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Italy’s Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival, which is dedicated to cinematic treasures of the past, last week wrapped its 33rd edition with a record-breaking turnout. Long a summer fixture for vintage film geeks and distributors it also draws prominent contemporary cinema personalities. This year these included Academy president John Bailey, Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jane Campion, Thierry Fremaux, and Philippe Le Guay. The fest is the brainchild of Gianluca Farinelli, also chief of the Bologna Film Archives and its film restoration lab known globally as a prime film preservation entity. Farinelli spoke to Variety about the fest’s easy co-existence with his friend Thierry Fremaux’s similar but younger Lumière Festival in Lyon, how they both drive this market segment, and singled out some gems of this edition starting from the world’s first film with a gay narrative. Excerpts.
What makes Il Cinema Ritrovato different from the Lumière fest in Lyon?
Approach - Passion - Cinema - Il - Cinema
They are similar in that they have the same approach, the same passion for cinema of the past. But Il Cinema Ritrovato is 22 years older, it has a consolidated legacy and tradition across the entire history of cinema. What Lyon has additionally is Thierry’s identity, his ability to draw a large presence of contemporary artists who link the present and the past. We also try to do that, albeit on a smaller scale. Since we have a longer history there are some topics and themes which we tend cyclically to return to. Our 100 Years Ago section; our research in the field of color; our great attention dedicated to the theme of restoration which is in our DNA and one of the reasons the festival was created. Another aspect that makes us unique is we don’t just focus on cinema from the West…this attracts distributors and fills seats, especially with young...
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