— The Biography of the Director —

When he was only 18, thanks to his strong determination and his ability, he founded the Giffoni Film Festival, which has been the best international cinema for younger generations for over 50 years. Gubitosi has dedicated his whole life to them, becoming for many a “father”, always open to listening.

With his strong connection with Giffoners, he was able to create a community now present in 53 countries. In 2009 he decided to turn Giffoni into a year-round cultural factory. The conception and the creation of the Cittadella del Cinema then, and of the Multimedia Valley now, are one of his greatest achievements: as source of inspiration and innovation to young talent, they are the most important reality of southern Italy’s education, production and innovation, expressed through the languages of art, cinema, entertainment, in a word, of culture.

— Giffoni Film Festival, the origins —

The Giffoni Film Festival was founded in 1971 by the then eighteen-year-old Claudio Gubitosi.

A powerful vision carried out with perseverance and determination, which has led over the years to the creation of a strong international cultural hub.

The very first editions were family-run, with no locations or structures. Residents went to the square bringing their seats from home to attend the screenings.

It was a cutting-edge cinema: beautiful Russian fairy tales, German and Scandinavian feature films that talked about childhood and adolescence without the taboos and the limitations of the mainstream cinema of those years.

— The Eighties —

From Sweden to Australia, from Spain to New Zealand, going through Iran, Norway, Canada, France and Albania, Giffoni showed – through the screen – new images and real stories which were the expression of the desires, the fears, the dreams, the anguish and the strength of a generation grounded on the ashes of the great cultural and social movements of the Sixties and Seventies. The turning point came in 1982 with François Truffaut, the great French author and director, and charismatic leader of the Nouvelle Vague. His presence at the festival was legendary, as were his words: “of all the cinema festivals, that of Giffoni is the most necessary”. Always in 1982, another legend arrives in Giffoni: Robert De Niro. Over the years, many more talents followed, such as Sergio Leone, Michelangelo Antonioni and Alberto Sordi, who have made Giffoni one of the most prestigious and surprising cultural events on the national and international scene

— The Nineties —

The Nineties portray the festival as increasingly relevant in the international panorama of cinema events.

Between 1996 and 1998 three sections are formed: First Screen (9-12 years), Free to Fly (12-14 years) and Finestra sul Cortile (15-19 years), up to the final title “Y Generation”.

Each age group has its films, stories, topics and languages. Giffoni discovers talents and introduces them to a bigger and better audience.

Two names stand out above all: Bud Spencer and Meryl Streep.

— The 2000s —

The Cittadella del Cinema is completed, after placing the first stone in 1997. With its extraordinary Sala Truffaut, its many offices, the wide spaces dedicated to the emerging extra-festival activities, the monumental roof of glass and steel and its little square meant as a meeting point, it represents a singularity that had no equal then. In 2000 makes its debut a new department of Giffoni, intended to turn the organization of the event into an authentical creative factory: it’s the Video Production Department. These years see also the birth of the Movie Days for schools, the Movie Days on Tour and the special project Movie Days Hospital. Giffoni has in its DNA a social vocation: in 2004 the association Aura was founded to carry out projects in different non-profit sectors for the community: social assistance, promotion of charitable cultural events, and development of national and international campaigns. The key is the partnership with the Bambin Gesù Pediatric Hospital that started in 2010.

— Giffoni Voyager, beyond the borders —

In the same years the international adventure of Giffoni begins. It starts in Berlin in 2002. In December 2003 Giffoni moves to Florida, thanks to a very productive partnership with the General Consulate of Italy in Miami. This is how the Next GEN International Film Festival starts: an event that involves more than 3000 students of Miami-Dade County and over a thousand parents and cinema lovers. 2005 is an important year for the process of internationalization of the festival: three stages in Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles. Finally, the first edition of the Giffoni Hollywood is inaugurated: an important achievement that, in three editions, until 2007, sets a milestone in the journey of Giffoni in the world. The longest and strongest international partnership, that binds Giffoni and Tirana, lasts 12 years, from 2005 to 2017. Over the years, Giffoni has also been in Adelaide (Australia), Doha (Qatar), North Macedonia and Brazil. Actually, countless international experiences have shown its global leadership in the field of children’s films.

— Festival, Experience, Opportunity —

Giffoni changes skin and Experience is the right word to translate this transformation. Giffoni Experience turns into an open cultural factory, each day of the year. In 2009, the shape of the juries changes, with the distinction between young adults (in the section “Generator”) and children (in the section “Elements”), creating a focus for the latter category, a sort of festival within the festival. In time the various sections get even more structured, with dedicated films and guests. Another section is born: Elements +3 leads children from 3 to 5 into the festival. The age-limit of 18 years old is cancelled and the audience of juries extends to adults, without any limitation: Generator +18 takes its first steps, which are still uncertain but are set to become more secure each year.

— New Horizons —

The future of Giffoni relies also and above all on the extraordinary facility called Multimedia Valley, which was inaugurated on July 13, 2017, 11 years apart from the first approval of the project. Not only a simple complex of buildings but the natural expansion of an idea and the driving force for new opportunities. It’s the redefinition of the future of the Picentini area, which has found its own identity in Giffoni.

Giffoni keeps showing to be an ever-changing format, an event that over the years didn’t limit itself to the festival. It’s an experience destined to become an opportunity: the brand itself changes to Opportunity because that’s what it is: the opportunity for teens to have a trail to follow in their formation and the professional orientation.

— The years of the pandemic —

Giffoni never stopped, not even during the pandemic. It couldn’t leave the kids alone while they were struggling in times of lockdown. And so the program “Giffoni ad un metro da te“ was born, an intense schedule of meetings and screenings, a call to beauty, a demand for courage. It was based on some talks on social channels and a selection of films to watch with the family. The editions from 2020 to 2022 have taken into account the limitations dictated by the pandemic but have not lost the original meaning of Giffoni: the desire to be there, to participate, to be protagonists. In 2020 Giffoni has been the first international event to take place totally in presence. In April 2022 the first edition of Verde Giffoni was held, a new chapter dedicated to the themes of ecology and sustainability.

— The Re(e)volution —

Giffoni 2021-2027 is an imposing project. It’s a “re(e)volution”.

Being one of the most important cultural companies in Italy requires the sharing of ideas and, above all, of the necessary strategic processes in the clearest and strongest possible way.

Even more, we start from the certainty of a necessary, vivid project, in order to look at the needs of our society with objectivity and rigour. Giffoni wants to restore confidence, happiness and enthusiasm to the public. The “work in progress” is now a constant and – after the completion of the first part of the Giffoni Multimedia Valley – the process goes on with the Studios and the Campus.

— The Biography of the Director —

When he was only 18, thanks to his strong determination and the ability to project with a clear vision, he founded the Giffoni Film Festival which has been the reference point for the best international cinema for the young generations for over 50 years. Gubitosi has dedicated his whole life to them, becoming for many a “father”, a present figure, always open to listening.

Staying close to his giffoners he created a community now present in 53 countries around the world. Since 2009 he decided to turn the Giffoni event into a year-round cultural factory. The conception and the creation of the Cittadella del Cinema and, then, of the Mutimedia Valley, which are constantly evolving, are one of his greatest achievements: designed to offer inspiration and innovation to young talent, they are the most important reality of southern Italy dedicated to education, production and innovation, declined with the languages of art, cinema, entertainment, in a word, of culture.

— Giffoni Film Festival, the origins —

The Giffoni Film Festival was founded in 1971 by the then eighteen-year-old Claudio Gubitosi.

A powerful vision, carried out with perseverance and determination, which has led, over the years, to the creation of a strong internationally recognised cultural hub.

The very first editions are family-run. There are no locations or structures. Residents crowd the square bringing their own seats from home to attend the screenings.

Those was a cutting-edge cinema: beautiful Russian fairy tales, German and Scandinavian feature films which recount childhood and adolescence without the taboos and the limitations of the mainstream cinema of those years.

— The Eighties —

From Sweden to Australia, from Spain to New Zeland, by way of Iran, Norway, Canada, France and Albania, Giffoni receives, through the screen, new images and real stories which bring to the fore the desires, the fears, the dreams, the anguish and the strength of a generation grounded on the ashes of the great cultural and social movements of the Sixties and Seventies. The turning point came in 1982 with François Truffaut, the great French author and director, charismatic leader of the Nouvelle Vague. His presence at the festival was legendary, as were the the words contained in his letter: “of all the cinema festivals, that of Giffoni is the most necessary”. Always in 1982, another legend arrives to Giffoni: Robert De Niro. Over the years, many more talent followed, such as Sergio Leone, Michelangelo Antonioni and Alberto Sordi, who have made Giffoni one of the most prestigious and surprising cultural events of the national and international scene.

— The Nineties —

The Nineties portray the image of an increasingly relevant festival in the international panorama of the cinema events.

Between 1996 and 1998 three competitive sections arise: First screen (9-12 years), Free to fly (12-14 years) and Finestra sul cortile (15-19 years), up to the final title “Y Generation”.

Each age group has its films, stories, topics and languages. Giffoni discovers talents and proposes them to a bigger and bigger audience.

Two names stand out above all and enchant the kids: Bud Spencer and Meryl Streep.

— The 2000s —

The Cittadella del Cinema is complete, after the placing of the first stone occurred on 1997. With its extraordinary Sala Truffaut, its many offices, the wide spaces dedicated to the emerging extra-festival activities, the monumental roof of glass and steel and its little square meant as meeting point, it represents a singularity that has no equal. In 2000 a new department of Giffoni, intended to turn the organization of the event into an authentical creative factory, makes its debut. It’s the Video Production Department. These years see the birth of the Movie Days for schools, the Movie Days on Tour and the special project Movie Days Hospital. Giffoni has in its DNA a social vocation: in 2004 the association Aura was founded with the aim of carrying out projects in different non-profit sectors useful for the community, such as the social assistance, the promotion of charitable cultural events, the development of national and international campaigns. The key is the partnership with the Bambin Gesù Pediatric Hospital that started in 2010.

— Giffoni Voyager, beyond the borders —

In the same years, the international adventure of Giffoni begins. It starts from Berlin in 2002. In December 2003 Giffoni moves to Florida, thanks to a very productive partnership with the General Consulate of Italy in Miami. This is how the Next GEN International Film Festival starts: an event that involves more than 3000 students of the school district in the Miami-Dade County and over a thousand parents and cinema lovers. 2005 is an important year for the process of internationalization of the festival. Three stages in Miami, Tampa and Los Angeles. Finally, the first edition of the Giffoni Hollywood is inaugurated in Hollywood: an important achievement that, in three editions, until 2007, sets a milestone in the journey of Giffoni in the world. The longest and strongest international partnership, that binds Giffoni and Tirana, lasts 12 years, from 2005 to 2017. Over the years, Giffoni has also been in Adelaide (Australia), Doha (Qatar), North Macedonia and Brazil. Actually, there are countless international experiences that have confirmed its global leadership in the field of children’s films.

— Festival, Experience, Opportunity —

Giffoni changes skin and Experience is the right word to translate this transformation. Giffoni Experience turns into a seamless open cultural factory, each day of the year. In 2009, the articulation of the juries changes too, with the distinction between kids/young adults (in the section “Generator”) and children (with the section “Elements”), restoring dignity to the youngest age group and creating a sort of festival within the festival. With the passing of the editions, the various sections are even more articulated, with dedicated films and guests. Another section dedicated to the youngest arises: Elements +3 leads children from 3 to 5 years old into the cinema. The age-limit of 18 years old is exceeded and the audience of juries extends to adults, without any limitation of age: Generator +18 takes its first steps, which are still uncertain but become more and more confident year after year.

— New Horizons —

The future of Giffoni relies also and above all on the extraordinary facility, which was inaugurated on July 13, 2017, and called Multimedia Valley, 11 years apart from 2006, when the project was approved. Not a simple, although monumental, complex of buildings, but the natural expansion of an idea and the driving force for new opportunities able to redefine the future of an area, that of the Picentini mountains, which has found its own identity and has attracted the international attention thanks to Giffoni.

Giffoni confirms itself as an ever-changing format, an event that, over the years, didn’t limit itself to the festival. It’s an experience destined to become opportunity: the brand changes, passing from Experience to Opportunity because Giffoni, thanks to the expansion of his range, represents, year after year, an opportunity, the possibility to have a trail to follow in one’s path of formation, a chance for professional orientation.

— The years of the pandemic —

Giffoni never stopped, not even during the pandemic. It couldn’t leave the kids alone while they were trying to redefine their own lives in times of lockdown. Thus was born the program “Giffoni ad un metro da te”, an intense schedule of meetings and screenings, a call to beauty, a request for courage, based on some talks on social channels and a selection of films to watch with the family. The editions that have followed from 2020 to 2022 have taken into account the limitations dictated by the pandemic but have not lost the original meaning of Giffoni: the desire to be there, to participate, to be protagonists. In 2020 Giffoni has been the first international event to take place totally in presence. In April 2022 the first edition of Verde Giffoni was held, a new chapter dedicated to the themes of ecology and sustainability.

— The Re(e)volution —

Giffoni 2021-2027 is an imposing project. It’s a “re(e)volution”.

Being one of the most important cultural companies in Italy requires the sharing of ideas and, above all, of the necessary strategic processes in the clearest and strongest possible way.

Even more, we start from the certainty of a necessary, vivid project, in order to look at the needs of our society with objectivity and rigour. Restoring confidence, happiness and enthusiasm to the public. The “work in progress” is now a constant and, after the completion of the first part of the Giffoni Multimedia Valley, the process goes on with the Studios and the Campus.

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