The twentieth edition of Giornate degli Autori runs from August 30th to September 9th, 2023, concurrently with the Venice Film Festival. This will be the first Giornate without Andrea Purgatori, our late President, and without Citto Maselli, who co-founded the showcase in 2004, with Emidio Greco. Under the artistic direction of Gaia Furrer, the 2023 lineup features 10 films in competition, 7 special events in the official selection, 8 titles in Venetian Nights, a special day-long event devoted to Jean-Marc Vallée and the cinema of Québec, and 4 Special Screenings in the Sala Laguna at the Casa degli Autori. Our main venue will also be hosting a series of events and talks arranged with Isola Edipo with the support of the filmmakers’ associations, as well as an exhibition of period film posters inspired by the project 100+1: cento film e un Paese, l’Italia, the brainchild of Fabio Ferzetti with the collaboration of Giuliana Gamba.
Promoted by the Directorate General for Cinema of the Ministry of Culture, on the initiative of ANAC and 100autori; coordinated by General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti and under acting President Francesco Ranieri Martinotti, Giornate reaffirms its role as an independent voice of film today, in agreement with the Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia. The showcase is made possible by the generous support of SIAE, which will bestow the Creative Talent Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award, the latter of which takes the name of Andrea Purgatori as of this year, on the initiative of President Salvatore Nastasi; as well as the support of Miu Miu and its signature project Women’s Tales; the European Parliament and its program 27 Times Cinema, along with the activities around the LUX Audience Award; and the sidebar’s new main media partner, The Hollywood Reporter Roma, together with the partners and technical sponsors who constitute a shining example of collaboration between the public and private spheres today, in support of culture.
For Giornate degli Autori, the twentieth time around is a sort of “rite of passage” well represented by our poster this year, inspired by the performance Doposole by Anna Franceschini, in which the past dialogues with the present and time is interrogated in the search for an identity. It’s an investigation congenial to the choices made by filmmakers who have the courage to leave their comfort zones: directors who set off to see the world – as twenty-year-olds will do – and while that world may be far from the one we know, it does help define the construction of an adult identity. Acclaimed women filmmakers like Céline Sciamma and Teona Strugar Mitevska rebel against the reigning production system and gift us with films that are personal, self-produced, and free in spirit. There are many first-timers, too, and quite a few are women (behind and in front of the camera). They take on the likes of vampires and ghosts, as does Canadian filmmaker Ariane Louis-Seize (with the longest title at Giornate 2023, Vampire humaniste cherche suicidaire consentant), and also Malaysia’s Chong-Keat Aun, with his film Wu Yue Xue. Our lineup this year also stands out for the number of stories of courageous decisions and ways to live better lives in this era of ours by attending to others, feeling empathy, and deciding to give others something of ourselves.
We’re celebrating our twentieth with a variety of formal approaches: from the black-and-white of the only Italian film in competition (Los océanos son los verdaderos continents by Tommaso Santambrogio) to documentaries and narrative films, some of which are experimental, while others sport nods to pop culture, whether in earnest or tongue-in-cheek. You’ll find both the highly personal story and collective themes, and a blend of all the arts, from literature to dance and theater. There will be room for glamour as well, as we understand it – the arrival at Giornate of a glorious actress such as Isabelle Huppert, the muse of director Elise Girard in Sidonie au Japon – and room as well for joyous provocation from Greek director Zacharias Mavroeidis and his To kalokairi tis Karmen.
The 2023 lineup also keeps the focus trained on the tragedies unfolding around the world, from the revolt in Iran (the special event on our opening day, Aftab mishavad by Ayat Najafi) and the war in Ukraine to the Palestinian diaspora and the issues linked to climate change. At Giornate 2023, Italian cinema also doesn’t shirk from assuming an international identity, blending with different cultures as Edoardo Morabito does with his L’avamposto set in the heart of the Amazonian rainforest, or Gianluca Matarrese, whose L’expérience Zola treats us to an absolutely original take on an icon of French literature.
“The nature of this year’s lineup,” says Gaia Furrer, “is modeled on the idea of choice and that moment when life forces us to decide whether to go in one direction or another. The key word and underlying theme of the films on our lineup, is ‘crossroad’: a term that could hardly be more appropriate to define the work our filmmakers are doing, and our own efforts as well, as we step into our ‘twenties’. All the films selected, with all their thematic or formal eclecticism still dialogue with each other, intermingle, and carry on a shared discourse.”
Among the novelties of this edition, we’d like to point out the commitment to environmental sustainability as found in the initiative Festival Green, promoted by AFIC (the association of Italian film festivals); our pre-opening event BookCiak Azione!, jointly arranged with SNGCI; the screening of the restored version of C.R.A.Z.Y., which unveiled the genius of Jean-Marc Valléè at Giornate 2005; and the masterclasses organized jointly with the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, which will feature Québec actress and director Monia Chokri, our jury president João Pedro Rodrigues; the masterclass with the masterful artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat, organized with the magazine Il Cinematografo and NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, that together with Giornate degli Autori, this very year will assign the “Le vie dell’immagine” award for the Arts of Vision.
And that’s not all. The project “Inclusive cinema from vision to training”, created by Isola Edipo together with the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, takes on a new guise; the filmmakers’ associations are staging a three-day event on film issues; an original showcase of “branded content”, courtesy of QMI Communications, makes its debut; and “Dialoghi con gli Autori” will offer a slate of special screenings combining film and literature, while another special screening on the opening day of the Venice Film Festival will do the same, showcasing the novel by Alessandro Bertante and the film adaptation by Antonio Pisu, Nina dei lupi. Lastly, on Giornate’s closing day, September 9th, the screening of the documentary Passione Critica, produced by the Italian Film Critics’ Union, has the support of all the sections of the Venice Film Festival.
“The real strength of Giornate,” declares Delegate Giorgio Gosetti, “has always been the rich variety of offerings and the convivial, friendly and inclusive spirit of the event, its support of courageous and independent talent going hand in hand with moments that bring that talent together, in a dialogue between creative voices. Andrea Purgatori made these precious facets of Giornate his own and nourished them with his humanity, his marvelous, playful smile, and his curiosity and passion for discovering new talent. I wish to thank the Board of Directors and Francesco Ranieri Martinotti for honoring his legacy and supporting Giornate as it builds on its achievements so far. The 20th edition of Giornate aims to fly the flag of a contemporary cinema that both looks to the new and preserves memory of its past. The “golden triangle” between the Villa where we started out, twenty years ago, the Casa degli Autori with Sala Laguna and Isola Edipo – Andrea’s, and Giornate’s, place in the heart – is the living image of our cultural manifesto and a reality that makes our program unique.”
This edition of Giornate degli Autori is dedicated to Andrea Purgatori and Citto Maselli.