A long love story through the thread of memory and the numerous connections between past and present. This is what Valerio Mieli’s Ricordi? is about. The only Italian film in competition at the Giornate degli Autori marks the sophomore feature of Mieli after Ten Winters, presented in Venice in 2009 and winner of both the David di Donatello and the Silver Ribbon as Best First Film. Ricordi? is a sharp reflection on life and sentiments, seen through a love story that the viewer experiences via the memories of the two protagonists which are more or less distorted either by emotions, the time or different viewpoints. The journey of two lovers throughout the years, together and alone, happy and unhappy, in one single flux of emotions, feelings, and memory. “Is it nostalgia that makes everything beautiful and lead us to make up a perfect happiness that never really happened; or we really used to be happy, but only understand it later?” This is the question at the core of the film, an Italo-French coproduction between BiBi Film Tv, Rai Cinema and Les Films d’Ici, starring Luca Marinelli and Linda Caridi with Giovanni Anzaldo, Camilla Diana, Anna Manuelli and Eliana Bosi. As Mieli states, “Ricordi? has been a complicated film. My ambition was to make a film that shouldn’t choose between originality and emotion, storytelling and experimentation. I wish to thank everyone, especially the two extraordinary protagonists and the production company for the trust they gave to a film that, on paper, could have been anything.”

The Giornate degli Autori will take place during the 75th Venice Film Festival and present a line-up including 11 films in competition, a homage to Golden Lion winner Alexander Kluge, and many special events. Among these, Pippo Mezzapesa’s My Own Good, set in Provvidenza, a ghost town shocked by the earthquake and the dissolution of its community. Elia (Sergio Rubini) is the last man still living in those soulless houses and refusing to move to the new town made of concrete buildings. During the years, he’s become the guardian of the memory of that old little village, believing in the illusion of reviving those dead stones and unable to get rid of the memory of his wife Maria who died in the earthquake. The cast includes Sonya Mellah, Teresa Saponangelo, Dino Abbrescia, Francesco De Vito, Michele Sinisi. Mezzapesa states: “I’m back with a story that belongs to me deeply. It tells of a lost community, disrupted by an earthquake, and of a man who stubbornly defends its memory. He’s an outside voice, a character that resists, visionary yet clear-headed. It’s a film in which reality stumbles on magic, a story made of abandoned stones and encounters, revelations and clashes, paradox and dream.”

This year’s selection admittedly “privileged courage and the will of renewal.” The Opening Film is Graves Without a Name by Cambodian master Rithy Panh, Cannes winner with The Missing Picture and first Cambodian director to be nominated at the Oscars. His latest work continues on his path of personal and spiritual research, “chiming exactly with the vision of this year’s Giornate, insisting on the value of cinema in society.” Closing film, out of competition, is Nicole Palo’s Emma Peteers, a brilliant and provocative comedy on cinema and the art of acting. The selection is marked by a strong presence of women directors: six films are directed by women and in all the films women play a fundamental role. In the words of General Delegate Giorgio Gosetti: “This choice is the result of a research without prior preconceptions: we just looked for the best and often we found it in the female sensitivity. The number of represented country also confirms that the Giornate range over the whole spectrum of world cinema.”

Among the new aspects of this year’s edition, “Notti Veneziane”,  a series of rendezvous hosted at the Villa degli Autori when Italian filmmakers will be given the floor to tell and remember. Among the scheduled guests, Stefano Savona director of Samouni’s Road, who will remember the journey that took him to Gaza. During the conversation, Savona will have the chance to share ideas about the meaning of his profession and the nature of documentary cinema, also by showing and commenting images from his work. Other guests include Massimiliano Pacifico with Il teatro al lavoro, who will present the human and artistic adventure connected to the creation of “Elvira”, the play starring Toni Servillo and adapted from the lessons by Louis Jouvet; Daniele De Michele, instead, will present I villani, a journey through popular Italian cuisine on the brink of disappearance.