22 June 2023

Guadalajara Festival: Italy Guest of Honor

A sign of ever-increasing interest and enthusiasm for Italian cinema

The 38th edition of the FICG | Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, which ended on June 9, drew the spotlight on Italy as the Guest of Honor, a sign of ever-increasing interest and enthusiasm for Italian cinema. The program was rich in events and prestigious guests, among whom director, screenwriter, and writer Paolo Genovese, member of the Festival jury and protagonist of a special masterclass, and award-winning editor Roberto Perpignani honored with a conference featuring an international audience and the screening of Italian masterpieces, such as The Spider’s Stratagem (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970), A Leap in the Dark (Marco Bellocchio, 1980), Leonora addio (Paolo Taviani, 2022).

The recently renewed ITALIAN SCREENS displays the best Italian cinema abroad. Conceived by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), Cinecittà for the General Directorate of Cinema and Audiovisual of the Ministry of Culture (DGCA-MiC) and the Academy of Italian Cinema – David di Donatello Awards, this showcase aims at encouraging the theatrical distribution of Italian films worldwide thanks to the resources made available by the Film Distribution Fund. On this occasion, the feature films Margini (Niccolò Falsetti, 2022), Svegliami a mezzanotte (Francesco Patierno, 2022), La timidezza delle chiome (Valentina Bertani, 2022), The Eight Mountains (Felix Van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch, 2022), Il posto (Mattia Colombo, Gianluca Matarrese, 2022) were screened. A Gala Screening focused on the movie Disco Boy (Giacomo Abbruzzese, 2023) in the presence of its director enhanced the program, together with a focus on Dario Argento’s filmography, with the screening of Deep Red (1975), Opera (1987), Suspiria (1977).

Among the special events that deserve mention is the special screening of Storia di una capinera, part of a wider tribute to Franco Zeffirelli for his birth centenary. The screenings were accompanied by a busy schedule of exhibits and panels promoted by Cinecittà for the MiC DGCA with the participation of nine selected Italian producers (9Muse, Camaleo Films, Disparte, Fandango, Ombre Rosse, Pilgrim Films, Point Nemo, La Sarraz, Vivo Film), aimed at supporting their developing projects through direct contributions and encouraging co-productions and strategic joint ventures. Furthermore, four Italian companies took part in the co-production pitching, and two of these – Pilgrim Films and 9Muse, respectively, for the projects Los Profetas and Art of Sinking – gained three special awards to support the post-production and equipment rental necessary for the making of their films.

“These days have been extremely passionate and stimulating,” states Roberto Stabile, Director of Special Projects of the MiC DGCA at Cinecittà. “Italy was the protagonist of many events, confirming its solid industry with a valuable history. We took new productions to scout for international collaborations, presented five new films supported by the Film Distribution Fund as part of Italian Screens, and celebrated true masters of our filmmaking, such as editor Roberto Perpignani and director Paolo Genovese, who held two interesting masterclasses. Finally, there was a tribute to the talent of Dario Argento and another to honor Franco Zeffirelli’s birth centenary. At the Italian Pavilion, the delegation of producers at the Market was extremely active, and the three awards confirmed the excellent choice of the companies selected and the quality of the projects presented.” He also recalls, “We had great support from the Mexican Embassy in Rome and its Head of Mission, Ambassador Carlos Garcia de Alba, who accompanied and guided us step by step after promoting our presence as Invitado de Honor. Next on the agenda: the 150th-anniversary celebrations of the Italy-Mexico mutual relationship in 2024.”

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