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Vincenzo Bugno • Directeur artistique, Festival du film de Bolzano/Bozen

“Il est important de ne jamais sous-estimer le public et de lui offrir un programme raffiné”


- La 37e édition de l'événement sud-tyrolien regarde au-delà des frontières, comme l'explique son directeur artistique

Vincenzo Bugno  • Directeur artistique, Festival du film de Bolzano/Bozen
(© Manuela Tessaro)

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

The 37th edition of the Bolzano Film Festival Bozen will take place from 12-21 April. We talked to its artistic director, Vincenzo Bugno, who took over in 2023, about his vision and some of the highlights of this year's programme.

Cineuropa: How would you describe the identity of the Bolzano Film Festival Bozen, and how would you like to shape it further?
Vincenzo Bugno:
Its identity is based on the fact that it shows films from the Alpine region. This primarily includes Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I would like to expand this basic idea. For example, Slovenia is also part of the region for me. At the same time, I would like to raise the question of what “national” films are. How is the identity of a film formed? There are many international co-production elements that give films a mixed identity. Last year, for example, we had The Klezmer Project [+lire aussi :
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in the competition, which is an Austrian production but was made by two Argentinian artists who filmed in Moldova and Ukraine. Identity is defined beyond nationality. The region of South Tyrol is defined by the coexistence of different minorities and different languages. Physical borders are very present. And for me, they are not obstacles; on the contrary, they invite us to overcome them. That's why I want the festival to continue to be interested in things that happen beyond the borders of this region but always have a connection to the area.

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Can you tell us more about this year's focus on indigenous cinema from Brazil?
Last year, we focused on the Spanish region of Galicia. The aim was to emphasise how bilingualism is dealt with locally. With Brazil, it's not just about different languages and communication, but also about the coexistence of minorities, and dealing with physical space and its boundaries. We are showing films that have been made by non-indigenous directors who nevertheless deal with indigenous themes, as well as some by indigenous directors who feel the need to produce their own images. We have some great entries that represent interesting attempts on an aesthetic and visual level.

You hand out two honorary prizes, which in turn relate to these topics.
Exactly. One Honourable Mention goes to directorial duo Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi. Angela died a few years ago. But I'm delighted that we can honour Yervant on behalf of both of them for their significance to contemporary film and contemporary art. They have both dealt with identities, histories and the confrontation with colonialism. Yervant’s father was Armenian and his mother was Italo-Austrian, but as luck would have it, he was born in Merano, South Tyrol, and therefore has a connection to the region. The second Honourable Mention goes to the Italian production company Vivo Film, run by Gregorio Paonessa and Marta Donzelli. They have been producing important films dealing with these themes for 20 years. They have also been active in South Tyrol and have often produced their movies with the support of the local IDM Film Commission.

How would you describe the festival's audience?
Bolzano is a relatively small city, with around 100,000 inhabitants. It may not be big, but it has a very vivacious cultural life. The festival has existed for a long time and has a loyal audience. In addition to the film festival, Bolzano has other cultural events, too, such as a lively, bilingual theatre scene, a dance festival and a jazz festival. People are interested in culture. The festival was created in the framework of the Filmclub, the “soul” of cinema culture in South Tyrol, which acts as a solid supporting institution. Of course, you have to look after your audience. It is important to me never to underestimate the audience and to offer them a sophisticated programme.

How would you describe this year's film selection?
We have many films by female directors, but we’re not making it a political issue. It's self-evident and reflects reality. Many films deal with interesting women's issues. Female bodies play an important role. For example, we are showing Ivo [+lire aussi :
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by Eva Trobisch and Touched [+lire aussi :
interview : Claudia Rorarius
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by Claudia Rorarius, both of which are from Germany and are celebrating their Italian premiere with us. We also mix films from different categories so that there is a dialogue between fictional, documentary and experimental films, as well as animations.

What significance does the festival currently have as a meeting place for professionals, and would you perhaps like to expand this?
This year, for the first time, we are organising two days for the industry. One day will be dedicated to the presentation of an international development programme for short films, “Maso” [the Italian name for a farm in Trentino- South Tyrol]. We are working together with the IDM Film Commission on this programme. The second programme, “Nord/Est/Doc/Camp”, is dedicated to work-in-progress documentary film projects that come from the Northeast region – namely, Venice, Friuli, Trentino and South Tyrol.

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