Festival dei Popoli

Tiffany J. Nesbit
November 15, 2007

Today marks Day One of the 48th Festival dei Popoli, a weeklong international documentary film festival held in different venues around Florence, running from November 16th through November 22nd.


Founded in 1959, the not for profit Festival dei Popoli was began by a group of anthropologists, sociologists, ethnologists, media experts, and humanities scholars to support and discuss social documentary cinema. Other goals include the restoration and conservation of archives (they currently contain over 9,500 titles) and the creation of workshops and courses for inspiring directors and documentary film-makers.


The Festival dei Popoli offers a broad range of topics that recount many different realities. It encourages reflection of contemporary issues and, unlike other film festivals, provokes interaction between the audience and the film directors. Aside from numerous screenings, round table discussions and conferences also take place. Cash prizes are awarded to the winners of each category, and the selection committee bases its choices on the quality of writing, visual achievement, and recognition of each film’s suitability as an auteur documentary.


The Festival dei Popoli has become a part of the European Coordination of Film Festival (EEIG), which includes other leading figures in European festivals, and currently collaborates with local schools and universities to allow for a broader audience and establishment of permanent activities. It is also a member of the DOC/IT Association, EDN (European Documentary Network), RED (Réseau d’échange et d’expérimentation pour la diffusion du cinéma documentaire), and the Assembly of “Amis du Cinéma du Réel.”


This festival has brought to light the talents of numerous film makers, including Jean Rouch, Richard Leacock, Lindsay Anderson, Aleksandr Sokurov, and Ken Loach, as well as authors who are known to boarder the line between documentary and fiction, such as Jean-Luc Godard, John Cassavetes, and Nagisa Oshima, among others. Leaders of the social sciences such as Giuseppe De Rita, Marc Augé, Elemire Zolla, and Mary Douglas have also made appearances at past festivals.


Earlier topics have included immigration, water resources, televised journalism, and the role of family in the third millennium, how the west was won and honor lost, and Blacks in movies and films by Blacks, and this year’s program promises an even greater panorama of subjects.


This year’s schedule will include the International Competition, Italian Competition, thematic sections, special events, meetings, debates, workshops, and video library. The venues where events will take place include the Cinema Auditorium Stensen, the Cinema Gambrinus, the Istituto Francese di Firenze, CANGO - Cantieri Goldonetta, and Aula Magna di Santa Verdiana.


Ticket combinations range from €5 to €20, lasting the duration of the festival, and can be purchased at the Istituto Italiano per i Film di Documentazione Sociale ONLUS at Borgo Pinti, 82r. Pick one up and go out and experience this annual celebration of life as art- at the ‘People’s Festival’.



Festival dei Popolitel. +39 055 244778fax +39 055 241364[email protected]


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