Thursday, 11 October 2018 11:09


 Chaperoned by Giusi Rago of the Jury Office, Matteo, Antonella, Alessandra, Carmine and Rita Maria came back home "full of nostalgia but happy”, and looking forward to #Giffoni2019

Great Enthusiasm, wonderful memories but also a little sadness: Matteo Amato, Antonella Caputo, Alessandra Lanzara, Carmine Ciccarone and Rita Maria Gallo are the five giffoners who just came back from the 23rd Schlingen Film Festival held in Chemnitz, in the Saxon region. Chaperoned by Giusi Rago, Jury Office, they took part in the German festival with screenings, Q&As, sightseeing trips. A journey that saw them become jurors and also friends. This diary is proof of their sadness for the end of the trip but also of their happines for having had the chance to live this experience thanks to Giffoni Experience.

Here's their report:

“Five guys, our Giusy, an airplane and the hunger for new experiences: nothing is missing. We got lost in a town, Prague, that we will not forget easily: the Gothic old town, Stare Mesto, the charming Charles Bridge (Karlův Most), the local currency, the Czech crown, difficult to use because of the necessary continuous "translation" from crown to euro, but especially the long walks in search of the restaurant recommended by Matteo we have tattooed Prague on the heart; even now, as we write, we remember with pleasure this beautiful city, which was both a fantastic parenthesis in our journey, and the place where an indissoluble bond between us was indeed created. The following day we were picked up from Prague and, after two hours of travel, we arrived in Chemnitz. All around us there were houses, then factories, which had abruptly replaced the country landscape that had accompanied us for almost the entire journey. A quick, enthusiastic look at the rooms of our hostel and then again in the street, this time on foot: the legendary Dora, a girl from the festival staff, accompanied us around the city, showing us the cinema, the bar-restaurant " Tilmanns' ", where we had dinner with Anna (one of the five very nice German guys who discussed and judged the films with us), a couple of mini-markets to buy water and the Cathedral of San Marco.

The day after, at the opening ceremony we met the German half of the jury and Professor Pinkert, an art teacher who accompanied us throughout the festival. For us, the first festival started on October 1st: we attended the first screenings, each of them strictly followed by a long and professional discussion on all aspects of the film (soundtrack, direction etc.), easily bypassing some slight technical problems. There were screenings also on the 2nd and 3rd: as they progressed, our critical gaze intensified. The daily routine was quite demanding, but, for this reason, even more electrifying: wake up call at six, breakfast at the hostel and then immediately off to the cinema for the morning screening; after the discussion, about an hour's break, then a second film, another discussion, a frugal lunch and some free time; afternoon screeningand so on, dinner at the "Tilmanns'" and, finally, evening screening, after which we went back at the hostel more dead than alive, but happy to be there. On the 4th we gathered, instead of in the lounge where, on comfortable chairs, we discussed the films immediately after the screenings, in the Arbeitzimmer of prof. Pinker to determine what the winning film was and the second best film. After a four-hour discussion (with a break for lunch) we finally decided, but the work to be done was certainly not finished: we wrote a speech in English (with translation in German) for both the films we had decided to reward.

At the end of our work, our German friends took us to the lake of the city, in a park not far from the cinema: a small, charming lake nestling among the trees, which contrasts sharply with the surrounding industrial landscape. Free from any commitment, the day after we went to visit Dresden, relaxing between the old monuments and the giant stores with big brands. On the 6th, together with other festival guests such as directors and actors, we visited the Zwickau car museum. Back at the hostel in the early afternoon, we completed some small preparations for the departure and, elegantly dressed, we went to the closing ceremony, where all the winning films were announced and those that the various juries had decided to mention (how, for example, in our case). Then, from the Small Haal of the Stadthalle, we moved to the Hotel Chemnitzer Hof, where a very generous buffet welcomed jurors, actors, directors and various guests. Then came one of the saddest moments of the journey: little by little, we said goodbye to our new German friends, to Dora and to the prof, who wanted to greet us in particular way, leaving each of us a series of postcards from some films. One by one, we said goodbye to Anna, Lilly, Jenni, Pauline, Fabian (who could not be there that night), prof. and Dora, the fantastic Dora who was our guardian angel throughout the festival.

We returned to the hostel, a little sad, but not before making our new friends promise us that we would meet again in Giffoni 2019. With this little consolation, crushed by the sadness, we took the return plane home on October 7 and were back at Naples airport with this is our great adventure, to which we put the word end, between tears and laughter, when we said goodbye to each other. But even if now the group has dissolved, even if we have separated, we like to think that it is not over, that one day we will travel together again, that we will return to Dora and prof. and to Anna and Jenni and Lilly and Fabian and Pauline, that this was only the first of a long series of adventures, in the company of our Giusy. Thanks for everything, Giusy, thank you for being always present, for having guided us with caution, for having been with us, for having taken the plane with us and for sharing these wonderful moments. Thanks to all our friends in Chemntiz, thank you for giving us your friendship. Thanks to Dora, to dear Dora, without which everything would have been more empty, more rough, she colored our days. Thanks to the prof. Pinkert, thanks for the always wise and kind words. Thanks to the Giffoni Film Festival, which made us live this great experience, and the Schlingel Film Festival, which welcomed us warmly. And finally, thanks to you guys, who were the best companions you could have, thanks for being there, thanks for sharing everything, even the soul, thanks for every single step done together, thanks for every laugh and every word , thanks for everything, friends.