With its reputation of fostering some of the most notable painters and sculptors who ever lived, Florence may not be the first city that comes to mind for spotlighting emerging artists. Its status as host of an annual short film festival that promotes young and undiscovered talent reveals that art is more than history — it is an ongoing event in Florence. When you decide to investigate Florence real estate opportunities as a short or long term resident of the city, surprises like this pop up all the time.
The first incarnation of the Florence Short Film Festival took place in October 2014, entertaining over 300 spectators. By 2015, attendance nearly doubled, with completely sold out shows and the attendance of notable personalities in the realm of Tuscan culture and the arts. The success of the festival led to the decision to expand the 2016 edition of the festival from one day to two. The longer format allows for the exposition of more entries, which now come from all over the world.
If you are new to town, possibly as an occupant of short term rentals in Florence or one of the stylish homes for sale in Florence, the film festival is a great chance to get to know the fabulous Odeon Theater, an important place for any film lover in the city. The palatial Odeon sits behind a classic 1920’s facade. Besides playing host to the Short Film Festival, it is one of the rare places in Italy that shows films in their original language instead of being dubbed into Italian.
Short films allow theater-goers to experience a series of films in succession, like a meal of small dishes. Because the format is short, film makers are forced to tell a story in less than 15 minutes. It is sometimes surprising to watch how plots can unravel and characters can be developed in such a brief time. Watching several stories one after the other also permits comparison of different filmmakers’ styles, which can be interesting in itself.
The flourishing festival now hosts multiple categories (animation and fiction, in 2016), with two prizes awarded to the best in each category, as determined by a professional jury of journalists Jacopo Chiostri and Marco Luceri, as well as the audience. The winners of the jury award receive monetary prizes and commemorative plates, while the audience prize in each category is an “audience prize” plate.
Feeling creative yourself? The festival welcomes applicants who want to screen their own short films (no longer than 15 minutes) to a large audience of film lovers and journalists. Applicants should fill out an online form by the preceding September; enrolling in more than one category is not permitted. Films in Italian and English are currently accepted; those in other languages should be submitted in with English or Italian.