In arrival ORA! FEST, the International film festival with a focus on the environment, art and social justice, scheduled from 3 to 7 June in Monopoli.

Many Italian and international stars have already been confirmed. Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and the eclectic Terry Gilliam, superstars Matthew Modine, Matt Dillon, and Lawrence Bender, producer of Quentin Tarantino’s most acclaimed films, from “Pulp Fiction” to “Kill Bill”, and the two emblematic environmental documentaries “An Inconvenient Truth” (1 and 2), and the etalent Directors of most of the selected films, will be in Puglia for the big event. There are also many prominent Italian names: Raoul Bova, Maria Sole Tognazzi, Sabina Guzzanti, Rita Marcotulli, Paolo Rotondo, writer André Aciman (“Call me by your name”) and the Executive Producer Enzo Sisti.

The Association organising the event, chaired by Giovanni De Blasio, entrusted the artistic direction to Silvia Bizio and the general management to Camilla Invernizzi of ArtsFor_. ORA! Fest in this new edition also has an Honorary Committee that includes internationally renowned artists chaired by Actor and Director of Apulian origin John Turturro.

During the different days of the Festival, the feature and short film competition will be accompanied by free masterclasses in partnership with Roma Film Academy. The masterclasses will be held by experts from the film industry and by the Italian and international guests present at the festival, moderated by Silvia Bizio and many industry professionals.

Admission is free subject to availability.

In the name of environmental awareness, Ora! Fest has partnered with Matthew Modine’s Cinco Dedos Production to make a 50-second video, ‘Heaven on Earth’, narrated by Modine himself, which will be the festival’s theme song and have its world premiere on 3 June. Modine will also show his commitment to the environment with ‘RIPPLE EFFECT’, an 8-minute preview of which will be shown, his new 5-episode series focusing on environmental sustainability. The project proposes solutions that demonstrate how each of us can take concrete actions to protect our precious world.

THE COMPETITION – Ora! Fest embraces several key themes fundamental to the current historical moment: the environment and social justice are at the heart of most of the films – shorts, features and documentaries – selected to be screened free to the public during the five-day festival.

There are 10 films in competition and 5 out of competition. Among the first films selected: Klondike by Maryna Er Gorbach, La California by Cinzia Bomoll, The Last Film Show by Pan Nalin, Downwind by MarkShapiro.

12 Italian and international short films. Among the first short films selected: Maunga Cassino by Italian-New Zealander Paolo Rotondo, Reginetta by Federico Russotto, Guerra tra Poveri by Kassim Yassin Saleh and Caramelle by Matteo Panebarco

Entry of films in competition in the pre-selections is also (but not exclusively) via registration on the festival’s dedicated page on the international platform www.filmfreeway.com. The registration deadline is May 1st 2023.

SHORT FILMS – In collaboration with WeShort, a Puglia-based start-up with offices in Bari that has established international partnerships with various festivals including the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and the Academy, of which it distributes selected short films for the Oscars, a selection of noteworthy short films will be presented to the audience of Ora! Festival.

The Festival is promoted and supported by the Puglia Region and the Municipality of Monopoli, which confer patronage to the event but above all share its planning and objectives.

Giuseppe De Bellis, Director of Sky TG24, will bring his contribution to the Festival by curating a series of meetings, interviews and talks dedicated to sustainability, environment and social inclusion.

The days of the festival will be enriched by a program of cultural deepening and entertainment realized in collaboration with Lucy, a multimedia magazine that focuses on culture, arts, and current events, directed by Nicola Lagioia.

Fondazione Sylva, a non-profit organization born in Puglia in 2021, and which deals with environmental regeneration through reforestation, will be the Festival’s sustainability and environment partner.

Another important partnership will be activated with Sudestival (an Italian film festival now in its 23rd edition) in order to create a program for local schools and use cinema, its language and the dynamics of the film industry, to raise awareness and train the students who will participate in the project.

All the events of the event will take place in Monopoli, with various locations involved including the suggestive Piazza Palmieri, the Radar cinema and the Sala delle Armi of Charles V Castle, where the screenings will take place.

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