For the first time ever, the Festival of Italian Film is taking on a new dimension. Apart from having film screenings in Belgrade, the top officials of the Italian film industry met with their counterparts from Serbia. On this ocassion, the Italian Embassy in Belgrade has officially presented the festival, as well as the opportunities for the two countries to boost their cooperation. The Italian Ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Mr. Giuseppe Manzo, Director of the Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade, Mr. Davide Scalmani, the Festival’s Art Director, Ms Gabriella Carlucci, and Director of the Yugoslav Film Archive, Mr. Marjan Vujović spoke at the press conference.
“What we have today is a brand new event and there are two reasons for it. Firstly, we are simultaneously presenting both the classic and contemporary Italian films. Secondly, we are bringing together culture and business. After the Venice Festival, this week will see the opening of the Naples Festival where one Serbian film will compete for an award. There is a tradition of cooperation between our two countries’ film industries. The second element is the business one. The idea is to create and recognize opportunities for the film companies from both countries”, the Italian Ambassador said at the Festival’s presentation.
The Festival’s Art Director, Gabriella Carlucci explained why was Belgrade chosen for this initiative. “I often come to Belgrade and Serbia which is an important partner to Italy. I know this country very well. Since Serbia has been one of Italy’s most important trade partners for years, there are a lot of Italians here engaged in import and export. However, Italy and Serbia can cooperate in many other areas, apart from commerce. Our two countries have a lot in common – the similar Christian background and the fact that Serbia is about to become an EU member. Hence, it is important for the two nations to get acquainted with each other’s culture and cultural activities. The best way to learn about Italian culture is through film”, Ms Carlucci explained.
She went on to say that an international competition for young film talents, mainly film directors and set designers, would be presented at the Festival.
“The competition is open for the young people from 27 EU member states, as well as the young people from the pre-accession countries, including Serbs. The two competition winners – a set designer and a director – will be given 25,000 EUR by the Italian Ministry of Culture to make a film together”, she explained.
Director of the Yugoslav Film Archive, Marjan Vujović said that the Yugoslav Film Archive and the Italian Embassy in Belgrade had been cooperating for some time now.
“The Festival’s programme has never been this diverse and comprehensive. On the other hand, we have cinematic masterpieces, while on the other, there are contemporary films. Our Film Library is cooperating with various film libraries in Italy. Some films that were thought to be lost in Italy were found in our Film Archive and subsequently reproduced. I believe that this cooperation will continue for years to come”, Mr. Vujovic added.
The Excellence Culture Association officially presents the Festival of Italian Film in Belgrade in collaboration with the Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade, the Yugoslav Film Archive and the Italian Ministry of Culture. From 16th to 25th September, the Festival will showcase only Italian films with the screenings taking place at the Belgrade Film Library, at 1, Uzun Mirkova Street.
Apart from the film screenings, the Italian Culture Institute in Belgrade is also organizing meetings between the representatives of the Italian and Serbian film industry with a special focus on opportunities for shooting films in Italy and joint Serbian-Italian film production.
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