In 1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the Moon and to look at the Earth from afar.

The same year, Mr Krzysztof Zanussi, the first film director of the new Polish film wave, unites Europe by making his film in six different languages.

In 1949, don Primo Mazzolari, the first man speaking about ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, founded the magazine ‘Adesso.’ The magazine came to Terni 50 years later and, in the same year, the first ‘troll’ of the entertainment industry was born in Terni; the first ‘troll’ of the entertainment industry to which REM will dedicate the song Man on the Moon transformed into a film by Miloš Forman.

In 1999, the US Congress awarded Golden Medal to Rosa Parks, the first woman to challenge racial discrimination; and 1929 was the birth year of Martin Luther King, the first man to defeat it properly. In the same year, Giovanni Falcone was also born. He was the first man to study Mafia from the inside and presented its structure to the world. In 2009 Lea Garofalo, the courageous mother and witness of mafia’s deeds, as well as Michael Jackson, the first black artist to cross the black music borders, left this world.

Leonardo da Vinci, the first man to think of a helicopter, a bicycle and a tank died in 1519. In 1899 Luigi Barzini, the first journalist in the history of journalism, began his professional career. In 1919 Don Giovanni Minzoni, the first to put in practice the social Catholicism, launches his work in favour of workers, labourers and the youth.

In 1989, the first men crossed the Iron Curtain after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Saint Francis of Assisi, in 1219, following crusaders, goes to the far land and meets Malik Al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt becoming, at that moment, the first Christian to start a dialogue with the world of Islam. Nine hundred years later, we have the first Pope assuming not only the name of Francis, but also his charisma, who inaugurates in the Vatican the conference dedicated to robotics and artificial intelligence. A few months later Giovanni Guaita becomes the first priest in the Kremlin to challenge the Kremlin power by defending protesters arrested and beaten up by the police.

Having reached its fifteenth edition, Terni Film Festival is to talk about the first man and the first women, investigate the source of humanity, great pioneers but also of the need to touch the sky, through and beyond the universe. Through the space exploration, we are talking about the desire to enter the absolute, about the “nostalgia to reach the stars” that we are looking at shining in the firmament, questioning our existence in the time and space.

We want to get the Moon, and we get it here in three forms: a singer, a film director, and a giant sphere to be admired at BCT, along with a reproduction in its ‘unnatural size’ of our wonderful and fragile planet Earth. We will also be looking at the Princess of the sky, through films, courts, two exhibitions, a planetarium and experience of virtual reality. We will see how the cinema has imagined it over more than one hundred years and we will listen to the most beautiful songs that have been dedicated to them. We will not hesitate to mention various conspiracy theories, such as the one about Apollo missions being a farce orchestrated by NASA and directed by none other than Stanley Kubrick himself.

But we will not look only on the Moon; in nine days, we will discuss the emancipation of women, the tragedy of bulimia, the issues related to refugee camps, terrorism and deportations of Salvadorans, immigration policies of Donald Trump, the Moro kidnapping and the anti-Mafia heroes, the Israeli settlements in Palestine and the Italian emigration, the world of the elderly and the world of the prisoners, the Down syndrome and the extraordinary life of Amedeo Modigliani, to mention just a few.

The focus on integration, after having talked about  India, Poland, Latin America, China, Africa, Bulgaria, Maghreb, Balkans, Scandinavia, Palestine, Morocco, Romania, India once again, and Nigeria, this year for the first time, we dedicate the festival to Italy. It is because today Italians seem to be the least integrated in Italy; on the other hand, we are afraid to lose our roots by those who do not know them. For this reason, will be concluding our festival with an event devoted not only to Italian dances, traditional songs and gastronomic specialities, but also to contributions of new Italians, the second generation immigrants such as Phaim Bhuyan: “50 % Bangla, 50 % Italy and 100 % Tor Pigna”.

We want the Moon and here we reach for it! It may seem absurd, as this is the “poorest” edition of all these 15 years because of our desperately bad economic situation. However, we have decided to face the challenge and realize the project through extension of our volunteering. It is not just thanks to our staff and guests, but also the many service providers being the sponsors this year, that this year edition is a great proof of cultural volunteering: for this reason, we have dedicated a specific competition related to volunteering. We want to emphasise that a volunteer is the greatest wealth of Italy: it is volunteering that can turn poverty into sharing, ambition into passion, humility in greatness. It is thanks to volunteering that, even with empty hands, we can get it.

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