This year Il Cinema Ritrovato turned 30. To celebrate the anniversary with us, we welcomed an enormous international crowd of 100,000!
“Once more this year we have demonstrated that it is possible to combine high culture with big numbers” said Gian Luca Farinelli, the director of the Cineteca di Bologna. “Without doubt there was the success of the evenings in Piazza Maggiore – above all, once again, the triumph of Chaplin, which brought a sea of people to watch Modern Times and The Kid – but the most surprising thing was that during the day long queues formed outside theatres to watch a new restoration of a silent film or the splendour of an original Technicolor print”.
“Il Cinema Ritrovato keeps going from strength to strength. Every year it attracts a larger international public, which travels here independently to pass the week in Bologna. Without forgetting the hold that film culture by now has over the public our city, who are always eager to experience with us and our international guests the discoveries and surprises that only this festival holds in store”.
3,500 Festival pass holders from 72 countries, 500 archivists from around the world belonging to FIAF (Fédération internationale des archives du film), film industry professionals, scholars, cinephiles and enthusiasts, as well as some of the protagonists from the world of cinema such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Marco Bellocchio, Bertrand Tavernier, the Dardenne brothers, Giuseppe Tornatore, Claudia Cardinale, Vittorio Storaro, Alice Rohrwacher, Volker Schlöndorff, Thierry Frémaux, Laurent Cantet, Jean-Claude Carrière, Nicolas and Jérôme Seydoux, Anna von Bagh and Emi De Sica.
The cinematographic memory of the greatest international, and in particular French scholars, from Michel Ciment to Jean Douchet; and the Studios that increasingly pay more and more attention to cinema heritage and its preservation: here in Bologna representatives from Warner Bros., Sony Columbia, Amazon Studios, Paramount and Universal, in addition to European studios Pathé, Gaumont and Studiocanal, all met. As well as some Academy members, who brought with them to the festival some very rare material from their library.
Once upon a time there was the square, Piazza Maggiore, with its incomparable charm. Today, Il Cinema Ritrovato has five theatres (Mastroianni and Scorsese in Cinema Lumière and Sala Auditorium, Piazzetta Pasolini, the perfect setting for carbon arc projections, Cinema Jolly and Cinema Arlecchino), but also the Renzo Renzi Library, Sala Cervi, Teatro Comunale and Sala Borsa.
And then there’s Sottopasso Re Enzo, reborn in the heart of Bologna, with an unprecedented exhibition, the national premiere of Lumière! The Invention of Cinema, inaugurated at the same time as Il Cinema Ritrovato.
Indeed some of the most popular sections of this edition were those that looked back at the origins of cinema and its immediate success, and not just the films of the Lumière brothers, but our entire programme dedicated to 1896, the year zero of cinema: also for the fact that these screenings represented a unique opportunity (either see them now or you won’t see them again). Other big attractions were important restorations of silent films (Garbo in The Flesh and the Devil, Fritz Lang’s Destiny), as well as screenings of cult classics, such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, in Vittorio Storaro’s Technicolor print (who also presented the film).
Il Cinema Ritrovato has been called A Time Machine and A Paradise for Cinephiles. Well, it’s enough to just look at the faces of the film lovers as they dash from one screening to the next – and the universe of emotions that those faces reveal – to understand that these definitions are spot on.
Thank you very much for your passionate support and enthusiasm and for being part of this amazing journey!
Photographs by Lorenzo Burlando and Margherita Caprilli