Many took part in the Giffoni Day, which was celebrated today in the premises of the Multimedia Valley. Children and young men and women wanted to be part of such a special event, which commemorates the day in 1970 when the then 18-year-old Gubitosi first had the idea of a unique project that would later become in over half a century one of the most followed and beloved cultural and social events in the world. A journey back in time, with an eye on the future, is what marked the morning meeting in the Sala Galileo between Gubitosi and a delegation of students and teachers from Giffoni’s Don Milani – Linguiti school.
“I hope that today can be a significant moment for you. I want to share things with you, to narrate, to show you everything that has happened in our town, Giffoni Valle Piana, in the past 54 years. This is an extraordinary story, to which each one of you belongs, so let’s recapture our identity. Who are we from Giffoni? Why do we have these wonderful movie theaters? You will enter the world of Giffoni through the front door. I would like to ask you to talk about Giffoni, to study it, to write something and send it to us. Giffoni is a school subject. Why was it born in a town of 11560 people? Giffoni is not Cannes, it is not Berlin, it is not Venice. When you organize an international event, you have to be able to guarantee hospitality, hotels, transportation. Cannes, Berlin, Venice have facilities that don’t exist here, nonetheless we managed to make this dream a reality”, Giffoni’s founder told the students.
“My story is a story of happiness, of well-being. You must be aware that there is something here that belongs to you, it is not just for others. I am not a teacher; I want to engage with you as if I was your grandfather. What is the idea of Giffoni? Why are we celebrating its birthday? Giffoni’s story spans more than half a century. I perfectly remember that it was a dull Saturday and it was raining to boot: November 20, 1970. I was in the town square and I was feeling very restless until I said to myself, ‘On Monday we start’. It was almost a metaphysical purpose. There will always be such a sentence in your life, a Monday from which to start building. Now we begin this journey together hand in hand”. After showing some videos, Gubitosi answered questions from the children. “After this very long journey, there’s still a mystery today, that is, why me? And with me the whole team that found employment and a future in this idea“.
Among the countless stories, Giffoni’s father chose to recall a very special one: the presence of Robert De Niro in 1983. He then invited the students to appreciate and bring value to the Giffoni Multimedia Valley, a constantly evolving construction site. The afternoon opened with a meeting dedicated to the Generators (+13, +16 and +18), who participated in an interactive game: nine of them – the fastest in answering correctly a quiz – already won their place on the jury for the 2024 edition, to be held July 19-28.
“Thank you for being here on this day that is so special for us“, said General Manager Jacopo Gubitosi. “You are the protagonists of this extraordinary idea that is not limited to the festival days, but runs all year round“. President Piero Rinaldi then wished to look back to the ‘80s editions, when he was a member of the jury: “At that time there were two hundred jurors and we all came from the surrounding area of the Picentini Mountains. Today we have more than 6500 young people from 30 countries. That alone would be enough to validate Giffoni’s success“.
The Generators were then able to talk with some jurors who had the opportunity to take part in trips abroad: Luisa Fiore, Gabriele and Francesca.
“I went to Paris and to North Macedonia“, Gabriele said. “We had so many experiences during those days, met so many people, engaged in cultural activities and had a lot of fun, building relationships that will last forever“.
The first trip for Luisa Fiore was in 2018, when she flew to Qatar: “The most special things are teaming up, learning about different cultures, exporting the model of your own festival abroad“. Francesca, on the other hand, traveled to Paris and North Macedonia: “Those were the most beautiful trips I’ve ever taken, the first and only time so far I visited other countries. Everything was fantastic, I don’t think I have ever experienced such emotions. It was like living in another dimension“.
There were also poignant testimonies from some international jurors who joined remotely from Armenia, England and North Macedonia to greet the jurors who hosted them last year. “I miss you” was the most frequently used sentence, followed by a promise to repeat an experience that everyone would like to have again and again. Following this, it was the turn of the Elements jurors (+3, +6 and +10).
“This is an extraordinary event“, said Elena Scisci from the Management Team as she welcomed the little ones to the Sala Galilelo. “Let’s sing Happy Birthday to You all together to celebrate a birthday that sees us all as protagonists“.
Little boys and girls watched a number of short films: Hey deer, The tomten and the Fox, Umbrella, Mice Xmas, Vs Santa. Young giffoner Piero wanted to tell the whole audience about his gratitude to Giffoni for giving him the opportunity to meet the Me contro te duo. Federica, on her part, explained that in the last two years, that is, since she has been part of the +10 section, her summers are better because she has the opportunity to see many films and meet new friends from all over the world.