By Our Editorial Staff

 

Like every year, in the second week of July in the historic centre of Montone (Pg), there are events related to cinema, screenings of preview films and short films for the youngest. In all these years, the Umbria Film Festival has made the best of international film culture accessible to everyone and has been able to earn the esteem of the ever-growing public and the consideration of insiders who now consider it one of the best independent international festivals. Montone (one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and TCI Orange Flag) represents a true natural arena and an ideal space to show the selected works and for the meeting between internationally renowned guests, the public and spectators.

 

 

This year is a year of changes and great news, starting with the new Artistic Direction entrusted to the film critic and journalist Alessandro De Simone, of whom we report his thoughts on the 28th Umbria Film Festival.

“It’s not easy to take over a festival with a long tradition that has seen so many important names in the world of cinema pass through on its stage. And as his uncle Ben told Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Mine, as artistic director of the XXVIII edition of the Umbria Film Festival, was to put together a program that lived up to the history of the event, but not only. Because a festival is made up of many things. Of the place that hosts you, and there is no program rich enough to match the beauty of Montone. Of people, of course. Of the audience, to whom you have to offer a show that provokes emotions and reflections in them. And of the team with whom I have been working for months to concentrate all our efforts in five days that we all hope will remain in the memory of those who will be there and in the annals of the festival. They have all given their best to succeed and if it goes well it will be thanks to all the people who have contributed to the organization of this 2024 edition of the Umbria Film Festival. For my part, I have been looking for good films and prestigious guests to honor those who have worked hard to bring home what is every year an exceptional feat. And it’s for them, and for the public, that I’m already thinking about what it will be. I imagine Montone becoming a real village of cinema, with screens in every square and hill, and actors and directors from all over the world walking through the medieval alleys of this jewel of Umbria. The future for the Umbria Film Festival begins today.

 

 

“A constant over the years to whom everyone is grateful and ‘devoted’ remains the President of the festival who, since 1997, has been Terry Gilliam. With his presence in the territory of the Upper Tiber Valley (at the end of the 90s he chose the Niccone Valley as a second home) and with his reputation as an eclectic director, he has always given the festival the international visibility that ensures it a place among the most important film festivals in Europe. In addition to the artistic direction and the president, many talented young people, mainly women under 30, work at the festival. An ever-young staff that acquires skills and tools useful for the world of work in the field of culture, tourism and in the realization of events.

 

The Keys to the City to Alice Rohrwacher and Olivier Assayas

 

 

During the Umbria Film Festival it is customary to invite every year an author, director, actor or personality of international cinema for the delivery of the ‘keys to the city’ of Montone.

The act of donating the Keys to the City is symbolic; It dates back to the Middle Ages when towns such as Montone were surrounded by walls with gates that, for defence purposes, were locked at night with locks and keys. To offer the keys to the city is to give power to an illustrious guest, permission to go anywhere in that city.

Terry Gilliam, Colin Firth, Michael Winterbottom, Mike Leigh, Hanif Kureishi, Lone Scherfig, Tom Hooper, Edgar Reitz, Mike Figgis, Ken Loach, Peter Lord, Ralph Fiennes, Stephen Frears, Naomie Harris, Bille August, Bill Nighy, Paul Laverty, Michel Ocelot, Bahman Ghobadi, Thomas Vinterberg, Stanley Tucci and Trine Dyrholm have received the keys. Among the Italians, the following were awarded the prize: Giuseppe Piccioni, Silvio Soldini, Nicola Giuliano, Riccardo Milani, Vittorio Storaro, Edoardo Winspeare, Paola Cortellesi, Ferzan Ozpetek, Lello Arena.

This year we have chosen to give the keys to the city to Alice Rohrwacher, an Italian director with great recognition abroad for her work, in particular for ‘Le Pupille’, nominated for the 2023 Academy Awards in the Best Short Film category and ‘La Chimera’, in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

 

Another Key to the city 2024 will be Olivier Assayas, a well-known French director whose latest film ‘Hors du temps.

 

MonTOONS, Amarcorti and book presentations return to Piazza Fortebraccio

 

After facing the years of the pandemic by moving all the screenings to Piazza San Francesco, we return to screening two of the most important sections in Piazza Fortebraccio: the ‘MonTOONS – children’s shorts’ section and ‘Amarcorti’ – competitive section of Italian shorts.

The main events such as the feature film section and live shows will still be in Piazza San Francesco.

 

Info: The complete program is on www.umbriafilmfestival.com

All the events of the Umbria Film Festival are free and without reservation. For more information www.umbriafilmfestival.com

 

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