Wednesday, 27 June 2018 11:33


There are eleven Italian titles selected for the competition

Generation gap, diversity, bullying, migration, feelings, doubts, adolescence, personal growth: these are just some of the deep, complex and exciting stories at the centre of the 99 audiovisual works, including feature films and short films, in competition at the 48th edition of the Giffoni Film Festival, scheduled for July 20-28. And among these, 11 are made and produced in Italy. As many as 4500 films registered for preselection that the Giffoni management team has carefully evaluated, to then choose the rose to be submitted to the 5601 jurors present.

A commitment heavy with responsibility, which took into account not only the new ideas and innovations that constantly overwhelm and change the cinematic world, but also the strongest and most sensitive themes for the young generations worldwide. All of this happens through a complex selection, that constantly looks for  original and unique stories.

The works  will be presented to 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 the General audience in attendance such as parents and filmgoers).  As per the Giffoni tradition 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:


The festival’s youngest jury will have the opportunity to watch  three feature films – outside the competition –   and we start with 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. Then  the film CIRCLEEN, COCO AND THE WILD RHINOCEROS (Denmark, 2018)directed by Jannik Hastrup, one of the greatest animation masters. Hastrup, already known to Giffoni where, in 1992, presented 'War of Birds' and more recently, in 2015, 'Mini and the Mozzies', returns to amaze the Elements +3 with the exciting story of Cirkeline, a small elf dealing with Princess Coco and a baby rhino. Both want to return to their home in Africa and Cirkeline decides to accompany them; they leave together on a journey that will teach them how even the youngest of rhinos can prove to be a hero. Third chapter of the saga of director Arne Lindtner Naess, CASPER AND EMMA PUT ON A PLAY (Norway, 2017) take us to meet again with the two fun protagonists grappling with a new adventure. In kindergarten, Casper and Emma hear of an orphanage in India without electricity. They decide, therefore, to raise funds for the facility by creating a game with elves capable of illuminating the darkness as protagonists. Thus starts the process of creating a screenplay along with songs, dances, costumes and sets.

There are 22 short films in competition in the Elements +3 section. The jurors will be able to evaluate and choose the best audiovisual product between: PAT (Italy, 2018) by Adriano Candiago, TAKISHA'S SONG (Italy, 2018) by Mario Moraro, AN OLD LADY STEPPED OUT FOR SOME BREAD AND A PASTRY (Russia, 2017) by Anastasiya Jakulina, ANT (Germany, 2017) by Julia Ocker, BLANKET TALE (Russia, 2017) by Maria Kuzmenko, CATASTROPHE (Holland, 2017) by Jamille van Wijngaarden, COCO'S DAY (Russia, 2017) by Tatiana Moshkova, DUBAK (Russia, 2017) by Anna Kritskaya, KAAL (Francia, 2018) by Charlie Aufroy, LEMON & ELDERFLOWER (Great Britain, 2017) by Ilenia Cotardo, MOGU AND PEROL (Japan, 2018) by Tsuneo Goda, MOON SAID : BLOP BLOP HELP! (Iran, 2018) by Reyhane Kavosh, PATHFINDER (Russia, 2017) by Veronika Fedorova, PENGUIN (Germany, 2018) by Julia Ocker, THE ROBOT AND THE WHALE (Sweden, 2018) by Jonas Forsman, STRENGTH IN NUMBERS (France/Belgium, 2017) by Anais Sorrentino, THE SWIMMING LESSON (Russia, 2017) by Tatyana Okruzhnova, TANGUITO ARGENTINO (Argentina, 2017) by Joaquin Braga, TRUNKY (Russia, 2017) by Ekaterina Filippova, VS SANTA (Spain, 2017) by Raúl Colomer and Aitor Herrero and WEEDS (USA, 2017) by Kevin Hudson e DAM! THE STORY OF KIT BEAVER (Canada, 2017) di Kjell Boersma.


Friendship, father-son relationship, seemingly distant cultures, the challenges of growing up that from childhood through to adolescence: these are the themes of the Element +6 section.  From Italian director Gabriele Pignotta the film KIP FISCHER AND THE SECRET OF ÖTZI (Italy, 2018) features an exceptional cast with Alessandra Mastronardi and Vinicio Marchioni. Kip is a boy like many, intelligent and sensitive, at the end of his childhood years. In the last few days, before leaving Bolzano and his best friends forever, the young man goes with them through an extraordinary experience. When he goes to the museum to say a final goodbye the mummy, something magical happens and Ötzi awakens, starting to regenerate. While Ötzi, in disguise, will meet the twenty-first century, Kip will learn from him the secrets of the Copper Age. The film will be distributed by Rai Cinema in Italy. Then we move on to 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. Based on Michael Ende’s bestselling novel (The Never Ending Story), JIM BUTTON AND LUKE THE ENGINE DRIVER (Germany, 2018) by Dennis Gansel follows the story of a young orphan, Jim Button, of his best friend Luke and a magical steam train called Emma. The three will venture in search of the truth about Jim's origins. CHUSKIT (India, 2018) by Priya Ramasubban, touches very different thematics. The young protagonist has a very simple dream: going to school. Unfortunately this simple goal is turned upside down when the girl becomes paraplegic after an accident. Forced to live at home with her grandfather, Dorje, Chuskit continues to cherish the hope of being able to study with her peers. While life in the house becomes increasingly difficult and the fight with the grandfather exasperated, between them comes Chuskit’s parents and her brother who, while wanting to respect the vision of Dorje, try to keep alive the child’s spirit. Another director known to Giffoni is Joachim Masannek, this time proposing LITTLE MISS DOLITTLE (Germany, 2018). Liliane, 11 years old, knows how to talk with animals! This is a secret that no one should know except her parents. The child promises not to reveal the truth, this until she comes to know that an animal has kidnapped Ronni, a small elephant, form the local zoo. Together with her new classmate Jess, Lili goes on a quest to save the baby elephant. The film will be distributed in Italy by Notorious Pictures.

9 are the short films competing in this section: STELLA 1 (Italy, 2017) by Roberto D'Ippolito and Gaia Bonsignore, GOODNIGHT (Italy, 2018) by Caterina De Mata, FROM UP THERE (Italy, 2017) by Teresa Paoli, CHOCOLATE (Iran, 2017) by Mehdi Heydari, LOOK (Lithuania, 2017) by Meinardas Valkevičius, STARDUST (Mexico, 2017) by Aldo Sotelo Lázaro, BELLY FLOP (South Africa, 2017) by Jeremy Collins and Kelly Dillon, FISH (Spain, 2017) by Javier Quintas and STUMBLEBEE (Germany, 2017) by Monika Tenhündfeld.


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? Sports and training are at the heart of THE FALCONS (Iceland, 2018) by Bragi Thor Hinriksson. Every year, on a large island just outside Iceland, there is a huge football tournament for children. This year Jon, age ten, goes with his team to take part in the competition and will have to grow up faster than expected, both on and off the field. Making his directing debut is Likarion Wainaina with SUPA MODO (Germany/Kenya, 2018). Jo, a terminally ill 9-year-old, is taken to a country village to spend the rest of her short life. Her only comfort, in these boring times, is the dream of being a superhero, a desire that comes true with the help of her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, her overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire town of Maweni. The animated film ZOOKS (Belgium, 2018) by Kristoff Leue and Dimitri Leue is also fascinating. In a kingdom where man and nature are segregated, Robin flees to the forbidden forest where he meets Wolf, the young true heir to the throne. Robin, Wolf together with some unexpected allies will set in motion an adventure that will overthrow the evil King  and re-establish the balance between man and nature.

Not just feature films, for the jury of Elements + 10 also has the task of viewing and evaluating 7 short films: BISMILLAH (Italy, 2017) by Alessandro Grande, BIKE BIRD (Norway, 2018) by Odveig Klyve and Kari Klyve-Skaug, GELATO SEVEN SUMMERS OF ICE CREAM LOVE (Germany, 2017) by Daniela Opp, IRON HANDS (China, 2017) by Johnson Cheng, AHMED & MARKUS (Sweden, 2018) by Maria Eriksson-Hecht, THE LAST CLASS (Iran, 2018) by Mohammad Kheimehgahi and THE PRINCESS BALL (France, 2018) by Julie Rembauville and Nicolas Bianco-Levrin.


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. Marc Rothemund comes back to Giffoni with THIS CRAZY HEART (Germany, 2017). The director presented in 2013 'The Girl With Nine Wigs' in the Generator +18 section, he also directed ‘Sophie Schooll’ released in Italy in 2005 with the title ‘The White Rose’. Lenny, thirty-year-old son of a renowned cardiologist, lives however it pleases him until the day his father, tired of his behaviour, blocks his credit card. To get his life back, Lenny will have to take care of fifteen-year-old David, who instead has been suffering since he was born. At first reluctant to the idea, the man will be won over by the teenager, learning what sense of responsibility is. In MORE (Turkey/Greece, 2017) by Onur Saylak, instead, we meet Gaza, a 14-year-old boy who lives on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Together with his overbearing father, he helps smuggling refugees into Europe, providing them with temporary shelter and what little food they can until the refugees can try their luck. Gaza dreams of escaping this life, but can not help being dragged into a dark world, made of exploitation and suffering. Can you avoid becoming a monster when you’ve been raised by one? Adapted from the award-winning novel with the same name by Hakan Günday, which has been translated into more than 7 languages around the world, ‘Daha’ is the compelling story of a boy growing up in a world where there is no room for innocence. A different story is that of OLD BOYS (Great Britan, 2018) by Toby Macdonald. In the English college of Calderhouse the strongest always wins. For Amberson, a shy and not very athletic boy, times are tough. He is always marginalised until he meets Agnes, the French teacher's daughter. It will come the time for Amberson to face Winchester, the most popular boy in school. Another name familiar to the giffers is that of director Christian Lo who, this time, presents to the public LOS BANDO (Norway / Sweden, 2018). Alex and Grim are two best friends, and they have decided to perform at the national rock championship with their band Los Bando Immortale. With the nine-years-old cello player Thilda and the underage rally pilot Martin the band is complete. This is how the quartet sets off on a turbulent journey through the wild north. With the police and some crazy relatives on their heels, the four friends imperturbably move forward towards their dream. Montreal, October 1970: that's when CROSS MY HEART (Canada, 2017) by Luc Picard takes place. The family of 12-year-old Manon is on the verge of collapse. The girl and her little brother Mimi are about to be put in foster care and both are furious. Inspired by the current political crisis, they devise a plan and take an old woman hostage, claiming the right to have free choice on their future.  With the help of their cousins Martin and Denis, they leave the city, determined to find shelter in a place where everyone can be happy and free.


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 self 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 feature 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.  With SADIE (Usa, 2018) by Megan Griffiths, Sophia Mitri Schloss, already protagonist of ‘Lane 1974’, presented in 2017, returns to the Festival. In the film also the actor Danielle Brooks, known for the TV series ‘Orange is the New Black’. Sadie is a teenager who lives with her parents, even if her father is always absent because of his work in the army. Despite the distance, the girl is very fond of her father and does not accept her mother's new relationship with another man. To hinder it, she will adopt the only method that she knows: war. Presented this year in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section of the Cannes Film Festival, FRIEND (Kenya / South Africa / France, 2018) by Wanuri Kahiu is ready to conquer even the jurors of Giffoni. Kena and Ziki are two very different girls. The first is going to start nursing college, while the second loves dancing and spends her days with her friends. When their fathers start getting competitive with each other for political reasons, something between the two girls changes. Shot by the four protagonists through their smartphones in the vast spaces of the prairies of South Africa, HIGH FANTASY (South Africa, 2017) by Jenna Bass, reflect on what it means to live inside the body of another person. When Lexi and her friends go through this exact experience during a camping trip, a dynamic tension rises between the three girls and Thami, the only man with them. A wise and pungent example on the implacable politics of the human body - and still very relevant even decades after the alleged end of Apartheid.


The hardships of a relationship in challenging realities: this is the topic proposed in Generator +18. With BROTHERS (Holland, 2017) by Hanro Smitsman , the audience is thrust 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. Different is the narrative path chosen for MICHAEL INSIDE (Ireland, 2017) by Frank Berry. The protagonist is Michael McCrea (Dafhyd Flynn) an 18-year-old Irishman who lives with his grandfather Francis (Lalor Roddy). The boy, though, hangs out with bad crowds, so that one day a friend asks him to hide a bag of drugs for his brother. The young man accepts and decides to store the drugs in his bedroom, but the morning after the police searches his flat and Michael is arrested and sentenced to three months in jail. An eighteen year old student creates panic and discomfort in the neighbourhood with her motocross: she is the protagonist of Katharina Muckstein's L’ANIMALE (Austria, 2018). Her need to belong, her experience of male domination and the burning devotion of her gang elicit contrasting emotions in her. Presented this year in the ‘Semaine de la Critique’ section of the Cannes Film Festival, arrives at Giffoni SHEHERAZADE (France, 2018), the debut feature film by Jean-Bernard Marlin. Zachary, 17, gets out of jail. Rejected by his mother, he finds refuge in the bad neighbourhood of Marseilles. That is where he meets Shéhérazade. Also a directorial debut for Ian Macallister Mcdonald with his film SOME FREAKS (Usa, 2017). Clumsy, shy and with a blindfold covering his missing eye, Matt Ledbetter is certainly not the most popular student in his school. One day, during biology class, he meets Jill, Jill, an extrovert and brilliant girl with whom he experiences emotions and feelings never had before. Jill, however, is overweight and like Matt knows what it means to be targeted for one's appearance.

To the keen eye of the Generator +18 jury will also be proposed the 8 short films in the competition: THE BOX (Slovenia, 2017) by Dusan Kastelic, THE CAT'S REGRET (France/Belgium, 2018) by Alain Gagnol and JeanLoup Felicioli, (FOOL TIME) JOB (France, 2017) by Gilles Cuvelier, MERMAIDS AND RHINOS (Hungary, 2017) by Viktoria Traub, MR.DEER (Iran, 2018) by Mojtaba Mousavi, PANTA RHEI (Belgium, 2018) dy Wouter Bongaerts, TWEET-TWEET (Russia, 2018) by Zhanna Bekmambetova and WINDS OF SPRING (Canada, 2017) by Keyu Chen.


The works selected for Gexdoc are based on true stories and are narrated in a documentary format. It opens with the Italian BASILEUS - THE SCHOOL OF KINGS (Italy, 2017) by Alessandro Marinelli, distributed by Rai Cinema. Set in the Federico Fellini middle school in the San Basilio district of Rome, the film tells of the training paths of a group of teenagers and what it means to be teachers in difficult environments. A journey through class life that shows us a world that oozes the typical vitality of adolescence, of hopes, dreams, but also full of difficulties, fears and the uncertainty towards the future. Next, Frida and 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 their own child in the car?  First work directing a feature film for Ayelet Albenda that brings to the festival his 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 web stars, just young people that talk about themselves for whoever is there willing to listen. A swazi girl embarks 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 the  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 competitions: 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. PRIMAS (Argentina / Canada, 2017) by Laura Bari, is a payback story. An evocative portrait of two Argentinean cousins, Rocío and Aldana, who, in the wake of the atrocious violence that interrupted their childhood, will free themselves from the shadows of their past. Journing from Argentina to Montreal, the girls tell through eye-opening experiences about their everyday lives. A story about friendship is what lies behind SOME MIGHT SAY (Spain, 2017) by Nila Nunez Urgell. Thanks to Aisha and Ahlam we will immerse ourselves in the reality of two Muslim teenagers, engaged in a school project on women wearing headscarves in Barcelona. The task leads them to reflect and make confessions to each other, and, because of this, both will inwardly evolve as people. An exercise in understanding how prejudice can poison our points of view.


This section includes 12 short films in the competition: CHASING (Italy, 2018) by Federico Papagna, ENFANTS PERDUS (Italy, 2017) by Ermanno Dantini, UPROAR (Italy, 2017) by Ludovico Di Martino, 2ND CLASS (Sweden, 2018) by Jimmy Olsson, AMERICA (Israel, 2018) by Nadav Arbel, A SON (South Korea , 2018) by Bongju Kim, BECAUSE THIS IS MY CRAFT (Portugal, 2018) by Paulo Monteiro, , GOLD (Sweden, 2018) by Abbe Hassan, LANDSHARKS (Great Britain, 2018) by Aaron Dunleavy, NIGHTSHADE (Netherlands, 2018) by Shady El-Hamus, TSAR BOMBA (Switzerland, 2018) by Oskar Rosetti and WARRIORS OF SANITÀ (Great Britain, 2018) by Luca Nappa.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 09:31


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