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|Location||Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy|
|Artistic director||Claudio Gubitosi|
The Giffoni International Film Festival is one of the most well-known children's film festivals in the world. It takes place in a small Italian town of Giffoni Valle Piana in Campania, Southern Italy, close to Salerno and Naples. Started in 1971 every year over 2,000 children attend the festival from several countries around the world. During the festival, children and teenagers watch the movies, learn about the filmmaking process, and are called to judge them and award the best ones with prizes. This 44-year-old festival has had a great impact in the history of entertainment and culture, not only in Italy, and it has developed a high reputation internationally. Every year the festival attracts 100,000 guests, directors, producers, and movie stars annually. The festival has been brought to many different countries around the world with Poland, Argentina, Australia, Albania, China, Korea, India, and the United States having all hosted their own versions of the Giffoni Film Festival. The Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival in the United States has proven to be the biggest so far.
The Giffoni Film Festival, which takes place in Giffoni Valle Piana, a little village in the surroundings of Salerno, started in 1971 when Claudio Gubitosi had the idea of promoting and developing cinema for young people. The first editions were characterized by limited budgets and a small number of films, so the festival started looking at films released in the Northern Europe and Soviet Union, bringing an unknown world to Italy.
In the 1980s the number of productions dedicated to children and youth increased, and films coming from France, Albania, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Iran, Australia, Poland and New Zealand hit the screens in Giffoni. In 1982, the festival had its turning point, indeed, in that year the master François Truffaut met the festival and wrote an open letter that includes the following words: "Of all the film festivals Giffoni is the most necessary."
Truffaut opened the way to a long list of Italian and International guests. Robert De Niro, Sergio Leone, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Alberto Sordi came to Giffoni to meet the young jurors and talk with them about their careers and their arts, consecrating the Giffoni Film Festival as one of the most important cultural events dedicated to young people.
During the 1990s the festival has become even more relevant and important. In 1997, the first stone of the Cittadella del Cinema was put down, which was a starting point for the Giffoni Multimedia Valley project, an area dedicated to creativity and culture, with structures for "cultural entertainment" and audiovisual production, day care centers, and laboratories. Between 1996 and 1998, the festival started three different competitive categories: First Screens, for children aged from 9 to 12 years, Free to Fly, for children aged from 12 to 14 years, and Y-Generation (previously named, Rear Window), for youths from 15 to 19 years.
The new millennium started with the purpose to bring Giffoni and its format in the world. Berlin, followed by Miami with its Next Generation Film Festival, Poland and Albania housed the Giffoni Film Festival concept. In 2005, in Australia, the festival founded the Giffoni-Australia association, with its headquarters in Sydney. In 2008, the first edition of the Giffoni Hollywood took place at the Kodak Theatre, which has been the home of the annual Academy Awards Ceremonies (The Oscars), with guests such as Will Smith and Jon Voight. The festival also created the Giffoni World Alliance, which is a network delegates to connect the initiatives around the world.