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Italy: Florence's 50 Days of Cinema Announces Schedule

Andres Di Tella - H 2012
Andres di Tella will be honored at the Festival dei Popoli

The Oct. 25-Dec. 14 event at Florence's Odeon Cinema includes nine separate festivals plus special events, round-table discussions, and award ceremonies.

ROME – Organizers of the 50 Days of International Cinema in Florence “poly-festival” announced their schedule Thursday, including a special prize to be awarded to Italian films after screenings in New York and San Francisco, Italy’s oldest festival dedicated to documentaries, and special autonomous festivals that focus on France, India, the Balkans, and women.

The ambitious event, which runs Oct. 25-Dec. 14, includes nine festivals in all, plus an array of special events, round table discussons, and prize ceremonies, all centered around the famous Odeon Cinema in Florence. 

The 10th Florence Queer Festival, which focuses on cinema, art, theater, and literature that touches on gay, lesbian, and transgender themes, runs Oct. 25-31; followed by 4th edition of France Odeon, dedicated to French cinema, Nov. 1-4; the 53rd Festival dei Popoli documentary event Nov. 10-17; Nov. 18-19 will feature the 5th edition of Images and Sounds of the World, which focuses on films about ethnic music; Nov. 20 is the first Kibaka Florence Festival for African film; followed by 5th The Screen Art Film Festival, which focuses on cinema about contemporary art Nov. 21-15; the first Balkan Florence Express festival for productions from the Balkans Nov. 26-29; then the 34th edition of the International Festival of Cinema and Women Nov. 30-Dec. 5; followed Dec. 7-13 by the River to River Florence Indian Film Festival. All told, more than 200 films are expected to screen over a 50-day span.

Also on the agenda are special events, including an event Nov. 5-6 on “the myth of the American Indian” as told through the eyes of John Ford and Michael Mann, and several award events including the N.I.C.E. -- short for New Italian Cinema Events -- City of Florence prize. 

The N.I.C.E. prize will be awarded based on audience votes over seven Italian films -- all first or second works -- organizers will bring to the U.S. for screenings in New York Nov. 7-11, followed by San Francisco Nov. 11-18. The films to be included are Scialla! (Chill!) from Francesco Bruni, winner of the all-Italian Contracampo Italiano sidebar at the Venice Film Festival in 2011; Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet), featuring David di Donatello Best Actress winner Tao Zhao, directed by Andrea Segre; Ivan Cotroneo’s La kryptonite nella borsa (Kriptonite in the Bag); Rohan Johnson’s I prima della lista (The First of the List); Ruggero Di Paola’s Appartamento ad Atena (Apartment in Athens); Raffaele Verzillo’s 100 metri del paradise (100 Meters from Heaven); and I piu grandi di tutti (The Greatest of Them All), from Carlo Virzi.

Though the near-clash with the 30th Turin Film Festival garnered more headlined, The Festival dei Popoli is the event in Italy most impacted by the late change in dates by the International Rome Film Festival, which will take place Nov. 9-17 -- an almost perfect overlap with The Festival dei Popoli Nov. 10-17 (the Turin festival, in comparison, will take place Nov. 23-Dec. 1). To complicate matters further, the Perspective Italy sidebar at the Rome event will include documentaries.

But Alberto Lastrucci, Festival dei Popoli co-director, told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday that the event had reached a one-year agreement with the Rome festival to have some of its selections screen in Rome. Neither festival has announced its full lineup yet: Rome is set to unveil its lineup next Wednesday, while the Festival dei Popoli will announce its lineup, which it was announced Thursday will include a retrospective of Argentinian documentary filmmaker Andres di Tella, on Nov. 5.