Florence November 25th – December 2nd 2016

International documentary film festival

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  • I’m writing these notes from my tree house, convinced that everyone has one, meaning that part of the world, physical or mental, where you take the liberty to wander aimlessly across the boundless landscape of your thought processes. Up here, I spend the short, but important moments of silence necessary to be up to the commitment and emotions that the festival involves for all those who work at it. We wish these will be unforgettable days for the audience too, who is one of the fundamental ingredients.

  • The study that Prof. Thierry Roche, University of Aix-Marseille, is conducting on our festival made me reflect of the amount of activities that Festival dei Popoli has carried out from 1959 until now. There is now a wealth of films and authors, archive material and discussions on film, encounters with the Other and observations of reality, i.e. the field of observation privileged by the documentary. The engaging talks with Thierry – whom I should like to take this opportunity to thank – raised in me the awareness of our festival’s importance throughout the cultural processes, as well as of how stimuli and proposals launched in the course of the earlier editions have been responded to and carried out by others, also committed to our work. To have been a source of inspiration makes us proud and prompts us to embark on unknown routes, renew our research instruments, and not imitate others (or ourselves) when we browse new territories and visit other parts of the world. We’ll do so along with the best film directors, our indispensable guides to discover far-away environments and societies and, above all, to cast a glance into their inner worlds, that which every artist intends to do, regardless of the discipline with which they deal.

  • Therefore, we inaugurate the edition #57, entirely renewed compared to the previous ones: from the main festival venue – La Compagnia, the Film House of Tuscany – to the selection of the films in competition (International and Italian); from the thematic sections (one is dedicated to the refugees, another to musical documentaries) to the retrospectives on film directors such as the French-Lebanese Danielle Arbid and the Brazilian Sergio Oksman, who will let us not only in their cinema but also in the respective creative workshops. The educational section has also been renewed, with workshops and seminars dealing with significant technological innovations, such as VR technology and Interactive Documentary.

  • The moment has arrived to leave my cosy tree house and welcome you. I hope you will find sufficient material to satisfy your curiosity, cultivate your reflections, and stimulate your critical thinking.

  • Alberto Lastrucci
    Director of Festival dei Popoli