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The Little Saint by Silvia Brunelli Wins 2021 RIFF - Rome Independent Film Festival Awards
The Little Saint by Silvia Brunelli

The Little Saint (La Santa Piccola) by Silvia Brunelli which was this year’s pre-opening film, won the best Italian Feature Film at the XX edition of the RIFF – Rome Independent Film Festival. The film follows Mario and Lino, two inseparable friends, living day by day in the monotony of neighborhood life in Naples.. Until everything changes: Annaluce, Lino’s little sister, starts to make miracles and becomes the patron saint of the district. For both of them, the unthinkable happens, a door opens to a new world that will lead them to take different paths, risking everything, even the most important thing they have: their fraternal friendship.

The jury praised the film, commenting, “After a careful evaluation of the films in the competition, and thanking all the participants for their professionalism and artistic ability, the jury decided to praise a rather original and not very obvious film.” A special mention went to “Fino ad essere felici” by Paolo Cipolletta.

Best international feature film prize went to “Remains of a Man” from Ana Johann (Brazil) “Remains of a man is an original portrait of two lonely women. Renata and her daughter live isolated in the countryside with an unloved husband and father, but when the man dies in an accident, their existence with no male protection is in danger. The arrival of a mysterious stranger awakens their desire for freedom. The always tense direction and the performance of the actresses give life to a tense and disturbing film about the unspoken, which proudly recounts the sensuality, mystery and ambiguity of man-woman relationships”.

Special mention went to “Future is a lonely place” by Martin Hawie & Laura Harwarth (Germany).

The Best Italian and International Documentary Awards went to “From my house in da house” by Giovanni La Gorga & Alessio Borgonuovo for Italians, and “El Fulgor” by Martín Farina (Argentina) for internationals.

The Best Italian Short Award went to “I Santi” by Giacomo Abbruzzese (Italy / France). “Psychological family drama The Saints takes us on a journey of a raw life reality of a brother and a sister who despite very hard life conditions are there for each other. While combining religion, vengeance and death, the film seems like a modern Greek tragedy with amazing young actors and visuals that allow you to be immersed in the film and their universe from the first second”.

A special mention of the jury went to “L’ultima consegna” by Alessio Ciancianaini.

The Best International Short Award went to “Interfon15” by Andrei Epure (Rumania). “It is a poignant film about loneliness and urban isolation in a modern society where people are more involved in their personal ambitions and materialistic gains rather than their loved ones and neighbours who are equally important for a social animal like man. But still it’s heartening to see that there is compassion among the few of us in our community to thrive”.

The Rai Cinema Channel Award went to “Flowers” by Kristian Xipolias; Best Animated Short is “Stone Heart” by Humberto Rodrigues (Brazil); and “Reina” by Ozan Mermer (Mexico / Germany) and “Neon Phantom” by Leonardo Martinelli (Brazil). tied for Best Short for Film Schools.

The Best Screenplay Award for a Feature Film went to “Totti’s ball” by Giacomo Tramontano and the Best Subject Award for a Feature Film went to “The last song” by Gino Clemente .

Among the new awards of this 20th edition: the SIAE Award for the best screenplay for short film. The Italian Society of Authors and Publishers is making available a scholarship of €2,500.00 for the development of the winning project, which this year is “ ‘O Marenaro” by Simone Costa.

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