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  /  News   /  Pisa (Italy), the international festival “Universo Corto” kicks off

Pisa (Italy), the international festival “Universo Corto” kicks off

From Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th September screenings at “La Nunziatina”. Also in competition is director Lanthimos, recent winner of the Golden Lion in Venice

The 16th edition of “Universo Corto” is underway, an international short film festival, born in Pisa in 2004, which will be held at the La Nunziatina garden (via La Nunziatina, 11) from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th September 2023. Every evening appointment at aperitif time (7.00 pm) with pre-festival events, concerts, debates and shows scheduled. Then, starting at 9.15 pm, the screening of the short films. 19 productions from all over the world are in competition and selected from over 500 works.

«Being in Pisa again – states the president of the Young People association, Maria Elena Bianchi Bandinelli – is a pleasure and a great satisfaction and is above all due to the interest of the municipal administration starting with the Mayor of Pisa Michele Conti and the culture councilor Filippo Bedini. I would like to thank the ETS publishing house, which together with Professor Flavia Monceri, coordinates and manages the special Sakura prize, and to the Rotary Club of Pisa.”

«The criteria we use are those of a common thread of a social theme – said Professor Flavia Monceri who coordinates the jury of the Sakura special prize. Every year there is a concentration on a topic that may not be fashionable but considered significant. Let’s go and identify the winners, never more than three and always ex aequo, who will receive the writing of a dedicated essay.”

Universo Corto returns to Pisa where it began in 2004. It is an independent review of free-themed short films organized by the cultural association Giovani People. Since its inception, the Festival has always been aimed above all at university students, doctoral students or those enrolled in film schools, but for some years it has also been open to independent cinema directors.

Since the first edition, the presidency of the event has been permanently entrusted to the director Roberto Faenza, while over the years names such as Marco Bellocchio (director), Oliviero Toscani (advertising artist, who also signed the logo of the demonstration), Mario Dondero (photographer), Roan Johnson (director), Antonio Marras (stylist), Liliana Dell’Osso (psychiatrist), Polo Benvenuti (director), Robert Zemeckis (director). The artistic director of the Festival is Riccardo Romboli.

This year’s edition features 19 short films from all over the world in competition, including the work of Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, recent winner of the Golden Lion at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, starring Matt Dillon. Among the short films selected, there are also works presented at other festivals such as Sundance, the Berlin, Clermont Fernand, Cannes and Venice Festivals or competing at the Academy Awards (Oscars). The program includes the free admission screening of around 6 works every evening and every evening the audience in the theater will be able to vote for the work they appreciated most, contributing to one of the final prizes, the Audience Award.

The juries

The first is coordinated by professor Flavia Monceri and is made up of scholars and academics who will award the Sakura Special Prize, which consists in the creation and publication, edited by Edizioni ETS (Pisa, Italy), of a volume which will collect an essay dedicated to each winning short film, in the maximum number of three ex aequo – with the aim of deepening and making known the “message” they can convey. The books are included in the “Sakura. Philosophies and society in cultural products”. University professors are part of this Jury: Luisa Azzena (University of Pisa), Paolo Heritier (University of Turin), Francesca Ronca (University of Pisa) and Mauro Sylos Labini (University of Pisa).

The second jury, which will award the prize for the best short film and the director prize, is coordinated by Maria Elena Bianchi Bandinelli and composed of Luca Cappelli, film editor, Laura Chiavacci, journalist, Chiara Spinelli, communicator, Massimo Missoni, advertiser.

The Pisan actress Luciana Cipriani will present the evenings. Every evening, before the screening, the young singer Virginia Sanzo will perform. The popular music concert Voci di Campo (Giulia Caiazza and Pier Giuseppe Puggioni) will be held on Wednesday 13 September; Thursday 14th a debate led by the psychiatrist Giuseppe Ceraudo (University of Pisa) on the topic of gender violence; Friday 15th a concert by the DiVetro group; and on Saturday 16th a concert by the rock group Bside. Finally, the photographic exhibition of the Greek-Tunisian artist Marianne Catzaras will be presented.

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