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Have you recovered from last night’s roaring Opening Party? Today the 22nd edition of Concorto Film Festival officially begins and Parco Raggio is waiting for you.

Come enjoy a nice dinner under the stars starting at 8 p.m, followed by the screenings of the first films in competition, and afterward, the first part of the focuses Guilty Pleasures and Deep Night in the Greenhouse!

Sardine – Johanna Caraire
As seen by Vanessa Mangiavacca

Cinema has dealt in many ways with women’s friendship, sisterhood, feelings, and female power, as well as with the ancestral ties women forged with nature, beliefs, and ancient traditions related to it. These themes show up largely in the short film Sardine. The title refers to the sardine festival that takes place every year on a volcanic island in Spain, where three friends, as close as they differ from each other, decide to go on holiday at a specific time in their lives. They are about 35 years old and find themselves torn between duty and pleasure, between unpleasant family backgrounds, between wanting to be a mother and not wanting to be one, and between complex relationships. Running in the background and then becoming the central pivot of this short film, is the wonderful mystical component that accompanies the narrative from the very beginning. What is new about French director Johanna Caraire’s short film? The fact that she was able to feature the many nuances of the feminine by pushing the boundaries of fiction and playing with cinematic languages without taking herself too seriously, intertwining psychedelia, psyche, and intimacy in that “magical place” where true friendship is celebrated, beyond the genre to which it belongs.

Shera – Arun Fulara
As seen by Vanessa Mangiavacca

After My Mothers Girlfriend (2021), Arun Fulara comes back to Concorto for the Italian premiere of Shera. In his latest short film, Fulara shifts to another subject and tells the story of two young boys in a remote Himalayan village who set out to find Shera, a well-known yet elusive leopard. Monu, one of the boys, is about to leave the village with his family and does not want to leave without first seeing the infamous feline, so his friend Raju decides to go with him.  And this takes for sure a good deal of courage. Spotting Shera becomes a way to go on the last adventure together before adulthood divides Monu and Raju perhaps forever. Serving as a background is an immense and powerful nature, enclosed in long and wonderful shots, framed by a village whose pace opposes the one of big cities, marked by the rhythm of livestock, a place where everyone has their own interpretation of the behavior of animals and nature itself. Shera takes us back to that magical and entertaining childhood that we would all like to recall.

Snow in September – Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
As seen by Anna Vullo

Among Soviet buildings in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar, Davka and his classmate Anuka come back from school, talking about manga and chuckling, a little embarrassed, when sex ends up in the conversation. The lightheartedness and spontaneity of Davka about this topic are soon destined to end. But when a “short 40-year-old woman,” who confirms to live on the seventh floor and know his mother well, knocks on his door, everything changes. The woman bullies her way into Davka’s intimacy, questioning him about his hidden feelings and desires. This encounter not only shakes him up, but also affects his relationship with Anuka, who is still immersed in an unawareness and innocence that no longer belongs to the protagonist. Director Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, through this encounter, recounts the period of sexual discovery that every teenager goes through sooner or later. Here the transition is bursting, like a sudden snow in September.

Boléro – Nans Laborde-Jourdàa
As seen by Anna Vullo

Fran is a Boléro dancer. Not much is revealed about him, but from the beginning it is clear that he lives for music. Fran has reluctantly returned to his hometown, just to please his mother. One day, he wandered around a local shopping mall, and there, willing or not, you have to see some familiar faces. In the toilets of this mall Fran will meet a ghost from the past, a professor of his who had taken advantage of him when he was younger. This meeting does not, as one would expect, result in a verbal confrontation. Fran simply decides to dance, following the notes of Maurice Ravel’s Bolero. The terse, haunting rhythm punctuated by the drums hypnotizes the entire country, involving everyone in a journey through memories, feelings and desires that will slowly come to a liberatory climax. Written and directed by Nans Laborde-Jourdàa, Boléro recounts and reconfirms, in a very original way, the great communicative power of music and dance.

27 – Flora Anna Buda
As seen by Francesca Marchesini

Alice lives with her family; she has her own little room and a little brother who plays pranks on her, even on her birthday. Alice has turned twenty-seven and she cannot be completely independent; in a world where a young graduate does not earn enough to pay her own rent, Alice lives in her own little room, trapped within four walls that turn sexuality into a symbol of punishment rather than liberation. She attempts to escape through fantasy alcohol and drugs, but even in this parallel universe of just having fun, she cannot be fully free. 27 is a short film about a paralyzed generation paralyzed in a middle age, but not by its own will; animation, the archetype of children’s cinema, serves as a link between past and present and indicates the way to a growth that (perhaps) cannot really happen.

Ridder Lykke – Lasse Lyskjaer Noer
Visto da Virginia Marcolini

Presentato nella sezione internazionale del festival di Clérmont-Ferrand, Ridder Lykke (Knight of Fortune) esplora il tormentato processo di elaborazione e accettazione del lutto. Karl ha appena perso la moglie e si reca all’ospedale per un ultimo saluto, ma quando si ritrova di
fronte alla bara non riesce ad avvicinarcisi. È molto più facile cercare di riparare una lampada rotta che affrontare la mancanza di una persona amata. Poi lo strano incontro con Torben, un uomo altrettanto consumato dal lutto, con e tramite il quale riuscirà a condividere il dolore della perdita e ad abbandonarsi ad esso. È infatti grazie a questo incontro, tenero e altrettanto carico di un umorismo amaro, che i due uomini si ri-trovano e tramite questa esperienza collettiva si liberano.

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