The narrative journey of this rich and diverse 25th ShorTS 2024 (what a festival anniversary!) first of all involves the stories of different styles and genres offered by 117 shorts from 50 countries set within the seven competition sections: the historically all-embracing and discreet Maremetraggio with 45 works, the dazzling ShorTS Express with 23, the thought-provoking Eco ShorTS and the surprising Italia in ShorTS with 11, the ultra-educational Shorter Kids’n’Teens with tracks 10+10, the virtuality of 360° stories of ShorTS Immersive with seven, plus the Focus on Turkey (seven), the annual selection made at the European Academy EFA (five) and the Italian events out of competition (three). All short waves of wide-ranging impact and provenance, in which current world affairs will inevitably play a key part with producer-director courage and sensitivity. The evolution of the now popular ShorTS Immersive section, with individual viewers and also collective vision of the same short in VR, also consists of a panel and a workshop. For years, ShorTS has also dealt with the pre-production of shorts in order to prepare directors and screenwriters for setting out their projects at festivals and markets to producers and distributors. It does so with the considerable work of the ShorTS Development & Pitching Training workshop, this year with eight projects from five countries for hours and hours of dialogue and analysis and two winning projects to be promoted worldwide. The Campolungo section is a workshop on the round-trip process from short to feature film: this year’s discussion focus is on the distinctive vision of the multi-award-winning Laura Samani, whose two shorts and feature film Piccolo corpo we present. Already in progress is the increasingly popular ShorTS Comics Marathon relay race (70 comic strip artists in competition) engaged in redrawing frames of classics as if to explain to an imagined boy from a future in which cinema no longer exists what this art was.

The awards of ShorTS 2024: the Premio Cinema del Presente prize goes to Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo, young directors who are already masters of the evocative realism of the natural violence of life, and of the analysis of the meanders of the soul and complex family and friendship dynamics. A truly ad personam Cinema dell’Anima award for the secluded and resilient animator Simone Massi and his Marche world of memories and family and highly personal and engaging drawing technique. For the 25th anniversary of ShorTS, there are two Interpreti del Presente (who were also revelations in 2009 in the same film, Dieci inverni): Isabella Ragonese, eclectic, magnetic, coherent, endowed with natural stage and cinematographic beauty, and Michele Riondino, with his spontaneous, mature technique and human values in his always meaningful career and who a year ago made his debut as director with the remarkable and highly acclaimed Palazzina LAF, filmed in his industrially beleaguered Taranto. Set up in 2009 and awarded to Riondino in 2010, this year the Premio Prospettiva, in the wake of notable gambles and discoveries in Trieste, goes to the luminous realism of Carlotta Gamba, who in just a few films has already demonstrated how to measure light and shade in her characters from different eras.

ShorTS 2024 sails along several routes, heads towards surprising landing stages, and enjoys taking advantage of whatever winds will accompany it for at least another quarter of a century.

Maurizio di Rienzo
President, Associazione Maremetraggio
Director, ShorTS International Film Festival