Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay won the 20th Lecce European Film Festival


The 20th edition of the Lecce European Film Festival just ended yesterday: the winner of the prize “Ulivo d’oro – Premio Cristina Soldano” for the best movie has been awarded to Oray directed by Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay. This edition has been very successful, with a great response by the public, giving the message that this Festival is an important event not just for south Italy film industry, but also for the whole country, thanks to its european vision.

The Lecce European Film Festival is a good mix between italian & european films and also a good opportunity for the public to meet important guests from Italy and other countries.

Many film lovers have been lucky enough to attend a Masterclass by the Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov, one of the big names of the european cinema, which was awarded with the Golden Lion in Venice for his masterpiece “Faust”.

Michele Emiliano Puglia’s President and Sokurov. Photo Pietro Giannuzzi FCE

Alberto la Monica, director of the festival during the presentation of this 20th edition, said he was very happy to have him at the festival. “With my mother, Cristina Soldano (Founder of the festival and sadly disappeared in 2017) we have been looking forward since long time to invite Sokurov here, so having the Maestro for a masterlcass here in Lecce is something which makes me very proud”.

Aleksandr Sokurov, Photo by Pietro Giannuzzi FCE

The 20th edition of the Festival also had an important jury president such as Marco Müller, former director of the Venice Film Festival and the Rome Film Festival and now working in China as Pingyao Festival Director.

Alberto la Monica and Marco Müller

The jury, which gave the best film to Mehmet Akif Büyükatalay, also assigned other awards like the best screenplay to Elma Tataragić for Stitches directed by Miroslav Terzić (Serbia, 2019), the best photography to Tamás Dobos for Genesis (Ungheria, 2018) directed by Árpád Bogdán, and the special jury prize to Cronofobia (Italy, 2018) directed by Francesco Rizzi.

The audience award has been given to “Summer Survivor” by Marija Kavtaradze (Lituania, 2018).

The next edition of the festival has been already announced: it will take place from the 30th of March to the 4th of April 2020. As part of the festival, many italian actors have been the protagonists during the festival days: Stefania Sandrelli for example, which has a very long careers (she has been acting in more then 100 films), has been the first guest of the festival opening the 20th edition. It was a great opportunity to show some of her best movies directed by important names such as Bernardo Bertolucci or Ettore Scola, just to name a few.

Stefania Sandrelli / Photo Pietro Giannuzzi FCE

Vinicio Marchioni, for his role in “Cronofobia”, directed by Francesco Rizzi received the best european actor prize given by the Italian Journalist Film Critics Union.

Vinicio Marchioni – Ph. Pietro Giannuzzi FCE

The festival is supported by the Regional Government and also by the Apuglia Film Commission, a key institution to develop the film industry in the region. In fact in Puglia became a great location for many different productions, italian and internationals to shoot their movies as they received a great support by the authorities, developing not just a new business but also giving to young generations a possibility to work inside one of the most interesting industries.

“Il Campione”, with Stefano Accorsi and directed by Leonardo D’Agostini


“Il Campione”, with Stefano Accorsi and directed by Leonardo D’Agostini


“Il Campione”, with Stefano Accorsi and directed by Leonardo D’Agostini

The Festival hosted also a special screening: the italian premiere of “Il Campione” (01 distribution) directed by Leonardo D’Agostini. Stefano Accorsi atteded at the festival together with the director to speak about the movie with the journalists. “Il Campione” is going to be projected accross the italian cinemas starting from the 18th of April. A Very young, extremely talented, undisciplined, rich and spoiled, Christian Ferro is a brilliant and unregulated  soccer star, the new idol who attracts the attention of the supporters of a whole town and of the Serie A Championship. Valerio Fioretti, a shy and lonely man dealing with economic problems and a shadow from the past looming over the present, is the teacher chosen by the President of the soccer club when – after yet another stunt of the young goal scorer – he decides it’s time for someone to give Christian a little discipline. They clash with each other at first, but soon develop a deep relationship that will help both of them grow and change.

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