very powerful. Zoe Saldana (“Avatar”’s Neytiri) will take on the role of Mrs. Mollé, psychologist and close confidant of the protagonist Barbara (Madison Wolfe), a young girl struggling with ghosts and monsters, both real and imaginary. “MEERKAT MOONSHIP” (South Africa, 2017) by Hanneke Schutte, delves into the life of Gideonette, a timid girl with a fervid imagination whose name conceals a family curse. Indeed, it seems that every “Gideon” has perished in a bizarre accident. The girl doesn’t seem to heed her family’s concerns, but a series of incredible events could change her mind, teaching her that no one can hide from death.


The films chosen for Generator +16 compare the light heartedness and the concerns of the best years: going through big and small obstacles on the journey to self discovery and assertion. Tati and Renet are the protagonists of “RUST” (Brasil, 2017) by Aly Muritiba. The two high school students start messaging each others, but their relationship ends when a intimate video of Tati is uploaded in the web. The shame that the event bring combined with Renet’s parents’ separation, severely test their relationship. Will they manage to pick up the pieces? The story of a difficult adolescence is narrated in “NIGHT COMES ON” (US, 2018) debut film of Jordana Spiro, this being her first feaure film, but she is already known as the protagonist of many tv series. Angel LaMere is released from the juvenile detection centre on the eve of her eighteenth birthday. Obsessed by her past, accompanied by her 10 years old sister, she embarks on a journey that could destroy her future forever. Is also debuting as director Banu Sivaci with “THE PIGEON” (Turkey, 2018). Alone on the rooftop of his parent’s house, over the narrow streets of the shanty town of Adana, in the company of hi cherished pigeons, Yusuf can find peace but most importantly can find himself again. Conversely, love as the cure of old wounds is the motif of Anatol Schuster’s “AIR” (Germany, 2017) that for the first time has his name on a full-lenght film. Louk is as deep as the sea. Manja is as pure as air. Their love means being not being afraid, not lying and not leaving traces. However, when Mania realises that Louk’s idealism conceals a deep wound, caused by the loss of her mother, she will help her to close with the past and learn to let go.


The difficult of having a relationship in challenging realities: this is the topic proposed to Generator +18. With “BROTHERS” (Holland, 2017) by Hanro Smitsman, the audience is thrusted into the dramatic circumstances of Hassan and Mourad searching for their younger brother, Yasin, an alleged extremist, in a war-torn Siria. There’s a complete change of context with the film “THE HUNGRY LION” (Japan, 2017) by Ogata Takaomi, where an high school teacher gets arrested with the accusation of having engaged into sexual misconduct with an underage girl. To find herself in the eye of the storm will be the young Hiromi, accused of having been filmed by the teacher in a ‘hot’ video that became viral. The gil will have to deal with haters that will harass her online and in real life. In “FAKE TATTOOS” (Canada, 2017) by Pascal Plante, the protagonist Theo, spends his eighteenth birthday alone, getting drunk during a punk rock concert. There he meets Meg, a teenage girl that will invite to spend the night at her house. A romance begins between the two, but soon Theo will have to move away from his painful past. A different narrative topic is explored in “MICHAEL INSIDE” (Irland, 2017) by Frank Berry. The protagonist is Michael McCrea (Dofhyd Flynn), an 18 years old irish boy that lives with his grandfather. The boy though, hangs out with the wrong crowd and actually, one day his friend ask him to hide a bag of drugs for his brother. The young man agrees and decides to hide the drugs in his bedroom, but the next morning the police searches his flat and Michael is arrested and sentenced to serve three months in jail.


The works selected for Gexdoc are based on true stories and are narrated in a documentary format. It opens with Frida e Lasse Barkfors’ excruciating “DEATH OF A CHILD” (Denmark, 2017). The film explores the lives of parents that have caused the death of their children, explaining to the viewers the situation that provoked those tragedies. The documentary seems to instigate a social, ethical rage and specific accusations. How can a parent forget his own child in the car? First work directing a feature film for Ayelet Albenda that bring to the festival “IN MY ROOM” (Israel, 2017). The story takes place in six rooms belonging to six teenagers, and is entirely narrated through the videos that they record and upload on YouTube. They are not webstars, just young people that talk about themselves for whoever is there willing to listen. A swazi girl embark on a dangerous mission to save her little twin brothers in “LIYANA” (Qatar/Switzerland/US, 2017) by Aaron e Amanda Kopp. This is an African fairytale created by five orphans children from Swaziland. A story of determination that draws from their darkest memories and their brightest dreams. The journey of their fictional character is intertwined with beautiful poetic imagery of the documentary. Change of motif for “IMPOSED PIECE” (Belgium, 2017) by Brecht Vanhoenacker, which shows the cinematic records of one of the most prestigious violin competition: the Queen Elisabeth. With this documentary, the audience will meet some of the twelve finalists and follow their intense training. These young and talented musicians finally have the chance of performing solo after years of practice and sacrifice. Little by little the film reveals how they train, how they deal with stress and how they reflect on their past and their future.


The theme chosen for 2018 “Aqua”, is a connecting thread that is food for thoughts and that will accompany the festival – until 2020, when Giffony will celebrate its fiftieth birthday – in a trilogy focused on the tutelage and safeguard of the planet.



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Category: News Giffoni Experience
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Category: News Giffoni Experience
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