The Rossellinis
The Rossellinis

Venice International Film Critics’ Week, the independent and parallel section organized by the National Union of Italian Film Critics (SNCCI) during the 77th Venice International Film Festival (September 2-12, 2020),
will showcase of seven debut films in competition and two special events out of competition, all presented as world premiere.

The program opens with The Book of Vision by Carlo S. Hintermann and closes with The Rossellinis by Alessandro Rossellini. The Rossellinis is described as a family saga that resembles the most passionate serial novels. The story of Roberto Rossellini’s family evoked through an affectionate and disenchanted gaze. Alessandro Rossellini, son of Renzo, grandson of Roberto, takes us to the heart of a history narrated with disconcerting candor.

The fifth edition of SIC@SIC (Short Italian Cinema @ Settimana Internazionale della Critica) offers a selection of seven short films in competition by Italian directors who have not yet embarked on a full-length film, and two special events, all screened in world premiere.

2020 Venice International Film Critics’ Week Lineup


by Jorge Cuchí. Mexico, 2020.

Cast: José Antonio Toledano, Karla Coronado. Production: Verónica Valadez P., Hari Sama, Laura Berrón – Catatonia Cine.

Félix, a 17-year-old boy, receives an invitation on WhatsApp: do you want to play the Blue Whale Game? The one with the 50 challenges? The one where you have to kill yourself at the end? Félix accepts. That is how he meets Elisa. They start completing the challenges together. 50 is a story of love between two suicidal teens who decide to play together till death do them part. Which is six days away.

by Azra Deniz Okyay. Turkey, 2020.

Cast: Nalan Kuruçim, Dilayda Güneş, Beril Kayar, Emrah Özdemir. Production: Dilek Aydın – Heimatlos Films. World sales: MPM Premium.

In Istanbul, a day on the verge of a country-wide power surge unfolds with four characters – a mother whose son is in prison, a young woman committed to dancing, a female activist-artist and a cunning middle man – all in a neighbourhood undergoing a process of gentrification for the “New Turkey”. Their stories intertwine along the day up until a drug deal incident, offering a roaring tale of the contemporary generation.

by Mauro Mancini. Italy, Poland, 2020.

Cast: Alessandro Gassmann, Sara Serraiocco, Luck Zunic.

Simone Segre, a renowned surgeon of Jewish origins, lives in a city in the north-east of Italy. A quiet life, an elegant apartment and no connection with his past. One day he finds himself assisting a man victim of a hit and
run accident. But when he discovers a nazi tattoo on his chest, Simone abandons him to his destiny. Filled with guilt, he ends up tracing the man’s family: Marica, the eldest daughter; Marcello, a teenager plagued with racial hate; and little Paolo. The night will come when Marica knocks at Simone’s door and unknowingly asks for payback

by Natalya Vorozhbyt. Ukraine, 2020.

Cast: Igor Koltovskyy, Oleksiy Lelukh, Maryna Klimova, Yuriy Kulinich, Zoya Baranovska, Oksana Voronina, Sergei Solovyov.

Four short stories are set along the roads of Donbass during the war. There are no safe spaces and no one can make sense of just what is going on. Even as they are trapped in the chaos, some manage to wield authority over
others. But in this world, where tomorrow may never come, not everyone is defenceless and miserable. Even the most innocent victims may have their turn at taking charge.

by Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid. Denmark, 2020.

Cast: Jacob Lohmann, Simon Sears.

The exact details of what took place while Talib Ben Hassi, 19, was in police custody remain unclear. Police officers Jens and Mike are on routine patrol in Svalegården’s ghetto when news of Talib’s death comes in over the radio, igniting uncontrollable pent-up rage in the ghetto’s youth who lust for revenge. Suddenly, the two officers find themselves in a fair game and must fight tooth and claw to find a way out.

by Celine Held and Logan George. USA, 2020.

Cast: Celine Held, Zhaila Farmer, Jared Abrahamson, Fatlip. Producers: Anthony Bregman, Peter Cron, Kara Durrett, Jonathan Montepare, Melina Lizette, Josh Godfrey, Daniel Crown.

Deep in the underbelly of New York City, a five-year-old girl and her mother have claimed the abandoned tunnels as their home. After a sudden police-mandated eviction, the pair are forced to flee above ground into a brutal winter night.

by Marat Sargsyan. Lithuania, 2020. Col., 95’

Cast: Valentinas Masalskis, Remigijus Vilkaitis, Sigitas Račkys, Daumantas Ciunis, Darius Petrovskis, Šarūnas Zenkevičius, Karolis Butvidas, Lukas Malinauskas, Povilas Laurinkus, Vygandas Vadeiša, Vidas Antonovas.

A blue screen informs that war has begun. What will be needed? Collect the men, find guns, or maybe someone will give them. We need a location, a country where the war would take place. No problem, the Colonel is a real
pro, he has caused wars to order, or on orders, on multiple occasions in different countries. Now his followers have grown up and caused a war in his country. He doesn’t want to, but he has to fight. He is old and tired of
war. He wants to be at the table with a steaming pot of tasty mutton ribs and stare at an innocent TV screen with the news on, and the dressed-up news reporter announces that the war has begun.



by Carlo S. Hintermann. Italy, UK, Belgium, 2020.

Cast: Charles Dance, Lotte Verbeek, Sverrir Gudnason, Filippo Nigro, Isolda Dychauk, Rocco Gottlieb, Justin Korovkin.

Eva, a promising young doctor, leaves her brilliant career to study History of Medicine. Now is the time for her to call everything into question: her nature, her body, her illness, and her sealed fate. Johan Anmuth is an 18th century Prussian physician in perpetual conflict between the rise of rationalism and ancient forms of animism. “Book of Vision” is a manuscript that sweeps these two existences up, blending them into a never-ending vortex. Nothing expires in its time. Only what you desire is real, not merely what happens.


by Alessandro Rossellini. Italy, Latvia, 2020.

Cast: Isabella Rossellini, Renzo Rossellini, Ingrid Rossellini, Robin Rossellini, Nur Rossellini, Alessandro Rossellini.

Roberto Rossellini was a genius of cinema and a conspicuously unconventional father. His love stories have flooded the first pages of newspapers all around the world, scandalizing the rigid morality of the 1950s, and bringing to the world a numerous, proudly multi-ethnic and definitely extended family. Alessandro, the first grandson of the great director, had a shaky career as a photographer and a long past of drug addiction. As the first grandson of a genius, he doesn’t feel he is living up to his surname. So he decides to shoot his first film at 55, facing with irony the Rossellinis saga and forcing his family to an impossible therapy in front of the camera.

SIC@SIC – Short Italian Cinema @ Settimana Internazionale della Critica

The fifth edition of SIC@SIC (Short Italian Cinema @ Settimana Internazionale della Critica) offers a selection of seven short films in competition by Italian directors who have not yet embarked on a full-length film, and two special events, all screened in world premiere.


by Emanuela Muzzupappa. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Carmelo Macrì, Giovanni Spanò. Producer: Emanuela Muzzupappa. Distribution: Premiere Film.

One day in the rugged countryside of Calabria encloses all that is important for Antonio, a rite that represents a crucial moment of his existence: the harvest of figs. That place, filled with memories, brings within the eco of
laughter and the melancholy of past moments. Also this year, along with his eldest brother, he has to harvest the fruit, but when the day is over, he will discover that this time was not like any other.

by Pietro Pinto. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Anthony Nikolchev, Francesca Inaudi, Pierse Stevens, Clark Renney. Producers: Leonardo Govoni, Pietro Pinto. Distribution: Premiere Film.

In a dystopian future where death no longer exists, Adam declares his humanity by claiming for himself the liberating choice of a mortal life.

by Tommaso Frangini. USA, Italy, 2020.

Cast: Ryan Masson, Micah Flamm. Producer: Tommaso Frangini.

Travis and Peter are childhood friends. They decide to go on a camping trip to reconnect with each other, but the desolate nature which surrounds them will highlight their differences and the distance that separates them.

by Olga Torrico. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Olga Torrico, Claudio Collovà, Gabriele Zapparata.

Alice works at a gas station. She doesn’t play music anymore and she buried deep inside her fire for music . On a sultry summer day, her old music teacher shows up, and Alice starts wondering if she has stayed without fuel for too long.

by Simone Bozzelli. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Claudio Segaluscio, Federico Majorana, Lorenzo Amici, Andrei Cuciuc, Asadul M. Haque, Filippo Marsilli, Mauro Pacitto.

Rome. Claudio is 15 and someone is writing on his forehead “J’ador” because he smells girlish. That’s Lauro, the 18-year-old leader of a group of youngsters that call themselves fascists and do a lot of things for a far-right
political party. Claudio wants to go with them to the “dinner” organized by the party section, but one can only attend if he’s part of the group, and cry-babies are not allowed. If he wants to achieve what he wants, in just one
afternoon Claudio has to lose his baby scent and start to smell like a man.

by Edgardo Pistone. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Roberto Navarra, Ciro Nacca, Luciano Gigante, Antonio Castaldo, Salvatore Striano. Production: Sergio Panariello and Luca Zingone – Open Mind.

The vicissitudes and adventures of a group of youngsters, left to themselves while an apparently placid and sleepy life flows undisturbed. At the mercy of the demons of growing up, of their fantasies and arrogance, like
flies that hover from the rot to the silk, this group of boys will drag themselves towards a tragic and irreparable epilogue.

by Xin Alessandro Zheng. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Giulio Anan Cai, Zheng Wuyi.

Giacomo, a second-generation Italian-Chinese youngman, travels to Wencheng County to bring his late father’s ashes back to his hometown. There he stays at his grandfather’s house. The old man becomes Giacomo’s guide through the forgotten paths of his native culture, which now looks so distant from the daily life of a European twenty-something



by Adriano Valerio. France, Tunisia, Italy, 2020.

Cast: Mohamed Akari, Haikel Hezgui, Monem Abdelli, Aziz Drine, Karim Haggui, Safa Mesrati, 2two, Kaso.

February 14, 2004, Radès Olympic Stadium, Tunis. The whole nation stands behind The Eagles of Carthage in the Africa Cup Final against Morocco. After many defeats they are just one step away from glory. Fifteen years after the match, Tunisians still recall the emotion of a day that deeply affected the History of the country.

by Giorgio Diritti. Italy, 2020.

Cast: Elena Arvigo, Greta Buttafava.

It’s Halloween. Camilla stands outside her school. She looks around to find her dad, but her mother Paola is the one waiting for her instead. She takes the little girl to the bakery ad tells her to get whatever she wants: today is
a special day. Back home, Paola dresses her up as a zombie. The long-awaited “trick or treat” moment is coming. A hood with two holes for the eyes covers her face. Camilla walks through the streets of her town hand in hand with her mother. However, the woman has a different plan.

FILMS in this article

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