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FESTIVALS Italy

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Life in the digital age at the Biografilm Festival in Bologna

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- The 11th edition of the festival dedicated to biographies will be based around the theme of privacy and the challenges posed by the internet, and will feature a Focus on Denmark

Life in the digital age at the Biografilm Festival in Bologna
The Russian Woodpecker by Chad Garcia

“Connected lives – from the end of privacy to collective knowledge” is the highly-topical overarching theme of the upcoming Biografilm Festival, this year in its 11th edition, which will be held from 5 to 15 June in Bologna. The event, which is dedicated to biographies and will be as rich as ever in film premieres, international guests and musical events, will this year look at how biographies have changed in an age in which they can be reproduced digitally, focusing on the theme of privacy and the challenges posed by the Internet. “Once upon a time making a biography was an activity which involved gathering material together”, explains the director of the festival Andrea Romeo, who was in Rome yesterday for the unveiling of the programme, “today it has become an activity which involves cutting down and selecting material. Given the huge amount of images and information out there that can be accessed by anyone, biographers no longer need to track down information, but select that which is actually useful for the story they want to tell”. The films selected for the festival include Citizenfour [+see also:
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on Edward Snowden and the leaked documents scandal; Silenced, which tells the story of what happened to three whistle-blowers after the attacks of 11 September; The Amina Profile on the activist who turned out to be operating under a false identity, and The Yes Men Are Revolting on a brazen pair of environmental activists. 

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There are ten films from all over the world competing in the International Competition, including The Pearl Button [+see also:
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by Patricio Guzmán (which competed at this year’s Berlin Film Festival), winner of the Sundance Film Festival The Russian Woodpecker [+see also:
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by Chad Garcia, Sumé - The Sound of a Revolution [+see also:
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by Inuk Silis Høegh, on the first rock band to sing in Greenlandish, family epic A Syrian Love Story [+see also:
film review
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by British filmmaker Sean McAllister, and for the first time in this section, two Italian films: The Troublemaker by Roberto Salinas and Dal ritorno by Giovanni Cioni.

There will also be some big international premieres in the Contemporary Lives section, dedicated to issues and people that have left their mark on the present, and in the Biografilm Europa section, which, for the second year running, will screen the best fictional European biographical films. The former will include ten pieces on the theme of power, including the moving history of democracy Democrats [+see also:
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by Danish director Camilla Nielsson, The Erpatak Model by Benny Brunnen and Keno Verseck, on a rural village in Hungary that has been turned into a small Orwellian society, and Italian film Torri, checche e tortellini by Andrea Adriatico, on the birth of the gay pride movement in Bologna. The Biografilm Europa section will feature the global premiere of In Your Arms [+see also:
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interview: Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm
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by Samanou Acheche Sahlstrøm (Denmark, Germany), which looks at the relationship between a nurse and their patient, and euthanasia. 

As in previous years, the Biografilm Italia section is dedicated to the best Italian documentaries, whilst two new topical sections, the Biografilm Music and Biografilm Art sections, will feature documentaries on the most varied of musical scenes (from that of West Germany in the 1980s to Italian hip-hop and the great singer-songwriters) and  art forms (theatre, poetry, comic strips, critique).

This year the Celebration of Lives prize, which the festival awards to great storytellers of our time, goes to Frederick Wiseman, Matteo Garrone, Michael Madsen and Mario Carbone; tribute will also be paid to Antonietta De Lillo, Roberto Minervini and the brave producer of The Act of Killing [+see also:
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and The Look of Silence [+see also:
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, Danish filmmaker Signe Byrge Sørensen. Incidentally, the country that has been chosen for the Focus of the 11th edition of the Biografilm Festival is Denmark.

(Translated from Italian)

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