Monday, 29 April 2019 12:48

2019 Giffoni Film Festival: The first 19 films selected for the 49th edition

Nineteen International productions from all over Europe but also from Japan,South Korea, Canada and America: The selection of films included in the official competition of the 49th edition of the Giffoni Film Festival, scheduled 19 - 27 July, is starting to take shape. So far 3900 films were watched in the pre-selection -  both features and shorts – by the Giffoni Experience artistic direction team.  The deadline for the submission of films is May  31st.

The films present stories that will certainly encourage the 6140 jurors of the 2019 Giffoni  to reflect and exchange opinions, to laugh and grow, to identify themselves with the protagonists and to question themselves. The films will be presented in the seven competitive sections of the Festival: Elements +3 (from 3 to 5 years old), Elements +6 (from 6 to 9 years old), Elements +10 (from 10 to 12 years old), Generator +13 (from 13 to 15 years), Generator +16 (from 16 to 17 years), Generator +18 (18 years old and above) and Gex Doc – Parental Experience (section dedicated to teachers, parents and filmgoers). The jurors from 50 countries will choose the winners of the Gryphon Award. Here are the first titles selected:


There are already four feature films chosen for Elements +6: friendship, family, magic and the first challenges that come with growing up are some of the themes dedicated to them. Director Marcus H. Rosenmuller is back to Giffoni with DOUBLE TROUBLE - THE MAGICAL MIRROR  (Germany, 2019) international distribution Arri Media International and distributed in Italy by Cloud Movie. Frido is a child who loves to have fun and, like most of his peers, is a bit lazy at school. During a city fair he comes across a magic mirror that gives life to his double. With the help of his clone, the child will live a carefree existence at first but, as he reveals his secret to his schoolmates, the situation will soon become unmanageable. Eia,  is the main character of PHANTOM OWL FOREST by Anu Aun (Estonia, 2018), Attraction Distribution international distribution. The child's Christmas holidays take place on a remote farm in the middle of nowhere. Here, however, she will discover the beauty of nature and wildlife, help save a primeval forest inhabited by mysterious owls and discover a well-kept secret of her family. Also in competition the animated film RACETIME by Benoit Godbout (Canada, 2018), international distribution Pink Parrot Media. A spectacular sled race takes place in the village and Sophie takes part in it with the ambitious newcomer Zac and his cousin Charlie. However, her sled ends up falling apart in the middle of the race. Together with her friends, the girl manages to demonstrate that Zac has cheated and gets the chance to compete again, but on one condition: she will have to build a new sled in time. The young protagonist of ROCCA CHANGES THE WORLD by Katja Benrath (Germany, 2019), Beta Cinema international distribution, is a brave girl. Fun, unmistakable and reckless: Rocca lives alone in a large house. Fearless and full of curiosity, she finds in Caspar an unusual friend who will prove to be the bully of the class. The most important thing for Rocca, however, is to win her grandmother’s heart.


Stories about growing up which will certainly excite the jurors and make them think: the features dedicated to Elements +10 will not disappoint expectations. In the not too distant future, the Svea spaceship travels with two passengers: twelve-year-old Gladys and younger brother Keaton. The journey of ALONE IN SPACE by director Ted Kjellsson (Sweden, 2018), Trustnordisk international distribution sees the two protagonists leave a desolate Planet Earth to go to the planet Vial but they never seem to arrive. On board, the childrne spend their days exploring the gigantic vehicle. But everything changes when something unexpected appears in Svea: suddenly, Gladys and Keaton are no longer alone in space. Total change of scene with MY EXTRAORDINARY SUMMER WITH TESS by Steven Wouterlood (Holland / Germany, 2019), international distribution Picture Tree International. Sam is the youngest in the family and because of this he is obsessed by the idea that one day he might become the last survivor among his relatives. During a vacation he meets Tess, a young alternative and unconventional girl, who has a secret and shows him how the present can overcome any anxiety for the future. Back to Giffoni for the fourth year (she had already presented "Winky's Horse" in 2006, "Where Is Winky's Horse" in 2008 and "Boys" in 2014) is Mischa Kamp with ROMY'S SALON (Netherlands, 2019), international Distribution Attraction Distribution. Romy does not like being in her grandmother's salon after school, but she will soon find out how necessary her presence and support to the family are. The last film selected in this section for now is STORM BOY by Shawn Seet (Australia, 2019), international distribution Kathy Morgan International, ends. "Academy award winner Geoffrey Rush also stars. A little boy, raised on the beautiful but uninhabited coast of southern Australia, unexpectedly saves three small pelicans. Growing up, he establishes a strong bond with them but he will find himself at odds with his father, letting his existence take a new and unpredictable turn.


The complexity of the first love, the elaboration of mourning someone you love and the search for oneself: these are just some of the themes that emerge from the first films chosen for the Generator +13 section. Juggling between school and home, twelve-year-old Mylia is going through a complex period in her life: she is the protagonist of A COLONY by Genevieve Dulude-De Celles (Canada, 2018), an Indie Sales international distribution. Everything changes when she approaches her classmate Jimmy, a boy from the adjacent Abenaki reserve who encourages her to overcome the boundaries imposed by a rigidly stratified society. A drama with strong tones and delicate feelings centered on two adolescents caught at an important crossroads in their existence is at the centre of STUPID YOUNG HEART by Selma Vilhunen (Finland / Holland / Sweden, 2018), international distribution Yellow Affair. The film tells the first love between the carefree Lenni and the beautiful and popular Kiira. Not yet in a real relationship and still high school students, the two discover that they are expecting a child. Lenni, raised without a paternal figure and in a cultural humus increasingly affected by the Xenophobic far right virus, has only nine months to become a man, despite not ever having had the chance to be a child. The last film of the section for now is the Japanese  WE ARE LITTLE ZOMBIES, the directorial debut of Makoto Nagahisa (Japan, 2019), international distribution Nikkatsu Corporation. A pop kaleidoscope that, through an exorbitant aesthetic approach, follows four 13-year-old Japanese kids struggling with the turbulence of a life that immediately appears uphill. Now orphans, the young people decide to form a rock band to counter the emptiness they have around.


The lightness, the unexpected and the worries of the restless adolescent years are the main themes in the first films chosen  for Generators +16: two titles already selected for now. HARAJUKU by Eirik Svensson(Norway, 2018), international distribution Charades, is the story of a very difficult day in the life of Vilde. The day before Christmas Eve the blue-haired rebel teen learns that her mother was the victim of an accident. Social services require them to get in contact with her biological father who for her is little more than a stranger who has abandoned her.Vilde decides to flee Oslo, she just needs to get a single ticket to Tokyo.Everything will depend on her first, fundamental encounter with her parent. METEORITES by Romain Laguna (France, 2018), an international distribution of Indie Sales, is a story of love, of discovery and growth. Sixteen year old Nina lives in a town in the South of France and for the summer she works in a theme park, where she falls in love with Morad, the older brother of an Algerian colleague. There Nina's impulsive and adventurous nature clashes with Morad's chauvinism, and their relationship is full of shocks, enthusiasms, disappointments and tears. The first love, as the title and the girl’s visions suggest upsets her existence with the devastating power of a meteorite that suddenly falls from the sky.


JP lives with his brother Vincent, his mother Joe and his girlfriend Mel in a small apartment in Verdun: This is the premise of FAMILY FIRST by Sophie Dupuis (Canada, 2018), produced by Bravo Charlie. Always walking on the razor's edge, JP tries to maintain a fair balance between the numerous needs of his family that he feels responsible for, the work and involvement in his uncle's drug cartel that he sees as a father figure. Another complex story is that told by GOLIATH by Peter Gronlund (Sweden, 2018), international distribution Wild Bunch. In a purely industrial town in Sweden, where many have turned to crime, Kimmie grows up in the shadow of his father Roland, a scammer. When he ends up in jail for dealing drugs, further putting the already precarious situation of the family in crisis, the seventeen year old finds himself having to face the toughest decision of his life. While Kimmie secretly dreams of leaving with his girlfriend Jonna, his father wants him to become a real man like him, able to take over the reins of his business. YOUNGJU by Cha Sungduk (Korea, 2018), international distribution M-Line Distribution, is the title of the last film in competition in this section but also the name of the protagonist who lives with her  younger brother she is caring for. As a sudden breadwinner, she has to take on many responsibilities that lead her to give up her studies. However, her brother behaves in the opposite way to what she would expect and soon things turn sour. Youngju then decides to seek help from the couple that caused the death of her parents.


The works chosen for GEX DOC- PARENTAL EXPERIENCE are based on true stories, narrated in the documentary form. ANGELS ARE MADE OF LIGHT by James Longley (USA / Denmark, 2018), international distribution The Film Collaborative. Twelve years after his Oscar-nominated film "Iraq in Fragments", the American documentary filmmaker James Longlay offers a large and deeply compassionate group portrait of Afghan students and teachers who are still trying to survive the national turmoil. BRUCE LEE AND THE OUTLAW by Joost Vandebrug (England / Holland / Czech Republic, 2018) international distribution Taskovski Films, on the other hand, is the director's debut work and follows the lives of homeless children living under the Bucharest North Station. The last of the first three films chosen is a film by Frank Geigerand Mohammad Farokhmanesh, LITTLE GERMANS (Germany, 2019), produced by Brave New Work. The feature film combines animation and documentary to tell the story of children born in far-right families. How does it feel to grow up in a world where "the nation" is above everything?