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FESTIVALS Italy

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The Festival dei Popoli opens with Mr Gaga

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- From 27 November Florence will host the most important film event in Italy, the International Documentary Film Festival, with a tribute to Polish filmmaker Wojciech Staron and a focus on Mary Jimenez

The Festival dei Popoli opens with Mr Gaga
Mr Gaga by Tomer Heymann

The Italian premiere of Mr. Gaga [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 will open the 56th edition of the Festival dei Popoli, the International Documentary Film Festival, which kicks off on Friday 27 November in Florence. Tomer Heymann’s documentary, which recounts the life and art of Ohad Naharin, one of the most important and innovative coreographers in the world, is an Israeli-Swedish-German-Dutch co-production by Heymann Brothers Films with the support of Israeli Channel 8, the New Israeli fund for TV and cinema, ZDF\ARTE, AVRO and SVT.

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The Festival dei Popoli is considered the most important event in Italy for international documentary film, and showcases an array of recent productions, tributes, retrospectives and meetings with filmmakers from all over the world. The "Trades of Cinema" section will focus on one of the most representative of European filmmakers, Polish director Wojciech Staron, with a selection of films directed by him or for which he was director of photography. The retrospective section “Filmmaker in Focus”, on the other hand, will be dedicated to Mary Jimenez, a Peruvian who lives in Belgium and whose filmography is rich in autobiographical reflections and portraits of men and women.

Among the 21 documentaries in competition are Waiting Room by Slovak director Palo Korec, Checks & Balances [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Malek Bensmaïl (Algeria-France), The Never Ending Factory of the Duomo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti (Italy), The Letters by Pablo Chavarría Gutiérrez (Mexico), Mallory by Helena Třeštíková (Czech Republic), On Football [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sergio Oksman
film profile
]
by Sergio Oksman (Spain), and Somos Cuba by Annett Ilijew (Germany). Special events include Daft Punk Unchained by French filmmaker Hervé Martin Delpierre, Complimenti per la Festa by Italian director Sebastiano Luca Insinga, Listen to Me Marlon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Stevan Riley (United Kingdom), Pepe Mujica – Lessons from the Flowerbed [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Heidi Specogna (Germany), and Twilight of a Life by Sylvain Biegeleisen (Belgium-Israel).

The competitive ‘Panorama’ section, dedicated to Italian films produced over the last year, will feature eight unreleased Italian documentaries, with two prizes for distribution. The selected titles include: If Only I Were that Warrior by Valerio Ciriaci, which documents the reactions of the Ethiopian community when a municipality in the province of Rome built a monument dedicated to fascist hierarch Rodolfo Graziani, who was responsible for war crimes during the Ethiopian War for which he never stood trial. Then there’s Afro-Napoli United, the story of AfroNapoli, a football team made up of second-generation migrants, by Pierfrancesco Li Donni. Next up is Steadfast on Our Sand by the ZimmerFrei Collective, a journey to the island of Terschelling, in the north of the Netherlands, which was formed from sand from the sea. Then there’s On Opposing Fields by Andrea Fenoglio and Matteo Tortone, which observes the movements of Sub-Saharan migrants in a reception camp in Northern Italy. Michele Cinque’s film Sicily Jass, on the other hand, focuses on trumpet player Roy Paci and his music, whilst Love is All. Piergiorgio Welby/Autoritratto by Francesco Andreotti and Livia Giunti broaches the issue of euthanasia.

Wrapping the section up are two films that participated in Doc at Work last year, a space set aside for the market, where productions can find financial support: Between Sisters by Manu Gerosa and The Magical Legacy by Laura Cini.

A selection of films currently in production or still at the rough cut stage, chosen through a call – will be presented at Doc at Work, which will be attended by international industry experts (distributors, commissioning editors and film buyers) looking to co-fund or pre-purchase projects. A workshop will be held by qualified tutors for the directors and producers of the selected projects to make their pitches to the panel of experts as effective as possible.

(Translated from Italian)

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