Villae Film Festival

3rd edition

Villa Adriana – Tivoli (Rome)

12 – 18 July 2021

Villa d’Este – Tivoli (Rome)

6 – 12 September 2021

From 12 to 18 July and from 6 to 12 September 2021, two locations, declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, namely Villa Adriana andVilla d’Este, will be hosting the third edition of the Villae Film Festival, in which ART, in its many expressive forms, is the protagonist of the story. The project is a unique event in the Italian cultural landscape and is realised with the patronage and support of the MiC (Italian Ministry of Culture) and the Lazio Regional Authority. It is organised by Villae, under the artistic direction of Andrea Bruciati, art historian and director of the Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este Institute, with artistic consulting provided by Stefania Bianchi and Filippo Soldi and organisation by the Associazione Culturale Seven. With its twofold expression at Villa d’Este and Villa Adriana, the Villae Film Festival is a journey in which we discover cinema that talks about Art and cinema that is itself an Art. In fact, the event will be focusing on films that talk about artists, works and movements, reflecting on the protagonists, on history and on artistic ideas, but above all, films by artists who have felt the need to express their creativity through cinema.

According to the artistic director Andrea Bruciati “The Villae Film Festival reaches its third edition with an even richer programme of proposals. The event is profoundly and naturally linked to the sites in which it takes place and from which it draws its aesthetic and linguistic connotative features. In fact, the VILLAE represent an extraordinary place of choice, in which art becomes a visual story and a totally immersive experience. As well as their eternal and scintillating beauty, the overall unique and universal nature of the UNESCO sites is fully expressed in the distinctive features of a festival dedicated to art in motion and to contemporary polysemic research.

Each day of the Villa Adriana event, taking place from 12 to 18 July, opens at 8:45 pm with an encounter that precedes the screening of the film of the day, with guest directors, actors and producers, all introduced by the artistic director Andrea Bruciati. Screening of the archive footage from the Istituto Luce, dedicated to the two villas and to the films in the programme, takes place at 9:15 pm.

Two locations for two programmes and types of screening.

In the setting of the Pecile of Villa Adriana, from 12 to 18 July, films with Art as the theme of their story will be screened. Among the films screened, one per evening, HIDDEN AWAYby Giorgio Diritti will be presented on Monday 12 July, in the presence of the actress Paola Lavini. The film tells the biographical story of the painter Antonio Ligabue, who was afflicted by physical and psychological problems and only seemed to find peace in painting. The protagonists in his paintings are characters and moments of the rural life unfolding around him, but also lions, tigers and exotic animals. Everything is portrayed with bright, powerful colours in the style that is defined as “naïve”. On Tuesday 13 July, Mario Pezzella, lecturer in Aesthetics of cinema at the University of Pisa and editor of the book I corpi del potere (The bodies of power) based on the cinema of Aleksandr Sokurov, presents ARCA RUSSA. This is a fantastic journey inside the Winter Palace of Saint Petersburg. Amidst the works of art, the most famous characters of Russian history appear through half-open doors. Among them are Catherine I, Peter the Great, Nicholas I and Nicholas II Romanov. History comes to life and presents itself to us in unusual and unexpected ways. The entire Russian nobility seems to find itself in the beautiful rooms of a Hermitage that becomes a timeless reality beyond the boundaries of time and space, a treasure chest that contains the History of a people.

On Wednesday 14 July, cinema journalist Emanuela Genovese will present THE SQUARE, by Ruben Östlund. The film, winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2017, tells the story of Christian, the important director of a museum of contemporary art in Stockholm. Charming and integrated into the world that matters to him, Christian is about to organise an exhibition in which the fundamental element is the creation of a very unusual performance space. It is simply the outline of a square on the floor. When visitors cross this outline, becoming protagonists in the performance, they are called upon to make altruistic gestures towards those close to them. In short, they have to help their “neighbour”. All this, however, clashes with Christian’s very existence, highlighting profound contradictions and throwing Christian into chaos. Breaking out of this chaos will prove to be very difficult.

On Thursday 15 July the film PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, by Céline Sciamma, will be screened. The film will be presented by critic and film director Marco Spagnoli and art historian Consuelo Lollobrigida, author of studies on female artists in the history of art. The film tells the story of Marianne who, in the 18th century, was commissioned to paint a portrait of the young Héloise. In fact, Héloïse is forced to marry the man destined for her sister, who had died prematurely. The house’s economic situation does not allow any other way out, but in order for the husband-to-be to accept this substitution, the family needs to send him a portrait of his new future wife. Héloïse, however, refuses to be portrayed. For this reason, her mother asks the painter to pretend to be a lady-in-waiting, relegating her painting activities solely to the moments in which she is alone: ​​she would paint the young woman’s face, after spending all day with her, by relying on her memory. However, the friendship and feelings that grow between the painter and her unwitting model complicate the developments considerably.

On Friday 16 July, MARTIN EDEN by Pietro Marcello will be shown. The film will be presented by the critic Sergio Sozzo. The film is loosely inspired by the novel by Jack London and moves the story from Oakland to Naples. Martin Eden is a sailor who saves the young Arturo Orsini from an assault and, out of gratitude, is welcomed by his family, despite his different social background. This is how he meets Elena, Arturo’s sister, and falls in love with her. In an attempt to measure up to the girl’s higher social status, Martin tries to give himself the education he never had. In this way, he realises that he has a talent and a passion for writing. The problem is that it is not easy to live by writing alone. At least at the beginning.

On Saturday 17 July, THE DANISH GIRL by Tom Hooper will be shown. The archaeologist Sandra Mazza will be presenting the film and will offer food for thought on transsexuality in the ancient world. In fact, the film tells the biographical story of the painter Einar Wegener who lives in Denmark, in the 1920s, and is married to the painter Gerda. One day, Gerda asks him to pose for her, in the place of a female model who, due to an unforeseen commitment, is unable to pose for her. Einar is embarrassed at first, but then he accepts. The same thing repeats itself later on, to the point that, one day, Einar goes to a party dressed as a woman, together with his wife, introducing himself as Lili Elbe. Dressed and made up as a woman, however, he attracts the attention of Henrik, a painter who is notoriously homosexual. For Einar and Gerda, the game seems to get out of hand. Einar feels that this female identity is his true identity. Becoming what he feels to be his true self is a long, uncertain and painful path: Einar, who becomes Lili for everyone, is the first person in the world to undergo sex change surgery in 1931.

The event at Villa Adriana comes to an end on Sunday 18 July, with the screening of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE by Wong Kar-Wai. The film, which will be presented by the writer Valeria Arnaldi, is inspired by the novel Intersection by the writer Liu Yichang and is set in Hong Kong in the 1960s. It is here, in fact, that Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen meet and go to live in the same building on the same day. Both are already married, but their respective spouses, united by a clandestine relationship, give them reason to meet and get to know each other. A feeling that goes beyond simple friendship gradually grows between the two of them. Other people seem to notice this, to the point that Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen find themselves in a hotel room, to avoid being seen by the neighbours. Their feelings, however, never materialise into a betrayal of their already unfaithful spouses. And this will mark their lives forever.

From 6 to 12 September, the films will be screened in a different location, moving to the evocative atmosphere of the Gran Viale of Villa d’Este: here, the films to be shown are by film directors who are also artists in other fields, as well as cinema. Among the films being shown here, RED DESERT by Michelangelo Antonioni and THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTSby Lech Majewski.

Villae Film Festival is an initiative created by the Istituto Villa Adriana e Villa d’Este – Villae in collaboration with the Associazione Culturale Seven and with the patronage and support of the MiC (Ministry of Culture) – Cinema and Audiovisual Directorate General and the Lazio Regional Authority, under the patronage of the Municipality of Tivoli and UICI (Italian Union of Blind and Partially Sighted People) and with the collaboration of the Istituto Luce Cinecittà,  Tibur Tivoli Film Commission, Roma Lazio Film Commission, Biennale Arteinsieme, UICI, Agenzia del Viaggiatore di CTS, Teletibur, Simply Radio, GP Magazine, Tivoli City Guidonia, Essere Web Radio, Artis Project, Sentieri Selvaggi, the Villa Esedra Restaurant, the Sibilla Restaurant and the l’Angolino di Mirko Restaurant.

The Artistic Director

Andrea Bruciati, director of the Villae

He is an art historian with numerous curatorial projects to his credit and collaborates with industry magazines. He directed the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art in Monfalcone from 2002 to 2012 and, thanks to this experience, as well as with that as artistic director of the ArtVerona exhibition from 2014 to 2016 and of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe 2015 (BJCEM 2015), he is identified as a promoter of emerging contemporary research.

Since 2017, he has been at the helm of the Istituto Villa Adriana e Villa d’Este in Tivoli. As director, in addition to the Villae Film Festival, he also promoted the exhibitions entitled E dimmi che non vuoi morire (And tell me you don’t want to die). Il mito di Niobe (the legend of Niobe) (2018), Le carte di Ferenc (Ferenc’s papers) (2019) and Eva vs Eva. The dual value of the feminine element in the Western imagination (2019); Après le déluge. A journey through resurfaced and unacknowledged works (2020) and 60/20: Hadrian’s Villa between cinema and UNESCO (2020), Il teatro delle acque (theatre of the waters): Villa d’Este from the garden of the Italians to universal heritage (2021), I, Villa Adriana (Luca Vitone personal exhibition of contemporary art, 2021), Ecce Homo: the encounter between divine and human for a different anthropology (2021).

Free admission until all seats are taken


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