Festival dei popoli (People’s Festival)

 

Ask about the Festival dei popoli (literally: the People’s Festival) and most Italians won’t probably be able to tell you what it is. Do the same with a foreigner, and the reaction will plausibly be of awe and enthusiasm for one of the greatest cinema events in the world – just one that don’t really caters for the masses or the Italian sensibility for arts.?The Festival dei popoli is one of the biggest documentary film festival in the world, and the only one focused on the social aspects of this kind of productions. Founded in 1959 by a large group of academics specialized in sociology and ethnography, it grew and grew to impressive size, until it filled one week to the brim with projections, awards, workshops, conferences and more.

Today the festival boasts hundreds of documentaries, divided by theme into many cycles (e.g. Arts, Lifestyle, Society, Family, Politics, Environment, Current affairs). Beside the main international award, the program offers a number of personal retrospective on the works of prominent filmmakers, a Special Events selection, a non-competing view on the latest productions, a selection of documentaries too quirky for the general public and another one on reality and cinema? While this would be enough to keep anyone entertained and provided with lots of food for thoughts, the festival also includes several side events for anyone interested in learning more about the documentary trade, or to discuss the issue presented by the film themselves. The projections take place in two of the most historic cinemas in Firenze (and a one-day, all-access pass costs less than one regular movie ticket).