The Italian Almanac

Director Pupi Avati and Claudio Gubitosi

Italian News / Movies - July 16

The world's first and foremost children's cinema festival kicks off in Giffoni, a little Campania town, on Saturday evening. The main theme of the 2005 Giffoni Film Festival is emotion, something there will be no shortage of on the opening day, which is dedicated to the memory of Pope John Paul II.

The late pope understood the importance of an international event that focuses on films for, and sometimes by, children and teenagers, and brings together youngsters from all over the world. Indeed, John Paul II granted the festival staff an audience on September 13 2000. A video of that meeting will be one of the first things screened at the 35th edition of the show.

First held in 1971, the Giffoni Film Festival is now considered the most important event of its kind in the world. French director François Truffaut once wrote that "of all film festivals, Giffoni is the world's most necessary." As well as focusing on children's cinematic tastes, it also gives young people the chance to participate in running the festival and judging the movies, documentaries and shorts competing for the awards.

Artistic Director Claudio Gubitosi organized the first Giffoni Film Festival when he was only 18. During its long history the festival has attracted a number of film greats to the sparsely populated town hidden in the hills of Salerno province.

Official Website of Giffoni Film Festival