The Giffoni Experience

Youth Programs Director Liz Shepherd reports back from Italy on one of the largest film festivals for children in the world…

GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2014 – THE STORYTALE from Giffoni Film Festival on Vimeo.

In a small town in Italy 44 years ago, a beautiful dream began when Claudio Gubitosi launched the Giffoni Film Festival, an annual event that is now the most exciting festival of films for youth in the world.

This year, Children’s Film Festival Seattle was honored to be asked to send a delegation of youth jurors to this important festival, which took place July 17 to 28 in the beautiful village of Giffoni Valle Piana in Campania, Southern Italy, nestled in the mountains a short distance from Naples and Salerno.

Our jurors—Ellie Hughes, Isaac Hughes and Viv Daniel—are veterans of Northwest Film Forum’s own children’s jury, but what could prepare them for the Giffoni Experience? It’s more than a mere festival. Indeed, this gathering of 3,000 kids ages 3 to 18+ from countries around the world is a rich smorgasbord of international films, concerts, performances, cultural exchange and friendship.

The festival also boasted appearances and Q&As with Italian, American and British luminaries, including Richard Gere, Alan Rickman, Lea Michelle, Dylan O’Brien and Matt Bomer. The only things that could have made the whole thing more perfect were french fry pizzas and double rainbows, and those were there too.

Thank you Giffoni, hope to see you again next year! And Seattle audiences, prepare to be wowed by many of the prizewinners of the Giffoni festival, which we plan to bring to Children’s Film Festival
2015. Everyone needs a little bit of southern Italy in January in Seattle!

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