November 6 / 13 | Cinema Savoy / MACRO Museum | Rome

Festival of National Interest, Key Event in the City of Rome, Festival of Cultural Interest for Mediterranean Forum and Euro-Mediterranean partership.

The 21st MedFilm Festival has ended, with a great and successful Ceremony, and the Lifetime Achievement Award to italian master Ugo Gregoretti, one of the main italian film directors of the postwar period, a sharp interpreter of changes affecting our country. Anti-conformist and against the mainstream, always sharp and a forerunner as the MedFilm itself. The ceremony was closed by the screening of LUX Prize finalist The Lesson directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov.

From the 6th to the 13th of November, the festival has brought in Rome 78 films, including 51 italian, European and international premieres. An intensive ten-days event full of meetings, visions and powerful, intense and overwhelming works, Medfilm Festival confirms its nature as the first italian event dedicated to the promotion and the diffusion of the mediterranean motion picture industry. A memorable edition, full of direct statements from those countries involved in the Mare Nostrum identity evolution, prestigious guests and movies.

MedFilm Festival’s team would like to thank the amazing audience attending every screening and our very special guests – Jonas Carpignano, Koudous Seihon, Hagai Levi, Fadi Yeni Turk, Amir Azizi, Paul Hamy, Lamia Joreige, Jilani Saadi, Derya Durmaz, Darine Hotait, Ugo Gregoretti, Josella Porto, Piergiorgio Mangiarotti, Michele Fumeo, Fulvio Risuleo, Eleonora Danco, Aurelio Grimaldi, Andrea Fornasiero, Riccardo Cannella, Valerio Burli, Edoardo Dell’Acqua, Matteo Parisini, Michele Cadei, Giona A. Nazzaro, Anita Lamanna, Erwan Kerzanet, Igiaba Scego, Flavia Barca, Katia Ippaso, Stefano Polli, Crispian Balmer and Roberto Silvestri.

MedFilm Festival Juries have declared the winners of the 21st edition.


The Jury, comprised of Gianluca Arcopinto, Pietrangelo Buttafuoco, Tilde Corsi, Toni D’Angelo and Paola Saluzzi, has decided as follows:

AMORE & PSICHE AWARD FOR THE BEST FILM: “AND THE LIVING IS EASY” directed by Lamia Joreige (Lebanon / France)

For the ability to explain the complexity of a country heir of an ancient culture, which hides the concern of the conflict that besets it beneath the apparent normalcy of everyday life and runs unstoppable from outside to its heart. For giving voice to intelligence and grace of the moods of the youth in the city of Beirut, in the grueling tension between leaving and remaining, seeking solace and inspiration in the beauty of Art, in their own History, as in the turmoil of our daily present, in a vital projection and openness to the other self, to the entire world.

ARTISTIC EXPRESSION: “UNTIL I LOSE MY BREATH” directed by Emine Emel Balci (Turkey / Germany)

For the incisive simplicity of a story about search of identity and claim, led by an intense and just perfect actress, directed with maturity by a director at her first feature film.

JURY SPECIAL PRIZE: “IMPERMANENT” directed by Amir Azizi (Iran)

For its ability to reveal the powerful and not the public side of the Iranian special nature – pure matriarchy. It’s all in the dynamic between mother and daughters. And all, then, entrusted to the tripping of a bullet. Absent as well as the male characters. Concealed according to the scheme of the imaginal narrative.


The Jury, comprised of Crispian Balmer, Enrica Colusso, Aurelio Grimaldi, Marzia Mete and Igiaba Scego, has decided as follows:

OPEN EYES AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY: “ROSHMIA” directed by Salim Abu Jabal (Palestine / Syria / United Arab Emirates / Qatar)

A boldly simple film, which tells with deep humanity the disintegration of relations of an elderly married couple in the background the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

SPECIAL MENTION: “MOTHER OF THE UNBORN” directed by Nadine Salib (Egypt)

Through the portrait of a vital woman chasing — between external pressures and personal anguish — a denied maternity, the film deals with a sensitive and universal issue with poetry and originality.


The Jury, comprised of National Film Schools students Jean-Claude Chincheré, Vera Daidone, Francesco Fanuele, Toni Geitani, Constantinos Giannakopoulos, Dídac Gimeno, Emir Can Göksu and Cynthia Sawma, has decided as follows:


For having been able, through an innovative language, to hypnotize us with his creation of a unique space based on a simple story, taking the risk to manipulate different cinematographic elements. Furthermore, the jury finds this motion to be the one which at the best encounters different audiovisual supports and fits the spirit and the criteria of a Methexis winner.

CERVANTES AWARD FOR BEST CREATIVE SHORT: “THE PARK” directed by Randa Maroufi (Morocco / France)

>For its originality and new approach. The film takes the technical cinematographic aspects to a level on which the frames become paintings and the sound becomes an installation. That gives to the audience the feeling of the tension between a freezing action and a moving sound, making us aware of a new form of communication.

The Jury also assigned the SPECIAL MENTION to “A FEW SECONDS” directed by Nora El Hourch (France) tied with “TEN BUILDINGS AWAY” directed by Miki Polonski (Israel).

The first, for its visual credibility followed by the development in the narration, through the brilliant choices of its casts shot in a special movement and shown through a unique editing; the second, for its audiovisual language, that brings us in front a plot with universal elements, told through a dry and strong narrative style. It has been able to make us reflect about a cultural sensibility which unites the Mediterranean countries even in their differences and political divisions.


PIUCULTURE AWARD – organized by online magazine PiuCulture and assigned by Sekou Bamba, Petra Barteková, Ruth Gebresus, Morteza Khaleghi, Francisco León, Louie Ann Malazan and Marjan Shalchian (7 citizens who live in Rome but come from Ivory Coast, Slovak Republic, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Peru, Philippines, and Iran) – was assigned to “MOUNTAIN” directed by Yaelle Kayan (Israel).

For its intense everyday story and for its ability to softly accompany the audience in the tragedy of an ordinary unsolvable dilemma. The setting, compressed between the brightness of the space of the dead and the interior claustrophobic space of the living, is photographed by highlighting the contrasts and dialogues with the extraordinary abilities of the lead actress, with apparent simplicity, a deep laceration between the inner vital sensuality and the impenetrable stiffness of rules that we consider as correct. The doubt about the final choice reveals that whatever decision is not a solution and that any self-affirmation can only represent the same time also a negation of herself. Jerusalem, in the background, refers to a general dimension of reality and history as well full of contradictions and paradoxes.


The students of the universities of La Sapienza, Roma Tre and John Cabot University, have decided as follows:

BEST FEATURE FILM: “MOUNTAIN” directed by Yaelle Kayan (Israel)

For its perfect description of the growth (in this case, the decrease) of the lead character, a lonely person who would feel a real woman in a family which doesn’t respect her. The film flows nicely, has never banal content and its open ending is definitely a great narrative choice. 

BEST DOCUMENTARY: “PIRATES OF SALÈ” directed by Rosa Rogers and Merieme Addou (Morocco / UK)

For its depiction of hopes and fragility of street children as well as its entertainment with the theme of the circus: Only he who believes in himself can’t find the strength to change his condition. This films makes us take a journey into the world of the circus that is doubly revealing. Firstly, because the art of the circus, as a performing art, is the only one that has its own rules and procedures. Second, the Cirque Shems’y must interact in a society where religious taboos limit the freedom of movement of the artists. What emerges from this beautiful documentary is the magic of the art: to be able to release all from any impediment.

BEST SHORT FILM: “THE SPRINGTIME SLEEP” directed by Dominik Mencej (Slovenia)

For stylistic originality that reflects the inner world of the lead character. The creativity of the short shines both in terms of sound (successful use of sound design to communicate the almost total lack of communication of the character) and visual (the inability to share her identity is very well represented in the scene of the destroyed mirror, reflecting more than ever the untranslatable – and inadvisability – of her own inner image).

Special Mention: “I SAY DUST” directed by Darine Hotait (Lebanon / USA)

For the delicacy and intimacy with which this short is able to express a problem as that of the Diaspora in a very intense and exciting way. The inner world can (and must) structure the outer. With I Say Dust, “life writes poetry and poetry writes life” as the film has managed to achieve the human desire to share it by telling it.