To the bad mentors of the future

In its 34th year, the “Festival del Cinema di Sulmona” evolves and goes international, becoming Sulmona International Film Festival. We decided to raise the stakes despite the fact that the current period of crisis allows little space for cultural funding. This is because crisis etymologically means choice, and ours here at Sulmonacinema was to widen our field of view towards unexplored horizons. After more than ten years of precious yet bold Artistic Direction by Roberto Silvestri, who had the courage and the fantasy to introduce the Young Italian Film contest, to showcase debut work by emerging directors, we now take a step in a different direction, aiming straight for the future.

We place our main focus on the short film, now more than ever a prerequisite for the great directors of tomorrow.

The wonderous nature of the internet allowed us to discover the Canadian platform FilmFreeway, that with its more than 400 festivals and 200 participating directors, offers an authentic possibility for a global cinematographic interaction.

Of the approximately 400 film submissions, from 45 countries, 40 of them have been selected to compete within three categories. The selected works are those that using a short-film format manage to condense present day themes through experimentation, technical competence and powerful narration. The short film leaves space for expression without restrictions, where the sprouting idea can freely encounter talent. According to Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe “Less is more,” and the short film, following these teachings, places great value to each narrative passage, thusly creating visionary uniqueness.

Nonetheless, three feature films have been selected for the festival audience, following a common, Ovidian thread, especially present in “Metamorphoses”.

“LARS AND THE REAL GIRL”, featuring a minimalistic and balanced pre-celebrity Ryan Gosling, takes a close look at the need for socialising in the web epoch, where the meaning of the word Love is the mutating element. “LO AND BEHOLD - REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD”, by the ever-curious and divinely inspired “bad” mentor, Werner Herzog, takes us directly into the meanders of the internet which “has naturally penetrated into the dark side of human existence,” fundamentally modifying interpersonal relations. “WASTE LAND” flourishes by virtue of the encounters between artist Vik Muniz, director Lucy Walker and the “catadores” from the world’s biggest landfill, situated in Rio de Janeiro. The film is an authentic masterpiece of metamorphosis, a touching experience documenting the protagonists’ transformation of rubbish they gather with their own hands into works of Art.

Sulmona International Film Festival collaborates with numerous national and regional audio-visual entities. From European Independent Film Festival of Paris (ECU) to International Film Academy of Pescara (IFA) whose students actively participate. From a touristic portal “Visit Sulmona” to “One Talent TV” with a special prize for best Music Video.

From “Centro del Cinema del Comune di Cesena” with the photo exhibition “CliCiack” to “Sulmona- TeatroProject” proposing a theatrical performance homage to all-female cinema. Local schools from the region will be involved in the handing out of the SIFF Student Prize. 

All-in-all a Festival full of ideas and ambitions getting prepared for the Ovidian 2017 edition, a special year for Sulmona, celebrating the 2000 years after the death of Ovid, the poet who symbolises the city and the artist who inspires our work.