11 Italian films - features, documentaries, and shorts - are featured in the program of the Rotterdam International Film Festival (January 24 - February 4). The 46th edition of the Dutch festival, a renowned event dedicated to avant-guarde and art cinema, includes in its competitive section Bright Future, Fulvio Risuleo's debut Look Up, while Andrea Pallaoro's sophomore feature Hannah is presented in the Limelight section, premiering significant films that already got a local distributor. Jacopo Quadri's documentary Lorello and Brunello, recently awarded in Turin, is featured in the Voices section, Tonino de Bernardi's Iphigenia in Aulide is in the Signature section, while the A History of Shadow section includes Luis Fulvio's '77 No Commercial Use, Fabrizio Ferraro's Les Unwanted de Europa, Giovanni Donfrancesco's The Resolute. Director Susanna Nicchierelli and her actress Trine Dyrholm presents Nico, 1988 in the IFFR Live section. The Italian selection is wrapped by Anna Marziano's medium-length film Beyond the One, and the shorts Monelle and What Time Is Love. Italian talents attending the festival include Fulvio Risuleo, Andrea Pallaoro, Jacopo Quadri, Luis Fulvio Baglivi, Fabrizio Ferraro, Giovanni Donfrancesco, Tonino de Bernardi, Anna Franceschini, and Diego Marcon.
The Göteborg Film Festival (January 26 to February 5) showcases 9 Italian titles instead. While Susanna Nicchiarelli's Nico, 1988 participates in the International Competition, four films are featured in the Five Continents section: Francesca Comencini's Love Stories that Cannot Belong to this World, Silvia Luzi's and Luca Bellino's Crater, Sebastiano Riso's A Family, and Leonardo Di Costanzo's The Intruder. Roberto De Paolis' debut Pure Hearts is programmed in the New Voices section, while Paolo Taviani's Rainbow is among the Masters along with the Italo-German-Austrian coproduction Looking for Oum Kulthum by Shirin Neshat. Paolo Virzì's Ella & John - The Leisure Seeker, to be released in Sweden by Scanbox Entertainment, is presented in the Gala section. Italian talents attending the festival include Susanna Nicchiarelli and actress Trine Dyrholm, Silvia Luzi, Luca Bellino, Roberto De Paolis e Sebastiano Riso.
Rotterdam and Goteborg might not be so well known by the Italian mainstream, but such a big participation of Italian films in these two notable European festivals is worth noticing. It means that Italian filmmakers are largely welcomed by European cinema at large, with media, audience, and markets ready to see them. It means the ability to go beyond borders as proven by festivals, awards, and recognitions by the industry.
It's a cinema that speaks a European language, and we should highlight the presence of many young filmmakers at their first of second film - Pallaoro, Risuleo, De Paolis, Riso, Luzi and Bellino - besides the confirmation of an Italian and international success such as Nico, 1988. If in many fields innovation is the key for the future, two festivals historically attentive to scouting new talents are telling us that our cinema, at the beginning of 2018, is very much alive. The participation of the Italian films in Rotterdam and Goteborg is coordinated by Istituto Luce Cinecittà - Filmitalia.