The fifth edition of the Festival dedicated to emerging under 35 filmmakers is about to restart after the pandemic with a hybrid formula: ten competition films and ten competition documentaries will be streamed on MYmovies.it from May 20 and screened in theater from May 24 to 29.

From Friday 28 to Sunday 30 the final three days will take place in Sestri Levante with international guests, outstanding Masterclasses and an award ceremony. The President of the Jury will be Academy Award winner Kenneth Lonergan, who won the statuette in 2017 for the “Best Original Screenplay” of “Manchester by the Sea”.

SESTRI LEVANTE (GE) – It will be one of the first film festivals at European level to restart after the lockdown, and this causes an even greater excitement for the fifth edition of the Riviera International Film Festival, scheduled from May 20 to 30 in Sestri Levante with a hybrid formula, which consists in screening ten competition movies and ten competition documentaries both online and in theater. All movies will already be available online from May 20 on MYmovies.it, the most popular platform and magazine in Italy in this field; they will be screened in theater from May 24 to 29 at the Cinema Ariston in Via Eraldo Fico – Sestri Levante. During the final three-day live event, in the enchanting setting of the Baia del Silenzio, the red carpet will welcome several international guests, who will also hold a record number of Masterclasses, for the first time completely free of charge and also available online.

«A new start can only begin with culture, because it is through culture that we can give inspiration to people and keep the collective spirit high – comments Stefano Gallini Durante, RIFF President and founderThe Riviera International Film Festival is among the very first international events who are opening a season that will not be easy, but that will reward those who have the talent and determination to continue.
For this reason I would like to thank the organizational team of the Festival, which has always given its best without ever lowering its head, despite the great economic difficulties and the tragic period for many families. We are close, above all, to those who will not see this season, but who will still be present in our hearts. Long live Italy and long live the Italians who go forward without fear. The environment, independent cinema and young filmmakers will always be supported by the Riviera International Film Festival and I hope that institutions, both public and private, will continue to contribute to the success of this event that belongs to a prestigious territory and belongs to everyone, helping it to become an international reference point for cinema and culture in general».

«We are overjoyed and proud to be among the first live events ever to take place in Italy after the lockdown – claims Vito D’Onghia, RIFF executive director and co-founderOur mission has always been to spread culture and we intend to do so at all costs, despite the unprecedented difficulties that this exceptional situation has put in front of us. And for this reason, being here again is even more beautiful».

Young people and the environment are once again the main focuses of the most “rebel” Festival in Italy. This year there is also a particular common thread that connects the ten competition movies, all directed by under 35 filmmakers: this theme is escape, as Massimo Santimone, head of programming, explains:
«Escape understood as emigration, escape from reality, from social conventions or meant to find oneself. Escape from illness, from adolescence or to search love. In spite of this common element, the stories are totally different, even on a stylistic and visual level. We have movies with a more classic layout, more
experimental films, very indie films and others with a more realistic feel. The ten movies of the Riviera International Film Festival 2021 will be on MYmovies.it from May 20 to 30. Get ready to "run away" with

For a film festival it is crucial to have the possibility to screen movies in theatre, at the Cinema Ariston, something that was not possible in the last edition.«In such a very difficult time for cinemas all over the world, we are happy to start talking about reopening – says Alberto Passalacqua, owner of the Cinema Ariston – Hosting the screenings of the Riviera International Film Festival once again is a strong signal that will turn the spotlight back on the cinemas. As president of the National Association of Cinema Exhibitors (ANEC) for Liguria, I can only praise the perseverance and tenacity with which the Festival management, despite the pandemic, has carried on the event. Never before has it been as important as it is today to continue to believe in culture and to combine entertainment with the transmission of the most important values for future society, starting with environmental education».

The list of the competition movies is a journey that goes through Europe, crosses the Atlantic and reaches North and South America: “Anne at 13,000 ft” by Kazik Radwanski (Canada); “As Far as I Know” by Nandor
Lorincz and Balint Nagy (Hungarz); “Bula” by Boris Baum (Brazil/Portugal); “Eden” by Ulla Heikkilä (Finland); “German Lessons” by Pavel G. Vesnakov (Bulgaria); “Model Olimpia” by Frédéric Hambalek (Germany); “A Perfectly Normal Family” by Malou Reymann (Denmark); “Spagat” by Christian Johannes Koch (Switzerland); “A Stormy Night” by David Moragas (Spain); “The Whaler Boy“; by Philipp Yuryev (Russia).

For the first time there will also be ten competition documentaries, twice as many as in past editions, confirming the ever-increasing importance of environmental issues for this Festival. Feature films from all continents – America, Europe, Asia and Oceania: “A Riveder le Stelle” by Emanuele Caruso (Italy); “Citizen Nobel” by Stéphane Goël (Switzerland); “Current Sea” by Christopher Smith (USA/Cambodia); “Envoy: Shark Cull” by Andre Borell (Australia); “Kingdoms of Fire, Ice & Fairytales” by Susan Scott and Bonné de
Bod (South Africa/North America); “The Magnitude of All Things” by Jennifer Abbott (Canada); “Meat The Future” by Liz Marshall (Canada); “Newtopia” by Audun Amundsen (Norway); “Nuclear Forever” by Carsten Rau (Germany); “Wood” by Monica Lăzurean–Gorgan, Michaela Kirst, Ebba Sinzinger (Austria/Germany/Romania).

The members of the two juries have also been officially announces: major personalities that consolidate the international relevance of the Festival. The President of the Movie Jury will be Kenneth Lonergan, American director and screenwriter, Oscar winner for Best Original Screenplay in 2017 with “Manchester by the Sea”; the other jury members are Ada Bonvini, CEO of The Family and producer of the Mediaset TV series “Made in Italy”, film critic Paola Casella, actress Greta Ferro and Eric Kopeloff, long-time producer of Oliver Stone’s films, including “Snowden”.

The President of the Documentary Jury, as already announced, will be Andrea Crosta, founder of Earth League International, an innovative NGO specialized in undercover investigations against environmental crimes. The other members will be Maren Olson of the CAA agency, the most influential Hollywood agency, and the journalist and documentary filmmaker Davide Demichelis, host and author of “Radici”, a TV program aired by Rai 3 since 2011.

Among the guests of this fifth edition there will also be the director Carlo Carlei, whose successful series “La Fuggitiva” was just broadcasted on Rai 1, the popular Mediaset anchorman Enzo Iacchetti and Mokadelic, an Italian band specialized in creating soundtracks for the cinema.

Finally, the Masterclasses that, as mentioned above, will be live and – for the first time – totally free of charge (with a maximum of 80 participants in compliance with the anti-Covid-19 distancing rules) and will also be streamed on the official social channels of the Festival, Facebook @rivierainternationalfilmfestival, Instagram @rivierainternationalfilmfest. Six Masterclasses have been already confirmed, held by Ada Bonvini, Carlo Carlei, Andrea Crosta with Daniele Moretti from SkyTg24, Eric Kopeloff, Kenneth Lonergan and Mokadelic.

For all news and real time updates on every aspect of the Riviera International Film Festival, please visit the official website www.rivierafilm.org.

Riviera International Film Festival is supported by Regione Liguria, Comune di Sestri Levante and Mediaterraneo Servizi srl.
Thanks also to the Tourism Council of the Municipality of Sestri Levante.

Thanks also to Duferco Energia, Ambrosi, Hotel Vis a Vis and Molteni&C/Dada for their support.


Ilaria Cavo, Councillor for Culture of the Region Liguria:

«As a Region we have always supported this Festival since the first edition. Since it started in 2017, this is a growing festival that has been able to establish itself both nationally and internationally thanks to the format proposed by the organizers, to whom I address my compliments. It’s nice to be able to talk about this event at a time when the industry is getting back on track after the lockdown. I particularly like to emphasize the vocation of the Riviera Film Festival to promote young under-35 directors, who need visibility to be able to emerge.»

Valentina Ghio, Mayor of Sestri Levante:

«The strong will and the great commitment that all the organizers of the Riviera International Film Festival are putting into the realization of the Festival, even this year, are proportional to the great value of the event and is a good sign of restart. Our city starts again with an important event, which in a few years has not only become one of the leading events in Sestri Levante, but is increasingly establishing itself on the national and international scene. We are proud to host and support it since its very beginnings. Congratulations to all the organizational staff for the great quality of the work they do and for their stubborn will to carry on, even in such uncertain times, a project that gives prestige to our city».

Riviera Film Festival Press Office
National Press Office:
Marta Franceschetti, mobile (+39) 339-4776466, press@martafranceschetti.com
Claudia Apostolo, mobile (+39) 333-7402903
Local Press Office:
Tomaso Torre, mobile (+39) 392-0615471, press@rivierafilm.org
Marco Gaviglio,mobile (+39) 349-1793476