Hajni Kis’ movie also receives the Audience Award and the Best Actor Award for Gusztáv Dietz Best Director award to Russian Lena Lanskih, for the documentary section Antonio Spanò’s “Amuka” is the winner. Rula Jebreal, Andy Lipkis, Casey Affleck and Joan Bergin were also awarded during the ceremony at Ex Convento dell’Annunziata

SESTRI LEVANTE (GE) – The Hungarian movie “Wild Roots” by director Hajni Kis triumphed at Riviera International Film Festival 2022 winning both the main prize for best feature film – conferred by the jury – and the Audience Award, as well as the award for best actor for former wrestler Gusztáv Dietz, in his first experience in front of the camera. The success of “Wild Roots” follows that of another Hungarian film, Nandor Lorincz and Balint Nagy’s “As Far as I Know”, which won last year.

Back to the awards of this sixth edition of RIFF, double prize for the Russian movie “Unwanted”, which gets a special mention and the award to the best director, Lena Lanskih, who attended the ceremony in direct connection from Moscow, while best actresses ex-aequo are Mia Giraud and Antonija Belazelkoska, very young protagonists of the Macedonian “Sisterhood”, whose title in the original language, curiously enough, is precisely “Sestri.” Finally, the French movie “The Braves” by Anaïs Volpé receives the Students Award given by the Academy09 students who, with their enthusiasm, literally flooded the city contributing to the success of RIFF 2022.

In addition to the film section that RIFF has always reserved for filmmakers under 35, the best documentary is “Amuka”, a Belgian production but made by Italian filmmaker Antonio Spanò, while the Sky Nature Award goes to the British “Ride the Wave” directed by Martyn Robertson, and the special mention is for “Dead Sea Guardians” by Israelis Ido Glass and Yoav Kleinman.

During the awards ceremony, hosted in the ex Convento dell’Annunziata on the shore of the Bay of Silence, special awards were also given to Festival guests: journalist and activist Rula Jebreal was awarded the Human Star Award, environmentalist Andy Lipkis received the Planet Star Award, while Oscar-winning actor Casey Affleck was awarded the Icon Award and Alessandro Gassman and costume designer Joan Bergin received the Career Award.

More than 5,000 tickets were sold overall to attend three masterclasses, thirteen talks, ten films and as many documentaries in competition, nine films out of competition, and to have a close look on the sixteen major international guests who came to Sestri Levante over these six days, for an edition that marks the definitive leap in quality and the consolidation of the Riviera International Film Festival in the panorama of Italian film festivals.

Stefano Gallini Durante, RIFF President: « I am very satisfied with this sixth edition that literally broke all the records of previous years. We had an incredible audience response with a lot of young people present thanks, above all, to the collaboration with Accademia 09. During the days of the Festival, Sestri Levante recorded full hotels, apartments and restaurants, and most of the Riff events were sold-out for weeks already. This is a significant increase that, I hope, will make the region and the institutions believe even more strongly in Riff, an exceptional event that wants to last and that wants to involve the Riviera more and more. We have had films of great quality and two juries of absolute prestige, with names like Rula Jebreal, Casey Affleck, Chiara Francini and Andy Lipkis, and guests such as Luca Zingaretti, Gabriele Muccino, Alessandro Gasmann and Paolo Ruffini. This is proof that Italian cinema has also noticed Riff.

Vito D’Onghia, RIFF executive director: « The record number of admissions confirms the success of the Festival and also relaunches it as a tourism booster for future editions. In recent years we have brought international guests, quality films and an increasingly rich calendar of events to Sestri Levante. What urges us to make Riff grow even more while keeping unchanged the theme that has always characterized it: ensuring a prestigious showcase for young filmmakers on the launching pad».


MOVIE SECTION Best movie: “Wild Roots” by Hajni Kis (Hungary/Slovakia). Best actresses: Mia Giraud and Antonija Belazelkoska (“Sisterhood”). Best actor: Gusztáv Dietz (“Wild Roots”) Best director: Lena Lanskih (“Unwanted”).

Special mention: “Unwanted” by Lena Lanskih (Russia). Audience Award: “Wild Roots” by Hajni Kis (Hungary/Slovakia). Students Award: “The Braves” by Anaïs Volpé (France).

DOCUMENTARY SECTION Best documentary: “Amuka” by Antonio Spanò (Belgium) Sky Nature Award: “Ride the Wave” by Martyn Robertson (United Kingdom). Special mention: “Dead Sea Guardians” by Ido Glass, Yoav Kleinman (Israel)

SPECIAL AWARDS Human Star Award: Rula Jebral. Planet Star Award: Andy Lipkis. Icon Award: Casey Affleck. Career Award: Joan Bergin and Alessandro Gassman.