George Romero, William Friedkin, Marco Bellocchio and Paolo Sorrentino at the Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema 2016

Stellar Red Carpet for the event taking place from the 3rd to the 10th of April in the Tuscan cities of Lucca and Viareggio

Tribute to each director with retrospectives, screenings, masterclasses and exhibits.

New International Feature Film Contest section complements the International Short Film Contest and three hors concours premieres.

Locandina 2016 35x50George Romero, William Friedkin, Marco Bellocchio and Paolo Sorrentino
are the guest stars of the Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema 2016, the film festival to be held in the Tuscan cities of Lucca andViareggio from Sunday 3 April to Sunday 10 April. The festival will pay tribute to the American cult directors and award-winning Italian filmmakers with screenings of their works, masterclasses and exhibitions. For the first time, the 2016 edition will include the new International Feature Film Contest, with twelve films in competition and premiering in Italy. The new section complements the well-known International Short Film Contest, the premiere of three hors concours films and the celebration of Italian director Gualtiero Jacopetti’s works.

The Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema, directed by Nicola Borrelli, is one of the key events organized and sponsored by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca. The exhibits are organized and produced in collaboration with the Comitato Nuovi Eventi per Lucca.

Red carpet in horror hues: George Romero and William Friedkin in Lucca

Having paid tribute to David Lynch (2014) and to David Cronenberg (2015), this year the Lucca Film Festival e Europa Cinema 2016 dedicates one of its main sections to Maestro George Romero with the tribute curated by Paolo Zelati and Stefano Giorgi. George Romero will be in Lucca to take part in screenings, public events, conferences and the exhibition dedicated to his works. On the evening of April 8 at the Cinema Moderno in Lucca, Romero will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and will present Dawn of the Dead. On that same day, Romero will leave his footprints on the new Lucca Comics & Games “Walk of Fame”, dedicated not only to the great names of the cartoon and comics world, but also the main personalities of fantastic collective imaginary. On the morning of Saturday 9 April, the Master of Horror will hold a Masterclass on cinema at the Cinema Moderno (Lucca), while on the evening of April 10, Romero will close the festival in Viareggio after presenting the movie Creepshow. During his stay, Romero will visit the exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale in Lucca (26 March-1 May 2016) displaying, for the first time in Italy, 40 items linked to his works including flyers, playbills and Italian original posters. The program also includes a retrospective that will retrace Romero’s entire film career, from his debut film Night of the Living Dead (1968) until the recent Survival of the Dead – Survival Island (2009).

The Festival’s red carpet takes on a deeper hue of terror thanks to the presence of Oscar-winning American director William Friedkin, one of the major innovators of the horror and thriller genres. The section is curated by Daniela Catelli, Nicola Borrelli and Stefano Giorgi. Friedkin will attend the opening press conference of the Festival onSaturday 2 April in Lucca and on the evening of Sunday 3 April will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award together with a Prize from the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini. After the award ceremony, William Friedkin will introduce his filmSorcerer. On the morning of Monday 4 April, at the Cinema Centrale in Lucca, the director will hold his masterclass on cinema, whereas on the evening of Tuesday 5 April Friedkin will be in Viareggio to present the unforgettable masterpiece by Federico Fellini Amarcord in the version restored by the Cineteca di Bologna. The program also includes a retrospective of Friedkin’s best-loved works from The Exorcist(1973) to The French Connection (1971) and Killer Joe (2011). In collaboration with the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini and thanks to William Friedkin’s generosity, the organization will produce a 52-minute documentary in which the American director will explain his relationship with Giacomo Puccini, the great composer and Maestro from Lucca. This documentary will be the first in a series of works that every year will be offered to festival testimonials to narrate the relationship between film and Puccini’s opera and music.

The Masters of Italian cinema: Marco Bellocchio in Viareggio and Paolo Sorrentino in Lucca

The Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema 2016 will pay tribute to the Italian directorMarco Bellocchio in the Tuscan city of Viareggio on 9-10 April with screenings of his best-known films, the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award and day dedicated to analyzing the links between cinema and Opera held at the Gran Teatro Giacomo Puccini in Torre del Lago, near Viareggio. Special events also include the exhibit Marco Bellocchio. The Painting behind the Lens curated by Alessandro Romanini (2 April-1 May 2016). On display, 12 paintings completed by Bellocchio at a young age, between the age of 20 and 23, and 100 of his drawings on paper sketched while making his films, from Fists in the Pocket in 1966 to the award-winning Blood of my Blood of 2015.

To crown this glittering parade of stars, Academy Award Winner Paolo Sorrentino, considered one of the most important young directors in Italy and abroad. On the morning of Friday, April 8 at the Cinema Moderno in Lucca, Sorrentino will hold a masterclass focused on his work, while on the evening of Saturday 9 April, the Italian director will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and present to the public one of his most best loved films, Il Divo.

International Feature Film Contest

Twelve films are competing in this new section: works selected from festivals around the world. Among the competing titles: El Apóstata by Federico Veiroj, the story much applauded at the Toronto festival, about a man who decides to free himself from the Catholic faith – Alavaro Ogalla, screenwriter and actor of the film, will be in Lucca;Belgica by Felix van Groeningen, premiered at the Sundance Festival, exploring the relationship between two brothers through music; Sparrow by Rúnar Rúnarsson, the Bildungsroman of an Icelandic teenager; Bridgend by Jeppe Rønde, inspired by the true story of a wave of suicides among teenagers in a small Danish town; Aloys, the first feature film by Tobias Nölle selected for the Biennale, which narrates how a lonely private investigator breaks out of his isolation and starts living; French Blood – Un Français by Diastème, the story of a man born in the suburbs of Paris who, after a life spent hating Arabs, Africans, Jews, Communists and gays, decides to put his anger aside as society around him becomes increasingly closed and radical; Paradise by Sina Ateaian Dena, in competition in Locarno, that explores the difficult situation for women in Iran; Shelley by Ali Abbasi, a film that tackles the issue of surrogacy motherhood tinged with horror hues; Road to La Paz by Francisco Varone, the story of a 2000 mile journey from Buenos Aires to Bolivia; What we become by Bo Mikkelsen, the terrifying story of a zombie epidemic; The First, The Last by award-winning director Bouli Lanners; a road movie full of suspense recently screened in Berlin. The twelfth and last film will be announced next week.

The prize for the winning entry, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Awards for guest directors, will be created by the famous Russian sculptor Alexey Morozov, in line with the Festival’s tradition of commissioning a great artist to create all prizes every year.

Italian Hors Concours Premieres

Three Italian premieres of Hors concours works enrich the Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema 2016 even further. On Tuesday April 5, the festival welcomes the return to the big screen of Ruggero Deodato, the Italian filmmaker known for his extreme movies that have influenced directors such as Oliver Stone, Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth. Deodato will present in world premiere his new film produced by Massimo Esposti’s Bell Film, Ballad in Blood, inspired by one of the many unsolved Italian crimes, narrates the story of three young men involved in a murder mystery. The leader of Goblin Claudio Simonetti will attend the presentation with the actors of the film. Simonetti composed the soundtracks of several films by Dario Argento and George Romero as well as the score for Deodato’s latest work. The Italian Hors Concours section also includes Un’estate in Provenza, a sweet and sour comedy directed byRose Bosch featuring Jean Reno and Anna Galiena, which tells the story of a grumpy grandfather, former 60’s protester, and countryside lover and of his three grandchildren, against the backdrop of the parents’ divorce. The third title is Rosso dal Vetro(ovunque tu vada) by Alberto Tempi. The story of a priest who questions faith and existence, acceptance of life and death, in the course of a journey between dream and travel. The film is among the winners of the International Independent Film Awards in Los Angeles.

International Short Film Contest

This year the Festival celebrates the 12th edition of the international experimental short film competition. Out of the 1000 works received from all over the world, 26 short films were selected to enter the contest, which is now curated by Rachele Pollastrini and Alfredo Ferrua. The prize for the winning work is sculpted by the Russian artist Alexey Morozov.

Tribute to the Italian director Mario Monicelli

GAMC-Galleria d’arte moderna e contemporanea in Viareggio dedicates a tribute to Italian director Mario Monicelli (2 April-16 May 2016) with the exhibit MARIO. Chiara and Andrea Rapaccini Vierucci for Monicelli, an installation by artist Chiara Rapaccini, in art RAP, and by photographer Andrea Vierucci. RAP, Monicelli’s lifetime partner, found inspiration in the photographs of his private archives; images taken by the greatest scene photographers on the sets of the Italian director’s masterpieces between the 60s and 90s. These pictures had been thrown away, along with other valuable documents, by Monicelli himself as he thought them to be “documents of the past without any value”. Chiara salvaged and over the years cataloged, sorted and archived them: drawing inspiration from the stark contrasts of black and white film, from their extraordinary expressive power. The images are by Secchiaroli, Strizzi and Doisneau and from the portraits of the great actors of Italian comedy. RAP worked on the pictures with acrylic paint and dry point, then printed the images on large linen sheets, and finally reworked them with brushstrokes and embroidery. Using the technique of comics and of free writing, she “dialogues” with the protagonists of the great Italian cinema, Sordi, Totò, Anna Magnani, Mastroianni, thus creating the floating “Ghosts” then photographed by Andrea Vierucci inside a post-industrial structure with a spectral and monumental atmosphere.

Tribute to Italian director Gualtiero Jacopetti

On Saturday April 9, the Cinema Roma in Barga will pay homage to Gualtiero Jacopetti, who was born in the medieval town near Lucca in 1919. Together with Franco Prosperi and Paolo Cavara, the journalist, writer and filmmaker Gualtiero Jacopetti directed the documentary film Mondo Cane, the forefather of “Mondo movies” or shockumentaries; works that in the 60s invaded Italian cinemas with their strong and shocking images. The documentary Around the World in 16 Years – the story of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi will be screened at 5 p.m., and director Federico Caddeo will introduce his work. The tribute continues in the evening with the screening of Goodbye Uncle Tom, a social satire on American slavery produced by Jacopetti and Prosperi in 1971 that was pulled from circulation after its release because of the film’s raw content. The film will be shown uncut for the second time in Italy in the presence of Christine Jacopetti, Gualtiero’s daughter, Stefano Loparco, author of the only biography on Jacopetti; Federico Caddeo, who knew Jacopetti during the director’s last 5 years and of Franco Prosperi, partner in all of his adventures. In addition to the complete retrospective of Jacopetti’s films, the Galleria Comunale and Galleria Bel Canto in Barga will host the exhibition Wild GazeThe Mondo Movie World in Italy curated by Paolo Zelati (1 April – 1 May 2016).

Lucca 360: the virtual tour

2016 is often described as the decisive year of virtual reality, 360-degree immersive videos that represent not only the future of cinema, but also of training. Following the invitation of the Festival of Digital Training and the of the Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema, in February the agency Blumenlab shot an immersive video dedicated to the Tuscan city of Lucca and to its most important monuments in a pedagogical key. The resulting work “Cognitive Visions: immersive learning for new meanings of space and history” is part of a wider project, namely that of making a virtual reality documentary on Lucca’s historical and cinematic heritage – the first virtual reality feature film in a documentary key. The project involves presenting the most notable films shot in the city and then comparing the shooting locations with corresponding excerpts of the films. The presentation of the video on the large screen follows the movements of a user while he or she is navigating in the chosen immersive experience.

The Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema directed by Nicola Borrelli, is one of the key events organized and sponsored by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca. The exhibits are organized and produced in collaboration with the Comitato Nuovi Eventi per Lucca with the support of Banca Société Générale. The Festival also enjoys the support of Gesam Gas & Luce SpA, Banca Pictet, Banca Generali Private Banking, Banca Carismi, the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Stonecycle, Il Ciocco S.p.A., Il Ciocco International Travel Service S.r.l., Balan Srl, Idrotherm 2000, MiBACT (the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism), the Region of Tuscany, the City of Lucca, the City of Viareggio, the Province of Lucca with the collaboration of the Fondazione Sistema Toscana, the Fondazione Giacomo Puccini and Puccini Museum – Casa Natale, the Fondazione Centro Arti Visive, CG Entertainment and the Photolux Festival. Thanks also to Lucca Comics & Games, the Fondazione Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, Trenitalia Regional Management, Unicoop Firenze and to the Degree Course in Performing Arts and Civilization Department of Communication and Forms of Knowledge at the University of Pisa for their collaboration.

The Lucca Film Festival and Europa Cinema is an annual event that celebrates and promotes cinematic culture. The Festival is able to engage an ever-growing public through screenings, exhibitions, conferences and performances, which range from mainstream to experimental cinema. Throughout its history, the Festival has excelled thanks to its ambitious and well-researched programming. The Festival has paid tribute to celebrated figures in the cinema world while at the same time rediscovering other notable names and identifying up-and-coming talents. The beautiful cities of Lucca and Viareggio contribute to the Festival’s appeal, serving as the backdrop to an event that has become a much awaited and not-to-be-missed happening in Italy and Europe.

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