The first edition of the “Bif&st“, the Bari International Cinema & TV Festival, will be held in the capital city of the Apulia region from January 23rd- 30th.
The festival is directed by its creator Felice Laudadio, with the collaboration of the two deputy directors, Marco Spagnoli and Enrico Magrelli, and organized by the Apulia Film Commission.
The festival will be dedicating eight days to cinema and TV, with screenings, master classes in cinema, workshops, seminars and meetings.
They will be distributed between the newly renovated Teatro Petruzzelli, the symbol of Bari’s cultural tradition, the six screen Multisala Galleria, the Teatro Kursaal Santa Lucia, the Cinema ABC and Piccolo di Santo Spirito, the Cineport and other places around the city. The festival will actually be 8 Â½ days long because the official inauguration, featuring Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones” at the Petruzzelli, will be preceded by a pre-inaugural evening on January 22nd, with the screening of “Nine” by Oscar wining director Bob Marshall, starring Daniel Day””Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Nicole Kidman, to coincide with the film’s Italian release.
More than a remake, “Nine” is, in fact, a tribute to Federico Fellini’s “8 1/2”.
Laudadio wanted the Festival to highlight the name and memory of Fellini on the eve of the 90th anniversary of his birth, so the career awards are also dedicated to the famous director.
The “Fellini 8 Â½ Awards for artistic excellence” go to Gianni Amelio, Marco Bellocchio, Valerio De Paolis, Francesco Maselli, Giuliano Montaldo, Francesco Rosi, Armando Trovaioli and Margarethe Von Trotta. (They have also been asked to hold master classes in the form of a dialogue with the public).
The event focuses on Italian movies and there will be a competition section featuring 15 movies released in 2009 which have been selected by a committee of eleven theatrical critics.
The movies will be judged by an international jury chaired by director Margarethe Von Trotta and a public jury of 50 spectators, chaired by the producer and actress Zeudi Araya.
There will also be competition sections for shorts and documentaries, along with a non competitive section devoted to TV, that will present TV movies, pilots, documentaries and long-running series made by television companies from all over the world.
There are some very exciting international movie premieres, all of which will be screened at the Petruzzelli: in addition to “The Lovely Bones”, there will be events of the caliber of “Away we go” by Sam Mendes, “Cendres et Sang”, Fanny Ardant’s directing debut and the European premiere of “American Faust: from Condi to neo-Condi”, a documovie by Sebastian Doggart about Condoleezza Rice.
Finally, it should be noted that the international dimension has not limited the maximization of the territory and its talents.
This is true for the competition (“L’uomo nero” by Sergio Rubini), as well as the documentaries section (“Puglia e cinema”), the tributes (“Winspeare Day”) and the meetings (“Apulia Film Commission promotion”, an area open to Apulian film-makers).
Moreover, during the festival, the Apulia Film Commission will be organizing a series of tours for Italian and, in particular, foreign film-makers and journalists, to various localities in the region which are potential locations.
FELICE LAUDADIO/SPECIAL AFFECTION
The Bif&st, explains Laudadio, “aims to be a showcase highlighting the extraordinary activities of the regional administration with regard to cinema, presenting the best Italian productions of the year, the best of the productions supported by the Apulia Film Commission and, since it is an international festival, the best of the new international products”.
“Already back in 1988”, he remembers, “I brought an international festival to Bari “” it was the fifth edition of Europa Cinema “” that featured the world premiere of “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” and launched the (then) unknown Francesca Archibugi in “Mignon è partita”.
It was an incredible success with over eighty thousand people”. Laudadio knows all about Festivals: in over thirty years of activity (he made his “debut” in 1979 with Mystfest in Cattolica), he has invented all the events he directed (we have counted 16), except for the Venice and Taormina Festivals.
To return to Bari, where he was born, has a special significance for him.
“I think it is right”, he confides, “to transfer all the knowledge, experiences and relationships of a lifetime spent elsewhere back to the place from which you started out”.