In 2023, the Padua River Film Festival, sponsored and supported by the Department of Culture of the City of Padua, will be enriched by the collaboration of the University of Padua, the Department of Art and Design of the University Hang Seng of Hong Kong and the moral patronage of the Ministry Environment and Energy Security.
RiFF reaches its 17th edition with important confirmations and a rich array of novelties. Among the confirmations, the most important is of course the heart of the festival: the river staircase of the Portello, Padua’s ancient port and still one of the
most characteristic and identifying historical areas of the city. Also this year, the short films in competition will be screened on the big screen floating on the Piovego river, in a setting of rare beauty that for years has been the “trademark” of RiFF, known all over the world.

RiFF 2023 comes with these numbers: 19 days of events, 123 works in competition from all over Europe and the rest of the world, 4 special screenings of feature films, as well as concerts and events scheduled on the evenings of the opening and closing.
The important new features of this edition are many. Starting with the evening special opening night, Wednesday, May 31, which will feature the screening of the documentary on the beat generation THE BEAT BOMB by Ferdinando Vicentini Orgnani (Italy-Argentina 2022 / 83 min.). Special guest of the evening – in addition to the director himself and poet Ferruccio Brugnaro – will be the author of the soundtrack of the film: Paolo Fresu, one of the most appreciated jazz musicians on the international scene. With Overture Beat, Fresu will officially open RiFF 2023.

This year there will be 10 sections in competition: to the usual categories Virtual Reality , Italian Looks, International Horizons, Film Schools, Animation, Queer shorts and Documentaries, which feature short films from around the world, are now joined by three major new additions: the section Changes climate, the Human Rights section and the Productions in focus section.

The new Climate Change section was created to promote environmental culture through the art of film and raise public awareness of the issue of changing climate. The screening of short films in competition will be preceded by two special events, Tuesday, June 13: at 3:30 p.m. the panel discussion “Geopolitics of Climate – climate change” at the Botanical Garden of Padua – which from this year, thanks to the collaboration between RIFF and the University of Padua, will become one of the venues of the festival’s side events -, where qualified experts in the field will offer the public reflections on the delicate balance between man and the environment and the relationship between climate and social behavior (the meeting will be addressed by, among others, astronomer Sergei Schmalz, one of the world’s leading experts in the study of photometry of satellites and asteroids and their possible interactions with human life, since 2017 head of the Space Debris Station at the astronomical observatory in Castelgrande); at 10 p.m. there will be a screening of the feature film DAR FUR – WAR FOR WATER (Slovenia 2008 | 89 min.) by Slovenian director and human rights activist human rights activist Tomo Križnar, known worldwide for delivering video cameras in South Kordofan to local ethnic Nuba civilians to help them gather evidence of war crimes perpetrated by the North Sudanese army against them. Tomo Križnar will also be at the festival for the special event on Sunday, June 11, the first of two evenings dedicated to documentaries, to present with his wife Bojana Pivk Križnar their ROTTING 2022 (Slovenia 2022 | 56 min.), a film dedicated to the unspeakable suffering to which the Nuba people are condemned.

Paolo Fresu

The second of the new competition sections at RiFF 2023, Human Rights, enriches the festival’s schedule with a line-up dedicated to human rights, with special attention to the issue of women’s rights. In addition to screenings of the short films in competition, on Thursday, June 15, the program hosts the presentation of the film INNOCENCE (Denmark, Israel, Finland, Iceland 2022 | 100 min.) by Guy Davidi, one of the most acclaimed directors of new Israeli cinema. Innocence addresses the issue of forced militarization in Israel, which forces thousands of young people to fight against their own identity and values.
Also on the subject of human rights, on Friday, June 2, the first of the four evenings of the International Horizons section, entitled Women Life Freedom and dedicated to Iranian women fighting for their freedom and emancipation: Eight short films shot by young Iranian filmmakers tell unprecedented aspects of what is a real cultural revolution in progress.

The third to last new section of the festival, Production in Focus, is a specific focus on production that marks RiFF’s approach to the film market international. This year’s protagonist will be France: on Saturday, June 17, the audience will be offered a highly qualified selection of short films produced by the transalpine production companies Novanima and Miyu, active mainly in the
production of animated films.

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