Monday, 09 May 2022 12:04

#Giffoni2022: the first titles in competition

Body positivity, rebirth, freedom to love without labels, disability, friendship, magic, dreams, family relationships and delicate topics such as bulimia, anorexia and multiple sclerosis: these are just some of the subjects addressed by the first titles selected for #Giffoni2022, scheduled from July 21 to 30. 3,400 works - shorts and feature films - are already being evaluated by the Giffoni team during the pre-selection process . The deadline for submissions is May 31. The films chosen to date come from 25 countries: Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Finland, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, India, USA, Russia, Sweden, Argentina, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Greece, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Congo.

Feature films, short films and documentaries will be watched and judged by over 5 thousand Italian and international boys and girls. It will be the jurors themselves who will decide the winners of the Gryphon Award.

Here are the first selected titles:

ELEMENTS +3 (3 to 5 years old) – FEATURE FILMS
Three feature films out of competition have been selected so far for the Festival's youngest section. One of them is LAURA’S STAR (Germany - festival agent Renate Zylla) by Joya Thome. A former juror, Joya Thome now returns to the festival as a director for the second time: in 2017 she had presented "Queen of Niendorf" in the +10 section. After moving to the big city, Laura misses her old home very much and finds it hard to make new friends. However, one night she sees a little star falling from the sky and she will start a very special friendship with it. Ali Samadi Ahadi is also returning to Giffoni (in 2019 he had presented "Pettson And Findus - Findus Moves House"), this time presenting MOONBOUND (Germany), distributed in Italy by Koch Media. The film tells the story of Peter, a young space-loving nerd, dealing with the disappearance of Anne, his lively and imaginative little sister. The journey to find her will throw him into a new dimension. The third film is director Chelo Loureiro's debut work VALENTINA (Spain/Portugal - international distribution by Pink Parrot Media). A girl is fed up with her Down's syndrome, which prevents her from fulfilling her dream of becoming a trapeze artist. However, a magical path will unveil to her all that she is capable of doing.

ELEMENTS +6 (6 to 9 years old) – FEATURE FILMS
Friendship and magic: this is the starting point for the works chosen for the Elements +6 section. The selection opens with DETECTIVE BRUNO (Poland - international distribution by Dutch Features) by Magdalena Niec and Mariusz Palej. The arrogant star of the hit TV series "Detective Bruno" is an obnoxious and self-centered actor who is about to be fired from the show due to his unpopularity. Eight-year-old orphan Oskar is his biggest fan and longs to be just like his TV hero. On his birthday, the child receives a mysterious clue regarding a treasure hunt left by his deceased parents. Starting from here, a chaotic adventure will take place. Following is OINK (Holland/Belgium - international distribution by LevelK), the first film by Mascha Halberstad. The protagonist is 9-year-old Babs, who receives a piglet as a gift from her grandfather. What will happen to this adorable puppy threatened by a sausage contest? Another film in competition is VINSKI AND THE INVISIBILITY POWDER (Finland – International distribution by Attraction Distribution) by Juha Wuolijoki. We are in Hömpstad, an imaginary city threatened by a wave of crime. Vinski, a 10-year-old boy, meets a mysterious pharmacist who gives him a bottle of magic powder that can make him invisible and walk through walls.

ELEMENTS+10 (10 to 12 years old) – FEATURE FILMS
Coming-of-age stories that are capable of moving and making viewers think: the feature films selected for the Elements+10 section will not fail to meet expectations. FULL OF GRACE (Spain - international distribution by Film Factory Entertainment) by Roberto Bueso takes us back to the summer of 1994. Marina, a rather unusual nun, arrives at an orphanage facing closure. Although the beginning is not idyllic, a bond resembling that of a real family is slowly created. HOW I LEARNED TO FLY (Serbia/Croatia/Bulgaria - international distribution by Pluto Film) by Radivoje Andrić introduces us to Sofija. The girl is forced to spend her vacations with her overbearing grandmother Marija on an island in Croatia. It is not the perfect summer, but with the help of her loving old aunt Luce Sofija will manage to keep boredom away. On the other hand, LAST FILM SHOW (India/France/USA - distributed in Italy by Medusa Film) by Pan Nalin is a modern fairy tale. The son of a tea seller in a railway station in rural India, Samay enters a cinema for the first time and is deeply fascinated. Another captivating story is that of Vitya Kasatkin and his passion for Japanese sumo wrestling in Ilya Ermolov's SUMO KID (Russia - international distribution by Attraction Distribution). The boy has been living a dream for years: to take part in the Sumo Junior Tournament in Tokyo, so that his father could see him. Vitya wins the qualifying tournament and gets a ticket to Japan, but a new obstacle jeopardizes his dreams. The last film is THE PATH (Germany - distributed in Italy by Eagle Pictures) by Tobias Wiemann, who returns to Giffoni after presenting "Mountain Miracle" in 2017. The film tells the story of an exciting escape through the Pyrenees and an unexpected friendship between two children who, at first glance, could hardly be more different.

GENERATOR +13 (13 to 15 years old) – FEATURE FILMS
The Generator +13 section starts with an Italian title: PAULA (Italy/Argentina - distributed in Italy by The Piranesi Experience) by Florencia Wehbe. At the center of the story is a girl and her hatred for her body. In an attempt to express what she feels, Paula creates a blog and becomes part of a large virtual community that shares her problems. Sheltering in anonymity, she uploads recorded content with her cell phone, giving exposure to her friends and family. The feeling of belonging to this community blinds the young woman, who embarks on a lonely path in which bulimia and anorexia lurk as alternatives to self-acceptance. Smiling even when your heart is broken: this is the message that COMEDY QUEEN (Sweden - Reinvent International Sales) by Sanna Lenken aims to convey. In order to prevent herself from becoming like her mother, who couldn't handle the burden of life and committed suicide, twelve-year old Sasha has developed a "survival list" that includes the following points: don't read books, don't look after anything alive and, above all, shave your hair. Jaak Kilmi returns to Giffoni for the second year in a row (in 2021 he presented "Christmas in the Jungle" in the Elements +6 section), this time with THE SPLEEPING BEAST (Estonia/Latvia - international distribution by Media Luna New Films). The film centers on Kristjan, who spends his afternoons with a bunch of friends in an old abandoned factory. A strange incident casts a dark shadow over the group and Kristjan must face his most difficult decision yet. The story of Nour, who lives in a working-class neighborhood by the sea, is the subject of Johan Manca's first film LA TRAVIATA - MY BROTHERS AND I (France - distributed in Italy by I Wonder Pictures). Nour is about to spend a summer influenced by the adventures of his older brothers and affected by his mother's illness.  When it's time to go back to school, the boy meets Sarah, an opera singer who runs a summer course. This encounter will open up new horizons for him.

GENERATOR +16 (16 to 17 years old) – FEATURE FILMS
Two feature films have been selected at the moment for the +16 jurors: one is HEARTBEAST (Finland/France/Germany - international distribution by Kinology) by Aino Suni. It is the story of Elina, an aspiring rapper who falls desperately in love with her half-sister. The second film is MI IUBITA MON AMOUR (France - international distribution by Films Boutique), the debut feature by Noemie Merlant. Its story revolves around Jeanne, who travels to Romania to celebrate her bachelorette party. There she meets Nino and his family. The two belong to distant worlds, yet they are about to live a passionate summer together.

GENERATOR +18 (from 18 years old) - FEATURE FILMS
Five titles have already been chosen for the +18 section: AS IN HEAVEN (Denmark - international distribution by LevelK) by Tea Lindeburg is set on a farm. The film is the story of a night at the end of the 1800s that changes the life of 14-year-old Liza forever. A story about women, about becoming adults and never losing hope. The central characters of HOLY EMY (Greece, France, USA - distributed in Italy by TVCO International Distribution) by Araceli Lemos, at her first work, are two young sisters, Emy and Teresa, who start a journey in search of their own identity, between religiousness and mysticism. LET ME HEAR IT BAREFOOT (Japan - international distribution by PFF - Pia Film Festival) by Kudo Riho, on the other hand, portrays the complicity between Naomi and Maki, two youngsters who seem to be running away from their feelings. However, they become closer when they have to build an imaginary world for the elderly Midori. MARS ONE (Brazil – international distribution by Magnolia Pictures International) by Gabriel Martins is a different kind of story, which introduces us to Deivinho, Eunice and Joana, three young dreamers who silently lead their lives on the outskirts of a big Brazilian city. Kurzel Justin's film NITRAM (Australia - distributed in Italy by I Wonder Pictures), based on a true story, concludes this first part of the selection. A boy lives with his mother and father in suburban Australia in the mid-90s. He experiences a life of isolation and frustration that will slowly lead him to take extreme actions. Caleb Landry Jones - the leading actor in the film - was awarded Best Actor at Cannes 2021. Among the films directed by Kurzel Justin are "Assassin's Creed" starring Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Irons and Marion Cotillard and "Macbeth" also starring Fassbender and Cotillard.

GEX DOC (section addressed to teachers, parents and filmgoers)
The works chosen for GEX DOC are based on true stories, narrated in documentary form. Among them is I AM CHANCE (Belgium/France/Congo - international distribution by Wajnbrosse Productions) by Marc-Henri Wajnberg, which tells the story of Chancelvie and her friends as they face the world in the lively city of Kinshasa. Another selected film is the delicate and touching ROSY, THE FORBIDDEN JOURNEY (France – international distribution by Gaumont), the debut feature by Marine Barnerias. Marine is 21 years old when she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that threatens to partially or completely paralyze her. Determined and full of life, she wants to go beyond medical advice, traveling the world for 9 months with just one thing on her mind: reconnecting with herself and learning to live with her scleROSIS, her "ROSE".