Wednesday, 08 March 2023 12:08

In Šibenik, spotlight on Italian cinema thanks to Italia Experience. Gubitosi: “We share values and goals and put emphasis on young people through screenings and workshops”

The project is co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Culture - Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual. Starting today and running until March 12, workshops, labs, screenings and meetings will take place along with the making of a short film dedicated to the beautiful Dalmatian town

Croatia shares with Italy a common set of values and ideals, as well as a common vision and similar goals. This is why Giffoni chose Šibenik for the third stage of Italia Experience. We will bring Italian cinema here with screenings of films and documentaries that portray the best of our country and address issues that are very close to young people”. These are the words of Giffoni general manager Jacopo Gubitosi, who outlined the newest stage of the project co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Culture - Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual. Giffoni will be in Šibenik for the first time, at the Arsen Art House, from March 6 to 12, involving 500 young people from fourteen local schools.

The first stage of Italia Experience 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. Now Giffoni is ready to set out again from Šibenik, with the aim of bringing young people together through the universal language of cinema, in the name of Italian culture.

We believe there could be no better place for Giffoni to pursue its journey”, Gubitosi added, “as we both focus on the new generations, on the development and growth of their passions related to creativity and art. This is why we decided to rely on Šibenik for the promotion of Italian cinema abroad. The event will take place over four days, which will be a real full immersion for over 500 young people involved in the scheduled activities: indeed, they will be watching feature films, short films and documentaries. In addition to that, some members of our large delegation will be working with local students in the making of a short film aimed at portraying the beauty of these sites”.

The mayor of Sibenik, Željko Burić, was equally enthusiastic: “We are honored that Giffoni chose our city for this project supported by the Italian Ministry of Culture”, he said. “Cinema is the only art that is still relevant despite the fast pace of progress and is a fundamental tool for inspiring young people. Indeed, we decided to invest everything in culture as we consider it the only way that can enable us to give value to the great heritage we have and, at the same time, to raise awareness among our fellow citizens”.

Sibenik's goals are the same as Giffoni's: “We hope to be able to establish another Giffoni hub here, with students who can engage in talks with institutions, creating innovative programs and initiatives”, added Gubitosi, who then extended an invitation to mayor Burić: “We look forward to welcoming you to the 53rd edition of our Festival, scheduled for July 20-29, he said while presenting him with the stamp dedicated to Giffoni that was issued by Poste Italiane on the occasion of the European Year of Youth.

The morning meetings were also attended by Gorana Barišić Bačelić, Head of the city's Cultural Promotion Board, and Morana Perìsa, Director of the Arsen Art House, which will be hosting screenings of four feature films, two documentaries and thirteen short films aimed at upper and lower secondary school students. The screenings (all titles are from Italy) will provide an opportunity to address different topics that are significant to young people. 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 who are linked by a running race in the Calabria region, "Il bambino nascosto" by Roberto Andò, set in Forcella (Naples), which delivers 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, namely integration between cultures. What's more, 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 in the city of Šibenik, will be the moderator of these talks.

The event will also include a tribute to Paolo Villaggio: on Wednesday, March 8, in the presence of producers Daniele Liburdi and Massimo Mescia, the documentary film "La voce di Fantozzi" will be screened. Through contributions from actors, directors, writers, critics and journalists, the film recounts the unrivaled success of the famous 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 titles, will be presented to an audience of young people and adults.

General manager Jacopo Gubitosi's official schedule for March 7 also included a meeting with Jakov Bilić, director of the International Children's Festival, which has been taking place in Šibenik for 62 years. “Our background is very similar”, Bilić commented. “We share the same focus and goals: to give children and young people center stage. The main spheres our festival deals with are theater, laboratories, workshops and street artists. We also focus on cinema of course, which we understand as an experience to be enjoyed together rather than just a number of screenings”.

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 working on a short film that will be shot during the course of the event. It will be focused on the relationship between local 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.