04 May 2017
From the 9th to the 19th June 2017, Bologna sees the return of great biographical cinema with Biografilm Festival, the first international event entirely dedicated to life stories, offering once again this year a program rich in outstanding film premieres, famous international guests and unforgettable musical events.
In addition to the theme of digital revolution, which completes three years of focus on life during the Internet age and whose titles will be announced in the coming weeks, a further theme will, in the year of La La Land, frame the programming of Biografilm 2017: dance, with a hand-picked selection of films, both of fiction and documentaries, that will form a sort of thematic thread within the other sections of the festival.
Among the most anticipated premieres of the festival are L'OPÉRA, directed by Jean-Stéphane Bron, a shrewd look behind-the-scenes of the Paris Opera in one of its most complex seasons, RELÈVE - HISTOIRE D'UNE CRÉATION about the famous Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied and the unmissable first features: MOVE! DANCE YOUR LIFE, a poetic journey through dance around the world directed by Fanny Jean-Noël, and the iconic film of this edition, LA DANSEUSE by Stéphanie Di Giusto, in which the multitalented Soko plays Loïe Fuller, whose famous ‘serpentine dance’ initiated the revolution that would lead to the birth of modern dance.
The presence of two first works in this year’s most represented strand is no coincidence; in this thirteenth edition, Biografilm reasserts its mission to discover new talents and voices.
The International Competition, which like every year will include 10 unmissable premieres that will compete for the Unipol Best Film Award | Biografilm Festival 2017, established competition for the most renowned and notable film and documentary makers, will include two first features: NOTHINGWOOD by Sonia Krnoiund, the section’s opening film that introduces us to the eclectic Salim Shaheen, all round director-writer-actor-producer, undisputed master of Z-list cinema, and his eccentric and passionate crew, and AMAZONA, a fascinating reflection on family relationships and the boundaries between duty and personal freedom, directed by Clare Weiskopf.
In Contemporary Lives, the section dedicated to the individuals and the themes that have most marked our present times, first works will include the astounding STRANGER IN PARADISE by Guido Hendrikx, DREAM EMPIRE by David Borenstein, and DREAM BOAT by Tristan Ferland Milewski, among more first features that will be announced over the coming weeks.
Among the first-time Italian directors are Marco Martinelli (former director and founder of the Teatro delle Albe di Ravenna, here with his first cinematographic experience, the pop and visionary biopic LIFE TO THE ARRESTS OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI, a world premiere in the Biografilm Art section), as well as Raffaele Passerini (IL PRINCIPE DI OSTIA BRONX), Serena Mignani (ÊTRE ET DURER), Alessandro Redaelli (FUNERALOPOLIS, SUBURBAN PORTRAIT) and Fabio Paleari (BAGNINI AND BAGNANTI), all three in the Biografilm Italia competition.
Biografilm Italia, the competitive section dedicated to documentaries produced or co-produced in Italy, demonstrates the particular attention paid not only to the newest promising talents and the most awaited world premieres, but also to home-grown productions, with a substantial selection of titles produced in Emilia-Romagna.
Another first feature is THE EAGLE HUNTRESS, a film by Otto Bell, the Italian version of which will premiere at Biografilm Festival in a double event in collaboration with Sky Cinema and with the presence of Lodovica Comello, the narrating voice in the film.
2017 also marks the fruition of the sections Biografilm Art and Biografilm Music, linked by the cross-sectional theme of dance. Among the premieres not to be missed that will head up these two sections - besides those mentioned above - is MANIFESTO, a film directed by the artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt in which Oscar-winning® actress Cate Blanchett plays 13 different characters; the opening title of the Biografilm Art section in an exclusive event for Biografilm Followers, BILL VIOLA: THE ROAD TO SAINT PAUL'S by Gerald Fox, which follows artist Bill Viola and his wife along the twelve-year journey to complete two major video installations in Saint Paul's Cathedral; and RUMBLE: THE INDIAN WHO ROCKED THE WORLD, about the role that Native Americans played in the birth and development of American rock music.
Pride of place also for fiction features: the Biografilm Europa section is full of unmissable premieres, bringing together each year the best biographical films of European production. In addition to the aforementioned LA DANSEUSE, this section will present titles such as L'ODYSÉE by Jérôme Salle about the legendary Jacques Costeau, TOM OF FINLAND by Dome Karukoski about the Finnish illustrator, who thanks to his illustrations became a point of reference for the gay culture of 20th century, and Italian feature DOPO LA GUERRA, with Giuseppe Battiston and Barbora Bobulova, another unforgettable film by a first-time director, Annarita Zambrano, who will have its second world premiere at Biografilm, shortly after its first scheduled for Cannes Film Festival.
The festival’s closing film will also be a fiction feature, THE LOST CITY OF Z, directed by James Gray, with Sienna Miller and the new Spiderman, Tom Holland. The film tells the extraordinary exploits of British adventurer Percy Fawcett.
In addition to the most celebrated film premieres of documentaries and biopics, Biografilm has always dedicated retrospectives to the most important contemporary auteurs and artists alike. The previously announced tributes to Peter Greenaway and Piera Degli Esposti, who will also receive the Celebration of Lives Award, a Sabina Guzzanti retrospective with special attention to her documentary work and tribute to the Master of documentary Angus Macqueen and the artistic duo Michele Mellara and Alessandro Rossi.
For the first time last year, Biografilm also paid tribute not to a filmmaker or other important figure, but to another festival - it was the Mexican Ambulante - Gira de Documentales, whose founders Gael García Bernal and Elena Fortes Biografilm had the honour to welcome among its guests. This year, a tribute to another major international film event has been confirmed, defined by many as a festival of great passion and one of the most important meeting places for talented film professionals. The identity of this festival will be revealed in the coming weeks.