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FESTIVALS Italy

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Sguardi Altrove, to overcome gender inequality

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- Milan is back hosting the event dedicated to female film until 19 March, with a retrospective on Maren Ade and a rich programme of premieres, meetings and workshops

Sguardi Altrove, to overcome gender inequality
The Nest by Klaudia Reynicke

Milan is back hosting the Sguardi Altrove International Film Festival until 19 March, the event dedicated to female film and artistic expression, which this year celebrates its 24th edition with a rich programme of premieres, screenings, meetings and workshops. Over 60 titles have been selected from over 700 submitted (between short films, documentaries and feature films), with 25 Italian, international and world premieres. The emancipation from and overcoming of discrimination against women in various cultural settings is the theme that will connect the various sections and activities of the festival, which is where the title of this year’s edition comes from: “Women’s Empowerment: Working to Overcome Gender Inequality”. 

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Opening the 24th edition of the event, directed by Patrizia Rappazzo, last night was the Italian premiere of Certain Women byKelly Reichardt, a piece which won the London Film Festival in 2016. New additions to this year’s edition of the festival, which is run in partnership with the European Parliament – Milan Office and the Goethe Institut, include the first ever Italian retrospective on Maren Ade, a leading figure in contemporary German film, with the screening of her three features: The Forest for the Trees (2003), her debut film which won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2003; Everyone Else [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Maren Ade
film profile
]
(2009), which won two Silver Bears at the Berlinale in 2009, and the multi-award-winning Toni Erdmann [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Maren Ade
film profile
]
(2016), the winner of five European Oscars and the European Parliament’s LUX Prize in 2016 as well as being nominated for the Oscars. 

The international feature film competition features eight titles, three of which will have their Italian premiere and one its European premiere at the festival, from just as many countries. Of the eight directors, six are first-timers, confirming the festival’s tendency to throw the spotlight onto emerging filmmakers. The only two directors that are already well-known are German director Doris Dorrie with Fukushima mon amour [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which was very well-received by audiences at this year’s Berlinale, and Iranian filmmaker Niki Karimi with Night Shift. Among the films by first-time directors are Argentinian piece El futuro perfecto by Nele Wohlatz, which won the award for Best First Film at the Locarno Film Festival in 2016; I Still Hide to Smoke [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Rayhana Obermeyer (which hits French theatres on 26 April), based on the play by the same director, who will be a guest at the festival this year; House of Others [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rusudan Glurjidze
film profile
]
by Rusudan Glurjidze, which was Georgia’s candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and won the East of the West section at the Karlovy Vary IFF; and from Finland, Little Wing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Selma Vilhunen, which won the Golden Camera for Best First or Second Film at the Rome Film Fest. Then, in its European premiere, is Israeli film Once There Was a Girl by Natalie Kaplan, and rounding off the selection is Daydreams [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Caroline Deruas
film profile
]
by Caroline Deruas, a drama set in the Villa Medici, a Roman residence for artists.

Seven films have instead been selected for the international documentary competition, with one international premiere, of Une vie contre l’oubli by Kita Bauchet, the intense portrait of Belgian journalist, reporter and director André Dartevelle. Then, in its Italian premiere, is Fire by young first-time Russian filmmaker Nadya Zakharova, Where to, Miss? by Manuela Bastian,and When I Dance by Daniela Lucato. Also in the running is another Italian director, Francesca Bono, with A Bitter Story, which received a special mention at the 34th Turin Film Festival. Last but not least is The Empty Room by Jasna Krajinovic, who is originally from Slovenia but trained at the school of the Dardenne brothers, and Kazarken,the debut feature by Turkish director Güldem Durmaz.

The newly-created #FrameItalia competitive section, featuring a mix of directors and an Audience Award, is instead dedicated to Italian film, with a line-up of 13 films of various content and genres, a mixture of feature films, short films and documentaries. The selection includes the Italian premiere of The Nest [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the debut fictional feature of Swiss-Peruvian director Klaudia Reynicke, starring Ondina Quadri and Fabrizio Rongione; Babylon Sisters [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Gigi Roccati, debut film Hans Werner Henze: la musica, l'amicizia, il gioco by Nina Di Majo, and L’uomo che Dipingeva sulle Donne by Anna Maria Gallone. 

Among the non-competitive sections are the ‘Finestra sulla Cina tra ieri e oggi’ (lit. ‘Window on China comparing the past and the present’), and ‘Diritti Umani, oggi’ (lit ‘Human Rights today’) sections. Worth mentioning is the round table entitled "L'autorialità femminile nell'audiovisivo. Nuova legge? Nuove opportunità?” (lit. “Female authorship in audiovisual works. A new law? New opportunities?”) and the workshop led by the founders of Open DDB – the first European on-demand platform for independent works – on “Le nuove forme di distribuzione digitale dal basso”. (lit. “New forms of grassroots digital distribution”). 

(Translated from Italian)

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