The programme for Controcampo italiano has been revamped and expanded

20 Sigarette

Controcampo italiano, the section of the Venice International Film Festival that since 2009 has provided a highly acclaimed overview of new trends in Italian cinema, is revamping and expanding its programme. Starting with the next 68th edition (31 August – 10 September 2011) – directed by Marco Mueller and organized by la Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta – it will present 7 narrative feature-length films, 7 short films and 7 documentaries, all world premiere screenings and all in competition in their respective categories, with two new Prizes for the short films and the documentaries.

The Jury of Controcampo italiano – chaired at the 68th Venice Film Festival by director Roberta Torre and including two other personalities from the world of cinema and culture – will therefore assign the following prizes with no split awards:

  • Controcampo Award (for narrative feature-length films)
  • Controcampo Award (for short films)
  • Controcampo Doc Award (for documentaries)

The revamped and expanded programme of Controcampo italiano aims to demonstrate and advance the great ferment currently taking place in Italian cinema in all its forms, offering greater space to short and non-narrative films, and acknowledging the particular interest of our filmmakers in a rapid and direct representation of contemporary reality.

“In recent years,”  stated Director Marco Mueller  “the Venice International Film Festival has done its best to tune into the underground currents and the visible and invisible waves of cinema around the world. Naturally it could not and cannot be unprepared to decipher, and in the best of cases, to anticipate the most vibrant tendencies in Italian film. The revitalization of a section such as Controcampo was a consequence of this wish to present and to foster the construction of new narratives, works in progress, along with explorations of potential scenarios in the narration of Italian film. Two years later, Controcampo cannot but accrue and diversify its experience as a showcase-laboratory and modulate its structure by “looking” at what is happening or will happen in our cinema”.

The winning director for the best full-length narrative film will receive Euro 30,000 worth of negative film, offered by Kodak.

The winning director for the best short film will receive Euro 10,000 worth of negative film, offered by Kodak.

After only two editions, Controcampo italiano has already become one of the most important spaces for discovering the new talents in our cinema and launching them on the international scene.

In 2010 the section opened with the new film by acclaimed director Roberta Torre I baci mai dati (the story of a thirteen-year old from a poor neighbourhood in Catania, who one day began to pretend she could make miracles) and presented in competition for the Controcampo Award, 20 sigarette by Aureliano Amadei (the ambush in Nassiriya seen through the eyes of the only civilian survivor), Il primo incarico by Giorgia Cecere (the story of the “individual” liberation of a young woman in today’s job market in Italy), A Woman, a psychological thriller with classic overtones by Giada Colagrande, Tajabone by Salvatore Mereu (five true stories of kids in the problematic suburbs of Cagliari), the documentary on the 150th anniversary of the union of Italy Ma che storia by Gianfranco Pannone, and the comedy about a more multicultural Naples Into Paradiso by Paola Randi.

The Jury chaired by Valerio Mastandrea and composed of Susanna Nicchiarelli and Dario Edoardo Viganò awarded the Premio Controcampo to 20 sigarette by Aureliano Amadei. After it was presented in Venice, the film was screened at more than 30 festivals and film series in Italy and abroad. At the David di Donatello, it won eight nominations and the David Giovani award, along with three other statuettes for best production, editing, and visual effects. The film also won a Nastro d’Argento for best sound. Two other debut films were also successful at the box-office, the film by Paola Randi, Into Paradiso (four nominations for the David di Donatello), and the film by Giorgia Cecere, Il primo incarico, which won two nominations at the Nastri d’argento, for the star Isabella Ragonese and for best art direction. The opening film, I baci mai dati by Roberta Torre, proved to be an international success: sold to ten countries, it was screened at the Sundance Festival (the only Italian film there), in Moscow, London and Tokyo.

At the first edition in 2009, the films in competition for the Controcampo Award were the documentaries Poeti by Toni D’Angelo (a journey into hidden metropolitan poetry to talk about Rome) and Negli occhi by Francesco Del Grosso and Daniele Anzellotti (about the life and career of Vittorio Mezzogiorno), Il compleanno by Marco Filiberti (about a group of friends on vacation disrupted by the arrival of a “kid that never grew up”), Dieci inverni by Valerio Mieli (ten years in a love story that leads two young people from Venice to Moscow), Cosmonauta by Susanna Nicchiarelli (the education of an adolescent in the early Sixties) and the documentaries Hollywood sul Tevere by Marco Spagnoli (about twenty years of international cinema in Rome through the images of Cinecittà Luce), and Il Piccolo by Maurizio Zaccaro (about the history – and culture – of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan).

The Jury chaired by Carlo Lizzani and composed of Giulio Questi and Marina Sanna awarded the prize to the film Cosmonauta by Susanna Nicchiarelli, which later participated in a number of international festivals in China, Russia, France, Spain, England, South America and won the Ciak d’Oro for Best Debut Film, in addition to two nominations for the Nastri d’argento and one David di Donatello. Another great success in the first edition of Controcampo italiano was Dieci Inverni, the directorial debut of Valerio Mieli, screened at over 50 festivals and winner of the David di Donatello and the Nastro d’Argento for best debut film. In addition, Il compleanno by Marco Filiberti, particularly acclaimed in Venice, was later selected for screening at many international festivals, including Beirut, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo and Seville.