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Felice Laudadio • Directeur artistique du Bif&st

"Nous cherchons une originalité de pensée"


- En anglais : Entretien avec Felice Laudadio, directeur artistique du Bif&st di Bari depuis la toute première édition de l’événement

Felice Laudadio • Directeur artistique du Bif&st

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

Felice Laudadio is the artistic director of Bif&st, one of the biggest film events taking place in Southern Italy, set to run this year between 21 and 28 April. We asked a few questions about the 2018 edition and the short- and long-term aims of the festival.

Cineuropa: Bif&st is celebrating its ninth year. What’s new this time round for viewers and industry professionals?
Felice Laudadio: Passes and tickets sold out within hours for Teatro Petruzzelli screenings of international previews, including Roman J. Israel Esq. by Dan GilroyThe Reports on Sarah and Saleem [+lire aussi :
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 by Muayad AlayanPrima che la notte by Daniele Vicari and the much anticipated, restored version of Last Tango in Paris, which will be presented by Bernardo Bertolucci at the close of the festival. We will also be hosting a wonderful jazz concert paying tribute to Armando Trovajoli, where the best Italian jazz musicians alive will be accompanied by Peppe Servillo.

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Other important additions this year include the Lezioni di cinema (Lessons in Cinema) hosted by Pierfrancesco FavinoMicaela RamazzottiAntonio AlbaneseMario MartoneMargarethe von TrottaVittorio Storaro and Bernardo Bertolucci, and the icing on the cake: we will be in conversation with Pippo Baudo who will discuss the huge amount of work he puts into supporting the world of cinema through his various programmes.

Also of huge significance are the 12 films in competition in the International Panorama section. They hail from all corners of the globe and are of the highest quality, with the overall winner being chosen by a jury presided over by Gianrico Carofiglio.

Yet again, the Festival is showing the dual role it plays as a cultural event for the film community but also as a platform for the many films it screens in preview.  In what way has working with festival president Margarethe von Trotta benefited Bif&st’s international offering this year?
Margarethe’s work and international notoriety have been crucial in many ways, especially in her commitment to presenting the seven documentaries dedicated to science and directed by her friend and fellow-artist, Werner Herzog

The ItaliaFilmFest section, dedicated to first and second films, has introduced the wider public to many emerging Italian directors. How does the festival go about the arduous task of putting together a short-list of young filmmakers? What does Bif&st look for in a film?
We look for originality: originality of thought in terms of the subject and the storyline, originality in film direction, and originality in how actors interpret their roles. This year, we had to make our selection from among some very good, and at times excellent, first and second films. This was complicated somewhat by the sad fact that we could only accommodate 12 works. The winner of these 12 will be chosen by an audience jury presided over by Giancarlo De Cataldo

This year the festival will put a particular focus on Marco Ferreri and Franco Cristaldi. In what respect can the memory of these two masters of Italian cinema have a positive effect on the film community and industry today?
The main effect is on our young audiences, who actually discover long-established cinema talent through retrospectives. The audience attending our screenings is mostly young, and the new talent that might emerge as a result of viewing these inspiring films will be hugely beneficial to the industry. Von Trotta became the great director she is today after watching all of Bergman’s films at the Cinémathèque in Paris when she was 17 years old. That retrospective changed her life. She has now directed a fabulous documentary as a homage to her “master”, Ingmar Bergman.

How do you plan to develop the festival in the long-term? What does the future look like for Bif&st?
After ten years of life, Bif&st needs to re-framed. It has been a very useful event, not least in terms of the new audience it has attracted; an audience that is far more mature than when we first started in 2009. There will be big changes in the 2019 festival format and these will be announced in the closing press conference on 28 April. But the 75.000 fans who quite literally storm the festival each year will not be disappointed.

In recent years the health of our cinema industry has been the subject of many mixed reviews. What is your view on the current state of Italian cinema? Are we on the right path?
It’s still too early to know what impact the new cinema legislation will have on the audio-visual industry, as it’s only just been approved. I don’t hold out much hope for movie theatres: more and more of them close each and every day, despite the boom we experienced over a decade ago. In my opinion, one reason for the crisis is the failure of cinema operators to recognise the positive impact that an intelligent and continuous summer programme could have on the industry. We would require quality products that are capable of pulling viewers through the door - a job for the distributors, few of whom, at this point in time, fully understand the need to keep up with France or even Spain, where movie theatres never close in the summer. Let’s not even get started on the US.

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(Traduit de l'italien)

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