It’s not an episodic choice, possibly related to the big media fuss that rightly broke out around the ha rassment scandal, but a conscious and well thought-out project. We Want Cinema is the retrospective that the Pesaro Film Festival (June 16-23) dedicates to women in Italian cinema. Curated by Laura Buffoni, the project is accompanied by a volume edited by Marsilio, which the author straightforwardly defines it as “militant”. In fact, the aim of the book is to challenge the current perspective on the issue, which consider the woman only as an object of the gaze and of the representation. To the contrary, the book understands the female gaze as a producer of ideas that is able to defy stereotypes.

What happens when it’s a woman who pulls out a gun, or a camera? What changes when it’s a woman who looks and desires? Challenging the axiom suggested by Dino Risi (“cinema is a naked woman and a man with a gun”), the volume thoroughly tackles the history of Italian cinema through theoretical essays (by Veronica Pravadelli, Piera Detassis, Patrizia Pistagnesi, Giulia Simi and Lucia Cardone), but without forgetting current facts. The final section deals with Dissenso comune, the Italian movement that took shape after the harassment scandal, and with an essay by Chiara Lalli unambiguously titled “Sex is about power”

The Pesaro Film Festival, headed by Pedro Armocida, will try to understand how female directors represented and are representing the body of other women, the family, current facts and politics, moving from the data collected by the project “DEA Women and the Audiovisual” : in Italy, just a bit more of the 10% of the films are directed by women. However, complaining will not be the tone of the event. Traditionally a “militant” festival, Pesaro wanted to take a stand once more. In fact, the volume has been written by women only, with the underlying conviction that women have always took care of women.

 We Want Cinema. Sguardi di donne nel cinema italiano will bring to Pesaro the protagonists of the next season of Italian cinema by organizing a roundtable and other events with filmmakers and actresses such as Sonia Bergamasco, Roberta Torre, Barbara Alberti, Tea Falco, Lucia Mascino, Ludovica Rampoldi, Laura Bispuri, Silvia Calderoni, Alina Marazzi, Giada Colagrande.  

The festival bets on the competition Nuovo Cinema – Premio Lino Micciché dedicated to first and second features. Among the titles, the Italian Beware the Dona Ferentes by Daniele Pezzi, a documentary on one of the greatest names in underground music, presenting a deep reflection on acoustic and visual “noise”. Other titles include John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection by French director Julien Farault, a theoretical visual essay on one of the greatest tennis players of all time; Zerzura by Christopher Kirkley (USA) shot in Niger, * by Austria’s Johann Lurf which edits starry skies from the history of cinema; Los anos azules, debut feature by the Mexican Sofia Gomez Cordova; América by Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside (USA).

Other sections include: Satellite, a non-competitive panorama on the avant-garde; Sguardi femminili russi presenting two features, two documentaries, and one short; the Lessons on history by Federico Rossin, who tries to rethink the ’68 (with a homage to the late Fernando Birri), and presents works by Mario Schifano, Michael Snow, Brian De Palma, and Robert Fulton; a retrospective on Marc’O, genius French director born in 1927 who presented Les idoles in Pesaro in 1968. The 50th anniversary of Carmelo Bene’s Our Lady of the Turks will be celebrated with the rushes from the Cineteca Nazionale, while Hollywood Party will serve as the Opening Film in the Piazza del Popolo arena.

The 70-year-long career of Carlo Delle Piane will be celebrated with the screening of his latest film, Cesare Furesi’s Chi salverà le rose (2017). The festival will also pay homage to the late Ermanno Olmi by screening Tickets (co-directed with Abbas Kiarostami and Ken Loach), whose first episode stars Delle Piane himself. Moreover, Pesaro will host an exhibition of the sketches that Olmi drew for his Singing Behind Screens and One Hundred Nails. Closing film is Francesco Patierno’s DIVA!, a homage to the diva Valentina Cortese.