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FESTIVALS / AWARDS France / Italy

The Traitor to open the 37th Annecy Italian Film Festival

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- From 23-29 September, the event dedicated to the very best of Italian film is set to unfold in Annecy, exhibiting works ranging from Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden to Maura Delpero’s Maternal

The Traitor to open the 37th Annecy Italian Film Festival
The Traitor by Marco Bellocchio

“I think that two films such as The Traitor [+see also:
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Q&A: Marco Bellocchio
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by Marco Bellocchio and Martin Eden [+see also:
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interview: Pietro Marcello
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by Pietro Marcello, the opening and closing films of the festival respectively, really showcase the potential of Italian film today”. This was Francesco Giai Via’s response at the Annecy Italian Film Festival when questioned by Cineuropa over the power wielded today by Italian films abroad. Now at its 37th edition (scheduled for 23 - 29 September), the festival set in the Haute Savoie city, under the aegis of the Bonlieu Theatre, is dedicated to productions hailing from the other side of the Alps and encapsulates the many creative features of these works. From Martin Eden – which has just scooped an award at the Toronto Film Festival, having previously taken home the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival thanks to the performance of lead actor Luca Marinelli – to The Traitor, previously in competition in Cannes and named the winner of the 2019 Italian Golden Globe by the Foreign Press in Italy. “These are two films”, Francesco Giai Via continues, “in which a perfect balance has been achieved between the strong and radical vision of their authors and their ability to reach out to a wider audience. It’s no coincidence that these are films which have had the support of critics, as well as the general public, with excellent domestic box office results and sales brokered all over the world. Today, thanks to its institutions, its producers, its directors, its actors and its professionals, Italian cinema can hope to achieve results on a par with the golden age of the 1950s and 60s”.

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This is a significant and a rather comforting statement from a person who, for the third year running, is steering an event showcasing a wide panorama of Italian film production. The aim of the Festival is to boost distribution in Francophone countries, providing films which aren’t often distributed in French cinemas with access to a wider audience, but it also looks to bring a considerable number of sector professionals together, working towards this same goal of enhancing Italian film distribution in France.

Selected to participate in the new talent-oriented Competitive Section of the event and battling it out for the Grand Prize, the Special Jury Award (whose winner is chosen by a jury of film professionals), the CICAE Art Cinema Award, the Young Jury Awards, and the Rix Audience Award are 8 titles, all of which will be preceded by short films from Gero & Gipi: The Young Observant [+see also:
film review
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interview: Davide Maldi
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]
by Davide Maldi, recently screened at the Locarno FF (with international sales coming courtesy of Slingshot Films); Bangla [+see also:
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by Phaim Bhuiyan, named Best Debut Film at the Italian Golden Globes 2019 (international sales: Fandango); Effetto domino [+see also:
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interview: Alessandro Rossetto
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]
by Alessandro Rossetto, previously seen in the Sconfini section of the Venice Film Festival; The Disappearance of My Mother [+see also:
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by Beniamino Barrese, which debuted at Sundance (international sales: Autlook Filmsales); If Only [+see also:
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by Ginevra Elkann, which opened Locarno in August (international sales: Rai Com); Maternal [+see also:
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interview: Maura Delpero
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]
by Maura Delpero, which was showered with awards in Locarno - Special Mention, Europa Cinemas Label, Ecumenical Jury Award, Young Jury Second Prize - (international sales: Charades); Wherever You Are [+see also:
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by Bonifacio Angius, a first work currently enjoying an extensive tour of the international festival scene (sold by Fandango), and; Once More Unto The Breach [+see also:
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interview: Federico Ferrone, Michele M…
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by Federico Ferrone and Michele Manzolini, likewise selected for Venice’s 2019 Sconfini line-up (Slingshot Films).

“Prima”, the non-competitive section which brings together the very best of Italian films yet to be discovered in France, will feature 5 Is The Perfect Number [+see also:
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interview: Igort
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]
, adapted by Igort from his graphic novel of the same name; the comedy Welcome Back Mr. President [+see also:
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by Fontana and Stasi; The Champion [+see also:
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interview: Leonardo D’Agostini
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by Leonardo D’Agostini; Ma cosa ci dice il cervello [+see also:
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by Riccardo Milani; La mafia non è più quella di una volta [+see also:
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by Franco Maresco (a competitor in Venice 2019); The Passion of Anna Magnani [+see also:
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, a documentary on the actress now synonymous with neorealism, which comes courtesy of Enrico Cerasuolo; Ride [+see also:
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interview: Valerio Mastandrea
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by Valerio Mastandrea; Romulus & Remus – The First King [+see also:
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by Matteo Rovere; On My Skin [+see also:
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by Alessio Cremonini; and the previously mentioned work The Traitor.

The Sergio Leone Award, bestowed upon authors who stay true to their artistic convictions, will this year be taken home by Pietro Marcello, who will feature “in conversation” at the Festival and whose first work of fiction Lost and Beautiful [+see also:
film review
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interview: Pietro Marcello ­
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will also be screened, in addition to Martin Eden and alongside his documentaries The Mouth of the Wolf [+see also:
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interview: Pietro Marcello
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, Crossing The Line, and The Silence of Pelesjan. Other events and screenings taking place will include a Focus on the works of Giovanni Cioni intitled “A Voyage in Italy”; screenings followed by discussions for Dove bisogna stare [+see also:
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by Daniele Gaglianone and Stefano Collizzolli and for Normal [+see also:
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by Adele Tulli, and; an encounter with the actor Pierfrancesco Favino, the screenwriters Laura Buffoni, Monica Rametta and Valia Santella, and the director Alessio Cremonini, all within the context of the ACI Workshops, organised in association with the David di Donatello Academy.

Last but not least, space has similarly been made for films aimed at younger audiences, in the form of Butterfly [+see also:
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by Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman; The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily [+see also:
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interview: Lorenzo Mattotti
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by Lorenzo Mattotti; Flesh Out [+see also:
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by Michela Occhipinti; The Invisible Boy – Second Generation [+see also:
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by Gabriele Salvatores; and Selfie [+see also:
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]
by Agostino Ferrente.

(Translated from Italian)

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