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The juries are composed by Yalitza Aparicio, J. Miles Dale, Eddy Moretti, Josephine De La Baume, Nils Hartmann, Silvia Locatelli, Vincenzo Venuto, Cristina Donadio and Elisa Fuksas. RIFF2019’s godmother will be Stella Egitto, while Portofino’s wind will lift the Festival’s curtain.

World-class masterclasses, competition films and documentaries and a jury composed by  experts for a young festival, organized by young people for young people. From May, 7th to May, 12th 2019 the Riviera International Film Festival, film festival for under 35 directors, is in Sestri Levante again. The Film Jury, presided by J. Miles Dale (Academy Award 2018 for “The Shape of Water”), is composed by Nils Hartmann (Director of Sky Italia’s Original Productions), Silvia Locatelli (Elle journalist), Cristina Donadio (Italian actress, who played the role of Scianel in the series “Gomorrah”) and Josephine De La Baume (French actress, known for her roles in “Rush”, “Johnny English Reborn” and “The Hitman’s bodyguard”). Eddy Moretti (co-founder of Vice Media and Emmy Award in 2014) is the President of the Documentary Jury, composed by Yalitza Aparicio (main actress in Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma”), Elisa Fuksas (director of “Albe – A life beyond earth”) and Vincenzo Venuto (biologist, science communicator and TV presenter). As in the previous edition, the festival offers green panels and high-profile masterclasses with Claire Forlani and Dougray Scott, J. Miles Dale and Sky Italia’s Original Productions Director Nils Hartmann, together with Nicola Lusuardi and Stefano Bises. RIFF2019’s special guests are Maurizio De Giovanni, Paolo Stella, Nicolò Govoni, Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani. The actress Stella Egitto will be the godmother of the Festival, prepared by Nashi Salon Porta Genova. The Riviera International Film Festival is made in collaboration with the city of Sestri Levante, Mediaterraneo Servizi, the Ligurian region and the city of Portofino.

«Only a few festivals in Italy – says Stefano Gallini-Durante, Riviera International Film Festival’s president and founder – have the privilege to include world-class experts in their jury, such as Eddy Moretti, Nils Hartmann and J. Miles Dale, as well as the representatives of the new generation, which is moving forward: Elisa Fuksas and Yalitza Aparicio». The latter, close to the Academy Award with her big screen debut film “Roma” by Cuarón, will be part of the documentary jury, presided by Eddy Moretti, together with Elisa Fuksas and Vincenzo Venuto. «In a country like Italy – adds Vito D’Onghia, festival’s executive director and co-founder – and a region like Tigullio, still reeling ftom the rainstorm of last November, our documentaries about environmental issues is of central importance. Moreover, the wind from Portofino will lift the curtain of RIFF2019: thanks to electric generators installed above the town, we collected the wind energy needed to screen the opening movie of the festival».

«I’m honoured – says Stella Egitto, RIFF2019’s godmother – to have been invited to be the godmother of this festival, because I can feel, both in the spirit and the selection criteria, a special affinity with the values which defined my artistic path, and still define it day by day. For this reason, a festival exclusively dedicated to under 35 artists is a unique occasion to give young people a chance and enhance a free creativity, which cinema, audience and actors need. I’m ready to get surprised». This edition not only presents more movies to the Italian audience, but also includes several events, from Maurizio de Giovanni’s journey between cinema and literature to the meeting with the influencer Paolo Stella, the conference with Nicolò Govoni, Valeria De Vellis and Martina Colombari and a whole day about ecological themes. «Friday 10th “#RaceToSurvive” goes on stage. – adds Vito D’Onghia – For the whole day, several meeting and panels will address the main themes about the conservation of our Planet, from the plastic infesting our oceans to the forest conservation. Greta Thunberg is opening a rift, which should bring a new way of thinking: today’s institutions and tomorrow’s generations – he concludes – must be more aware of the problem and fight to improve the quality of our future».


Valentina Ghio, Mayor of Sestri Levante: «Tourism, quality events and culture are three work fields which merge together and define the direction toward Sestri Levante is going: this is the reason why three years ago we welcomed the brilliant intuition of Stefano Gallini-Durante and Vito D’Onghia to bring to Sestri Levante a festival dedicated to the cinema and especially to the young directors, who are becoming famous at an international level. This enthusiasm was rewarded with an event, which has become a pleasant confirmation: a high-quality festival, which is able to renovate itself every year and bring famous personalities to our city. It is a great promotional vehicle and an honour for me and for the whole city. As every year, my thanks go to Stefano Gallini-Durante, Vito D’Onghia and the whole organization staff, for their great work that they are carrying on and for their great love for our city ».

Ilaria Cavo, councillor for culture in Liguria: «The Ligurian Region supported the Riviera International Film Festival since its first edition, convinced of the fact that it represents one of the most innovative proposal for culture in Liguria. With the same conviction we are supporting it this year, congratulating for the engagement and the quality that it confirmed also in this third edition, showing that the project keeps growing bigger. There are several winning aspects: first of all, the name. Naming it “Riviera” means giving it a vast geographical connotation, covering the whole region of Tigullio, from Sestri Levante to Portofino. Thanks to its wind energy Portofino could open the festival: this is a sign of attention to the territory and the environment and it is also very important to face the environmental issues. It is a current topic, especially among young people. The other aspect which we are strongly supporting is the attention towards young talents, in this case under 35 directors, to be exact. This is a way to pointing at three different goals at the same time: encourage a quality cinema, promote the artistic expression of young professionals and give visibility to our territory. This year, the watchful and professional eye of the directors and the experts coming from abroad is more important than ever to appreciate the beauty of our territory and promote it».

Matteo Viacava, Mayor of Portofino. «For the second consecutive year, Portofino will take part to an important, world-class event. Cinema has always been a form of Art which gathers fans all over the world. Portofino is the most beautiful and most famous seaside village inthe world; it is clear that the Riviera International Film Festival can connect to the “pearl of Tigullio”».

Marcello Massucco, Administrator of Mediaterraneo Servizi: «After two very successful editions, also this year the Convento dell’Annunziata is hosting a world-class event. The goals reached and the positive feedbacks from the media are visible to everyone. The Festival aimed at bringing to the Ligurian Riviera the international cinema, with some original aspects that are not included in other festivals in this field, and it’s growing year after year giving visibility to under 35 young filmmakers and to our territory ».


Two world-class juries will judge RIFF2019’s best films and  best documentaries. The president of the film jury will be J. Miles Dale (Canadian producer and director, Academy Award in 2018 with Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”), who will judge all movies together with Nils Hartmann (Director of Sky Italia’s original productions), Cristina Donadio (Italian actress, who also played the role of Scianel in the series “Gomorrah”), Silvia Locatelli (Elle journalist) and Josephine de La Baume (known for “One Day”, “Rush”, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”). The documentary jury will be presided by Eddy Moretti (co-founder of Vice Media and Emmy Award in 2014), Yalitza Aparicio (main character in Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma”), Vincenzo Venuto (biologist, science communicator and TV presenter) and Elisa Fuskas (writer and director of “Nina” and “Albe – A life beyond earth”).


Ten competition films, made by directors from all over the world: “Curtiz” by Tamas Yvan Topolanszky and Claudia Sumeghy (Hungary, 2018); “Domestique” by Adam Sedlák (Czech Republic, 2018); “Firecrackers” by Jasmine Mozzaffari (Canada, 2018); “Gwen” by William Mc Gregor (England, 2018); “Hopelessly Devout” by Marta Díaz De Lope Díaz (Spain, 2018); “Paper Flags” by Nathan Ambrosioni (France, 2018); “Sons of Denmark” by Ulaa Salim (Denmark, 2019); “Summer Survivors” by Marija Kavtaradze (Lithuania, 2018); “The Heart” by Fanni Metelius (Sweden, 2018) and “Why don’t you just die!” by Kirill Sokolov (Russia, 2018).

Six competition documentaries: “Chasing the thunder” by Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin (USA, 2018); “Ground War” by Andrew Nisker (Canada, 2018); “Sharkwater Extinction” (Canada, 2018); “Stroop” by Susan Scott (South Africa, 2018); “The Human Element” by Matthew Testa (USA, 2018) and “Youth Unstoppable” by Slater Jewell-Kemker (USA-Canada, 2018).


Six out of competition films will be screened at RIFF2019: “Active Measures” by Jack Bryan (USA, 2018); “I am the Revolution” by Benedetta Argentieri (Italy, 2018); “Francis Ford Coppola Live Cinema” by Cecilia Albertini (USA, 2018); “Inventing Tomorrow” by Laure Nix (India, 2018); “Paani. Of Women and Water” by Costanza Burstinz (Italy, 2018). “Roma” by Alfonso Cuarón will also be screened as out of competition film, followed by a meeting with the main character and member of the documentary jury Yalitza Aparicio.


Sunday 12th at 6 p.m. the winners of the following categories will be proclaimed in the “Ex Convento dell’Annunziata”: Best Film Award, Best Documentary Award, Best Director Award, Best Actress Award, Best Actor Award and Student Award. The prices were designed and realized by Anna Tomaini.



Sky Original Series: The New Generation

Saturday, May 11th – 11 a.m. – Ex Convento dell’Annunziata

More than 10 years ago Sky triggered a qualitative growth and an innovation of the language of TV series. Its original productions – which started with “Romanzo criminale” – showed that it was possible to make a new kind of TV series in Italy. The Masterclass “Sky Original Series: The New Generation” will discuss all creative, editorial and methodological aspects during the selection and development process of original Sky productions, constantly looking for quality and original details to be competitive on the international stage.

Nils Hartmann (director for original Sky Italy productions) will describe the editorial and productive approach and the strategy which lead Sky Italy’s decisions and determine the identity of Sky’s “originals”; Nicola Lusuardi will concentrate on the story editing process, namely the aesthetical and narrative definition of the project; Stefano Bises will describe the creative writing process which made the TV series “Gomorrah” become one of the first Italian series to have a great international success.

Nils Hartmann, director for original Sky Italy productions, has been working for television productions for 28 years. In 2003 he started to work at Sky Italy as Creative Director. He later became director for original productions and responsible for the entire scripted and unscripted division. He produced for Sky international several successful TV series, such as “Romanzo Criminale” (Criminal Novel), “Gomorrah”, “The Young Pope” (together with the Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino) and recently “Il Miracolo” (The Miracle), directed and conceived by Niccolò Ammaniti. Among the new original Sky series projects, currently in production, are “ZeroZeroZero”, directed by the showrunner and director Stefano Sollima, “Diavoli”, by the English director Nick Hurran, starring Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Borghi, as well as the new seasons of Sky’s greatest successes: “1994”, “Gomorrah 4” and “The New Pope”, starring Jude Law and John Malkovich. Nils Hartmann is also the person in charge for the production of some of the most famous entertainment TV shows, such as “X Factor”, “Masterchef Italy” and “Italia’s Got Talent”.

Stefano Bises is one of the most important screenwriters in Italy. After a 15-year experience as broadcast journalist, he started to dedicate himself full-time in screenwriting for network TV, auteur TV series and cinema. Some of his works are the Italian TV series: “La squadra”, “Distretto di polizia”, “RIS”, “Squadra antimafia”, “Questo nostro amore”, “È arrivata la felicità”, “La mafia uccide solo d’estate” and the films: “Contromano”, “La vita facile” and “L’ultimo padrino”. He worked with Sky Italy on the story and the screenplay for the TV series “Gomorrah”, which reached an international success and whose narrative language started a revolution in the Italian TV series scene. He also worked together with Niccolò Ammaniti on the screenplay for his series “Il Miracolo”. His future projects are “The New Pope”, directed by the Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino and “ZeroZeroZero” directed by the showrunner and director Stefano Sollima.

Nicola Lusuardi is a screenwriter, story editor and creative producer. He worked on several series and mini-series for the most important Italian broadcasters. He gives lessons and masterclasses about dramaturgy in TV series in various European countries and coordinates many international training and development programs. Since 2011 he collaborates with Sky Italy as story editor and consultant for scouting and for the creation of original series.


Film production and the role of the produces – “Film producer: is there a precise definition for this job? It is one of the most difficult roles to describe in the cinema world: what does it really mean to produce a film?”

Saturday, May 11th – 3 p.m. – Ex Convento dell’Annunziata

The producer is one of the most difficult roles to define in the movie industry. The Riviera Film Festival 2019 Masterclass by J.Miles Dale, producer and 2018 Academy Award winner for “The Shape of Water”, will clarify producer’s role, functions and aspects. What does it exactly mean: “to produce a film”?  Does the producer have a role or a clearly defined position which encompass all aspects of the project, from the creation of the screenplay to the film screening?

The producer supervises each stage of the project. At RIFF 2019 J. Miles Dale will talk about his experience in Hollywood, the rules of this field, his beginnings and his ideas about this profession, which is a key factor in the film realization but still frequently undervalued.

Miles Dale is a Canadian film producer and director. Son of the musician Jimmy Dale, he made his debut on television at 24 producing “Comedy Factor”. Today he is mainly known for having produced “The Shape of Water” (directed by Guillermo del Toro, awarded with the Golden Lion for best film at Venice Film Festival in 2017 and four Academy Awards in 2018), “The Vow” (directed by Michael Sucsy), “Mama” (directed by Andy Muschietti) and the TV series “The Strain” (directed by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan).  

Fondazione Edoardo Garrone cooperates in the realization of J. Miles Dale’s masterclass, thus confirming its engagement in education, in the creation of new professional opportunities for young people and in the enhancement of “Made in Italy”. Cinema has always represented a double educational opportunity: in front of the screen, thanks to the power of its language and its ability to convey stories, information and inspirational messages for individuals or whole generations in an immediate and clean way; behind the screen, thanks to a breeding ground of professions, knowledge and arts needed to translate an idea into a film. Fondazione Edoardo Garrone starts its collaboration with Riviera International Film Festival aiming at verifying the synergy with other ongoing projects, dedicated to young people and to the enhancement of Italian excellences.


The world of acting: conversation with Claire Forlani and Dougray Scott

Sunday, May 12th – 11 a.m. – Ex-Convento dell’Annunziata

These two actors have been working in the film industry since 27 years. Together, they took part to more than 80 films and several TV series. At RIFF2019, they will hold a masterclass about their careers, their experiences, the acting techniques in films and TV series and will answer the questions from the audience.

Claire Forlani is a British actress. She debuted in 1994 starring in “Police Academy: Mission to Moscow”. After, she played together with Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in “The Rock”. In 1998 she reached a worldwide success starring “Meet Joe Black” with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. She also appeared in several tv series, including “Csi – New York”, “Ncis” and “Hawaii Five-0”. Dougray Scott is a Scottish actor. After starring in the TV series “Highlander”, he had a role for “Deep Impact” on 1997. The following year he played the role of prince Henry in “Ever after”, together with Drew Barrymore. He also starred in “Mission: Impossible 2”, “Enigma”, “Ripley’s Game” and “Hitman”


The energy of Portofino’s wind will lift the curtain of Riviera International Film Festival’s third edition. The screening of the opening movie will be powered by the wind energy collected by a generator on Portofino hills, in a period when climate and its changes are the main subjects of the international debate. This initiative was made in collaboration with Azienda Agricola La Portofinese and was sponsored by the city of Portofino. Once the needed energy is collected, the batteries will be transferred to the Cinema Ariston in Sestri Levante with an electric car. The whole creative project and the process of energy collection will be shown in a short documentary, which will be screened before RIFF2019’s opening film.

Friday, 10th May  the Festival will host #RaceToSurvive, an entire day focused on environmental topics. The opening event will be the panel Biosphere Survival (at 11 a.m., Ex Convento dell’Annunziata), with Giorgio Vacchiano, Antonio Brunori, Jo Anderson, Alessandra Soresina, Francesco Casolo and Michele Freppaz. Giorgio Vacchiano, recently included by Nature in the list of the 11 emerging international researchers, will talk about “Forests: the great connectors”. Antonio Brunori will focus on a sustainable management of forests, while Jo Anderson and Alessandra Soresina will show their project: “Carbon Tanzania”. Francesco Casolo and Michele Freppaz will explain the communication of climate change as a novel. The panel will be presented by journalist Stefania Vitulli.

At 3 p.m., the focus shifts to the oceans, with Daniele Moretti (Sky TG24) as a presenter of the panel Blue Life with Paolo Corradi, Andrea Morello, Chiara Lombardi, Maurizio De Marte and Roberta Ivaldi. Paolo Corradi will introduce the theme of marine litter, focusing on the studies made to monitor the amount of plastic in the ocean using a satellite. Marine pollution will also be the main theme for the President of Sea Shepherd Italia Onlus, Andrea Morello, who will also talk about illegal fishing, which is neither declared nor regulated. Chiara Lombardi from Centro Enea explains how climate changes influence marine species, while the geologist and biologist Roberta Ivaldi will focus on the multiannual research program “High North”, aimed at increasing the knowledge about the oceans. The frigate commander Maurizio De Marte will talk about the engagement of the Italian Navy in the “High North 18” mission in the arctic region.

#RaceToSurvive will end with the event “Sustainable mobility between innovation and design: the Repower model” (at 5 p.m., ex Convento dell’Annunziata), with a test drive and a buffet organised by Ristorante Portobello on the RepowerE, the first full electric boat designed by Repower.


Not only screenings and masterclasses: as in its past editions, Riviera International Film Festival also proposes several events and conferences connected to the world of cinema and to current topics. The first event will be Wednesday, May 8th (at 10.30 a.m.): “Movies at school, schools at the movies”, with Francesco Alò (film critic for Badtaste.it), Fabio Resinaro (known for signing with Fabio Guaglione in 2016 “Mine”, with Armie Hammer. Its last film is “Dolceroma”, with Luca Barbareschi and Lorenzo Richelmy), Cristina Donadio (from the TV series “Gomorrah”, she has a long career in cinema, theatre and television) andFabio D’Innocenzo (Italian screenwriter and director. He wrote and directed, together with his twin Damiano, the movie “La terra dell’abbastanza”. They won the “Nastri D’Argento” award in 2018). At 8 p.m. (Room 1, Cinema Ariston) Marta Perego will present her book: presenta il libro “Great women in cinema history”.

Maurizio De Giovanni, writer, playwright and screenwriter, will explore the relation between literature and cinema in his conference Sara’s words: A noir conversation between books and cinema” (which is also the title of his book, published by Rizzoli), Wednesday, May 8th, at 9 p.m., Ex Convento dell’AnnunziataThursday, May 9th (at 5.15 p.m.) Martina Colombari will present the projection of “Haiti” by Marco Salom, an emotional documentary about a mission in Haiti, one of the charitable activities of Fondazione Francesca Rava – NPH Italia, showing the great contrasts of a country where hope,natural beauties and popular traditions survive despite all the difficulties. “If he was your son – Meeting a migrant child” (Thursday, May 9th, at 6 p.m., Room 1 Cinema Ariston) is the title of an interview with the journalist, writer and human rights activist Nicolò Govoni, with Martina Colombari and Valeria De Vellis, lawyer from “Studio Legale Associato Carnelutti”. The conference will focus on the asylum system, which: «is creating ticking time bombs in all Europe – says Govoni – which only schools can defuse». The same day, after the screening of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma”, the main actress Yalitza Aparicio will meet the audience. Friday, May 10th (at 9 p.m., Ex Convento dell’Annunziata) the influencer, writer and actor Paolo Stella will hold the conference “Life, Web, Book, Movie”.


Wednesday, May 8th (at 6.30 p.m.) the exhibition “I Replastic” by Maby Navone will be open at Ex Convento dell’Annunziata in Sestri Levante. “I Replastic” includes some works made between 1982 and 1995 by Maby Navone, who used plastic waste “against” plastic waste, trying to spread a message about environmental sustainability: recycle beached plastic to improve the quality of the coast. The exhibition will be open from May, 7th to May, 12th, as another exhibition: “Caeli – Climate Change” by Carola Cometto and Federico Nero (Sala Riccio, Sestri Levante City Hall). They focused on the global environmental emergency through a site specific project, aimed at raise awareness among the audience. Jacopo Pagin and Marta Ceccon’s works will explore the environmental themes and the consequences of pollution on society and on the planet Earth. Their exhibition will open on Wednesday, May 7th (12.30 p.m., Sestri Levante City Hall).

“Il Sentiero di Benjamin” proposes screenings and workshops for children about cinema in the Sala Oleandro (Ex Convento dell’Annunziata): Tuesday, May 7th (from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.) about Robin Hood, Wednesday, May 8th (from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.) about Ratatouille, Thursday, May 9th (from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.) about children’s rights, Friday, May 10th(from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.) about the BFG, Saturday, May 11th to Monsters & Co. (from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.), Frozen (from 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m). The first entrance ticket to a workshop costs 5€, the following ones 3€.

Moreover, for the whole duration of the festival, the “Ente Decorazione Floreale per Amatori Genova” sets up a vegetal wall with low environmental impact plats. Saturday, May 11th (at 4 p.m., in piazza Bo) and Sunday, May 12th (at 11.30 a.m., in piazza Matteotti) there will be the concert “Cinematic” 5tet, by Marta Alpini.


As in its last edition, Riviera International Film Festival selected five students from the whole country for the Student Jury. The students will receive a free accommodation, will have free access to all RIFF’s screenings and will select a the winning documentary for the Student Award. Moreover, Riviera International Film Festival developed several agreements with Italian Universities, thus offering special prices to students. The University of Genoa also offers one ECTS to all students taking part to the masterclasses.


Another big innovation of the third edition of the festival, which will involve every year great personalities in the fields of illustration, photography, art and graphic design: the art festival poster. The artist chosen to contribute to the realization of the festival poster for RIFF2019 is Stefano Biglia, renowned illustrator of Tex, a long-running Italian comics which has just turned 70. «The Riviera International Film Festival – comments Stefano Biglia – is an event which suddenly revealed two peculiarities: an international  vocation and a focus on young people. The poster I am going to draw will be based on these aspects and on the typical Ligurian landscape: bright, vibrant and linked to nature».


Riviera International Film Festival is supported by the city of Sestri Levante, Mediaterraneo Servizi and Regione Liguria. It is also supported by Ascom and the Chamber of Commerce of Genoa. RIFF2019’s partners are Trenitalia, Portofino Coast, Fondazione Garrone and Giglio Group, while the sponsors are Renergetica, Repower, Ambrosi, Farina Vini, Hotel Vis à Vis and Banca Profilo. Ais, Nashi, Eurofiere, Sagep, Ravella Video and Spazio Giustiniani are the Technical Sponsors, while the Local Sponsors are Cantaluppi, Acqua di Sestri, Leoni Group, Articiocca, Ricotti, Al vecchio frantoio, Hotel Due Mari, Monilia Taxi, Fhs Parrucchieri. Chili is Digital Partner, while the Media Partners for Riviera International Film Festival are Hotcorn and Focus.