Monday, 06 March 2023 10:01

Italia Experience, third stage in Croatia: 500 giffoners brought together by Italian cinema and culture in Šibenik

Giffoni brings young people together through the universal language of cinema, under the banner of Italian culture. This is the purpose of Italia Experience, a project co-financed by the Ministry of Culture - Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual. Giffoni's journey continues with its third stage, which will take place in Croatia: indeed, from March 6 to 12, Giffoni will be for the first time in Šibenik, at the Arsen Art House, involving 500 giffoners from fourteen schools.

The first stage of the initiative engaged more than 500 giffoners in Skopje last October during the 10th edition of the Giffoni Macedonia Youth Film Festival. The second stage took place in Spain in November, in partnership with the 15th edition of the Italian Film Festival in Madrid, organized by the Italian Cultural Institute and its director Marialuisa Pappalardo.

Giffoni general director Jacopo Gubitosi said: "We are overjoyed to be able to continue the journey of Italia Experience with the stage in Šibenik. This is the first time Giffoni is organizing a festival in Croatia, a country that shares values and culture with Italy. We will bring Italian cinema with screenings of films and documentaries that portray the best of Italy through topical issues that are very close to young people. The program will feature a tribute to Paolo Villaggio, an icon of our cinema and culture. During these days, Italy and Croatia will be united in a shared vision and in a supportive atmosphere, as always happens with Italia Experience, which we are very fond of and have put energies and ideas into with the aim of establishing bonds among the new generations through the universal language of creativity and art".

Giffoni chose Šibenik thanks to its collaboration with the Arsen Art House. Four feature films, two documentaries and thirteen short films aimed at upper and lower secondary school students will be screened during the event. The screenings (all titles are from Italy) will provide an opportunity to address different topics. The program will include "Il ragazzo e la tigre" by Brando Quilici, a story of friendship and solidarity between human and tiger cubs; "Oltre il confine", directed by Alessandro Valenti, which brings to the screen the Italian dream of two African children, "L'afide e la formica" by Mario Vitale, which tells the story of a professor and a Muslim teenager linked by a running race in the Calabria region, "Il bambino nascosto" by Roberto Andò, set in Forcella (Naples), with a masterful performance by Silvio Orlando, "Cuore di bambola" by Antonio Di Domenico, the intense story of an artist and her illness that makes her fragile and strong at the same time, "Who's Romeo", a film by Giovanni Covini, who uses a timeless masterpiece of world literature to address a very sensitive issue, that of integration between cultures.

The event will also include a tribute to Paolo Villaggio: on the first day of the festival, in the presence of the two producers Daniele Liburdi and Massimo Mescia, the documentary "La voce di Fantozzi" will be screened. Through contributions from actors, directors, writers, critics and journalists, the film recounts the unrivaled success of the saga revolving around the most unfortunate and beloved salaryman in Italian cinema, an icon who influenced the imagery, culture and language of an entire country like no other, entering the Olympus of immortals. The film's protagonist is Paolo Villaggio, in his last and moving performance, along with exceptional Italian figures such as Nobel laureate Dario Fo and Oscar winner Roberto Benigni. The following day, March 9, the film "Io speriamo che me la cavo" by Lina Wertmüller, one of Villaggio's most successful films, will be presented to an audience of young people and adults.

There will also be moments of discussion and debate, during which the young people will be encouraged to reflect and to deepen their understanding of the topics covered by the feature and short films. Well-known Croatian actor and director Leon Lučev, who was born right in the city of Šibenik, will be the moderator of these talks.

This new stage of Italia Experience will also feature the making of a short film. Around twenty giffoners, recruited from Šibenik's secondary schools and coordinated by Giffoni's production department, are already at work to devise a short film that will be shot during the course of the event. It will be focused on the relationship between the young people and the city of Šibenik. The outstanding natural and architectural features of this beautiful place will be intertwined with the human stories of the boys and girls who live and enliven it, in what will be an exciting and powerful story.

The event will provide an opportunity to forge important institutional relations. Indeed, Giffoni general manager Jacopo Gubitosi will be meeting with Željko Burić, mayor of Šibenik, Gorana Barišić Bačelić, Head of the city's Cultural Promotion Board, Morana Perìsa, director of the Arsen Art House, and Jakov Bilić, Director of the International Festival of Children, which has been taking place in Šibenik for 62 years.

Joining the general manager will be Marco Cesaro, head of the Special Projects Department; Maria Paugelli and Rosa Di Maio of the Giffoni team; Anna Falivene, head of International Relations; Giovanni Cerri, Erica Delisio, Rosario Minervini and Mario Avallone of the Production Department and Rita Esposito of the Communications Department.