The 2017 edition of Filmmaker International Film Festival is due to open this Friday, 1 December with The Workshop, the new film by Laurent Cantet (already a winner of the Palme d'Or with The Class), successfully presented in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes Film Festival and coming out next year in Italy, distributed by Teodora Film. Scheduled to run until 10 December in Milan at the Spazio Oberdan, the Arcobaleno Film Center and Casa del Pane, this year's edition of the International Competition, Prospect, Out of Competition and Retrospective sections is due to include a total of 103 titles, with 21 features in world premiere and 20 to premiere in Italy.

At the heart of the event, as always, will be documentary film and, more generally, research. The International Competition includes 11 films this year. L'Assemblée by French Mariana Otero will be screened in the presence of the director, along with the French Paris is a Moveable Feast – A Film in 18 Waves by Sylvain George, The Wild Frontier by Nicolas Klotz and Élisabeth Perceval and I Pay for Your Story by Lech Kowalski. The American-Polish director will be leading the way for Americans J.P. Sniadecki and Joshua Bonnetta with El mar la mar and Lee Anne Schmitt with Purge This Land. Alex Gerbaulet and Mareike Bernien compare xenophobic crimes committed in the early 2000s by the NSU, the German neo-Nazi terrorist cell, in the film Tiefenschärfe. Canadian Denis Côté presents A Skin So Soft, a Swiss-French co-production, while Filippo Ticozzi has directeda "science fiction documentary" called The Secret Sharer. Also in competition is the Italian production Ab Ovo by Luca Ferri, with Chinese director Xu Bing due to close the event with Dragonfly Eyes.

There are eight Out of Competition proposals in total, including Séance (2014) and the more recent Whipping Zombie by Yuri Ancarani, the winner of the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival, Mrs Fang by Wang Bing, the new works by two Italian filmmakers, Lara Fremder with Santa Fe and Monica Stambrini with Lady OscarIf I Think of Germany at Night, the new feature by Romuald Karmakar, and The Nothing Factory by the Portuguese Pedro Pinho.

This year’s Filmmaker 2017 retrospective will be dedicated to the master Alberto Grifi, to "try to consolidate a relationship between his work and the current living traces of his lessons in the work of a new generation of filmmakers,” emphasises the festival director, Luca Mosso. Among the honourable guests of this edition is the master of French cinema, Alain Cavalier: 86 years old, and known to the Italian public for Thérèse in particular.

Renewing the tradition of entrusting the closure of the festival to an Italian auteur film, the festival has chosen Nato a Casal di Principe by Bruno Oliviero this year, presented at Venice Film Festival in September.