10th Lecce Festival of European Cinema

Italy, March 31 - April 5 2009

The jury

Oliver Rahayel (Germany), Christophe Chauville (France), Paola Casella (Italy)

Awarded films

In its 10th edition, the Lecce Film Festival tried once again to prove its character as a platform for both new Italian and young European cinema. As for the first, Italian actress Margherita Buy was invited to a homage of some of her works. Turkish-born director Ferzan Ozpetek, who lives and works in Italy, was invited to a complete retrospective. Also, actor Raoul Bova and the late director Carmelo Bene were honored with homages. Furthermore, some of the latest Italian movies were shown in Lecce.

As for the European cinema, Costa-Gavras came to visit the festival which, in turn, showed a full retrospective of his films. The director responded to this tribute by spending a whole morning discussing his cinema with audiences. A choice of Bosnian films and of new documentaries, a short film competition and a few conferences completed the European section.

The festival is obviously a family affair. It is presided over by mother and son, Cristina Soldano and Alberto La Monica. Also, the subject of every single film in the international competition was centered on family relationships, oscillating between love and hate, dissolving at the end and rarely reconciling again.

Although attended mostly by Italians of the regions, Lecce is being recognized more and more, especially for its selection of young cinema having its Italian premiere. Many students of the Lecce University accepted the festival’s offer to attend the shows for free. (Oliver Rahayel)

Lecce Festival of European Cinema: www.festivaldelcinemaeuropeo.it