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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Italy

The second edition of the Villa Medici Film Festival takes off

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- The festival organised by the French Academy in Rome from 14 to 18 September will screen 14 films in its international competition, and host masterclasses and carte blanche programmes

The second edition of the Villa Medici Film Festival takes off
Saint Omer by Alice Diop

Organised by the French Academy to celebrate the vitality of contemporary cinematic practices of various durations and genres, which stand out for the originality of their discourse and form, the Villa Medici Film Festival is back in Rome for its second edition. Fiction and documentary, intimate stories and collective epics, visual research and new narrative forms make up the rich programme of the festival, taking place from 14 to 18 September between the Sala Michel Piccoli, the Grand Salon and the Piazzale of the Roman seat of the Academy. It includes 14 international films in Competition, a selection of films Out of Competition, encounters, carte blanche programmes, masterclasses and installations.

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Among the feature films in competition are Saint Omer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Diop
film profile
]
by Alice Diop (which has just won the Grand Jury Prize and the award for Best Debut Feature at the Venice Film Festival), The Adventures of Gigi the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alessandro Comodin
film profile
]
by Alessandro Comodin (Special Jury Prize winner in Locarno), The Dam [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ali Cherri
film profile
]
by Ali Cherri, De Humanis Corporis Fabrica [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Véréna Paravel, Lucien Cast…
film profile
]
by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, See You Friday Robinson [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Mitra Farahani, and, in a world premiere, the Lebanese title Le Champ des mots by Rania Stephan. The screenings of the films in competition will be followed by encounters with the directors present at Villa Medici.

The jury, composed of French director-producer Marie Losier, Italian filmmaker Pietro Marcello and French writer Sylvain Prudhomme, will hand out two awards: the Villa Medici Prize for best film and the Jury Prize for an original film particularly appreciated by the jurors. Both awards come with a cash prize and will offer the two winners the opportunity to be guests in residence at Villa Medici. The three jury members will also lead three “carte blanche” programmes as part of the Focus section, which includes films by artists out of competition and offers screenings and in-depth conversations with filmmakers. Losier’s carte blanche will feature her films The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2011) and The Ontologic Cowboy (2005), while Marcello’s will include The Mouth of the Wolf [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Marcello
film profile
]
; Prudhomme will present for the first time his film co-directed with Philippe Béziat, Tout-Puissant Mama Djombo (2022).

Standing out among the evening open-air screenings of recent films, which include many Italian premieres, are The Mountain [+see also:
film review
interview: Thomas Salvador
film profile
]
by Thomas Salvador (former fellow at Villa Medici), which will open the festival, as well as Other People's Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rebecca Zlotowski
film profile
]
by Rebecca Zlotowski, which premiered in Competition at Venice; Padre Pio [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Abel Ferrara
film profile
]
by Abel Ferrara, presented on the Lido in the Giornate degli Autori section; and Stella in Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sylvie Verheyde
film profile
]
by Sylvie Verheyde, in Competition at the recent Locarno Film Festival.

This second edition of the Villa Medici Film Festival will close with the presentation, per la for the first time in Rome, of the restored version of Shoeshine by Vittorio De Sica, a founding work of Italian Neorealism and winner of the first Oscar for best foreign film in Academy Award history (1947).

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(Translated from Italian)

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