The bear has started moving and is ambling around town: the various poses of the image-symbol of the Berlinale, captured on the posters of this 66th edition, seem to suggest a greater propensity of the Festival towards exploration, towards opening up to new realities and new genres. An interpretation that fits in well with the selection of the only Italian film in competition: “Fuocoammare” by Gianfranco Rosi.
The film is a documentary, just like “Sacro Gra”, that won Rosi the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2013. “Fuocoammare” is about the island of Lampedusa, the border between Europe and Africa, the land from which thousands of migrants are fleeing every day.
It tells the story of Samuele, 12 years old, who goes to school, enjoys playing with his catapult and going hunting. He loves playing land-based games even though everyone around him talks about the sea and about the people who try to cross it, dreaming of a better life. “Fuocoammare”, produced by Donatella Palermo and Gianfranco Rosi, is a 21 Uno Film, Stemal Entertainment, Istituto Luce Cinecittà and Rai Cinema production and a Les Films D’Ici and Arte France Cinema Italian-French co-production.
“This film, so “Italian” yet so international, at the same time,” comments Paolo Del Brocco, CEO of Rai Cinema, on the eve of the festival, “will bring images and sentiments to the heart of Europe that can enrich our reflections on the new migratory phenomena, topics that all the national European political parties are asking themselves about at this time”. The Italian presence, never very generous at Berlin, is particularly sparing this year.
Apart from Gianfranco Rosi’s film in competition, we can only add that Alba Rohrwagher is on the jury, and that the Italian flag will be flying on Culinary Cinema with “One Zero Future Hunger”, a short by Jonathan Dumont, and on Forum Expanded with the Greek-Italian Egyptian co-production “Moderation”, an experimental film by Anja Kirschner.