Andrej Wajda will be honored by Italy’s Giffoni Film Festival for children where the revered Polish auteur will hold a master class about his pic “Katyn,” which reveals how Soviet troops systematically executed thousands of Polish officers and intellectuals in 1940.
“Katyn,” nommed for a 2008 foreign-language Oscar, has sparked controversy in Italy where its distributor, Movimento Film, lamented that some exhibitors snubbed the pic in fear it would be perceived as making a strong right-wing statement, a connotation that does not bode well with Italy’s left-leaning arthouse world.
Also making the trek to Giffoni will be Italo multi-hyphenate Sergio Castellitto, the popular local thesp and helmer who will discuss both aspects of his work.
The unique fest, in which pics are judged by 2,800 young jurors from more than 40 countries, is being renamed Giffoni Experience as it expands its purview with financing from the Southern Campania region in which it is located. Campania tourism topper Claudio Velardi has been instrumental to that expansion.
Giffoni Experience will be active 250 days annually through its global offshoots and showcases in 54 countries while also growing locally via construction of the Giffoni Multimedia Valley, a massive $40 million complex which aims to become a production entity.
The fest runs July 12-25.