The festival

Founded in 2006, the Incontri Cinematografici di Stresa is an international film event, whose object is a dynamic comparison between Italian and European cinema. In 2009, after three editions exclusively focused on Italy and Switzerland, the festival opened up to other European nations (starting from French-speaking Belgium), chosen among countries with a low-to-medium volume of production. This process of gradual enlargement continues in the fifth edition, whose programme selection will also include Portugal and Flemish-speaking Belgium.

The seven-day programme features screenings, premieres, retrospectives, special events and public meetings, which are meant to explore the cinematographies of the invited countries and promote the relationships among them. The highlight of the festival programme are the traditional open-air screenings, which this year will take place in Piazza Cadorna, in the very heart of the old city centre. The programme also includes more spectacular events – such as readings, concerts, and the festival’s “happy hours”, with live music – scattered round the city centre, in the most charming spots of Stresa, so as to turn the whole city into a festival venue.

Starting from 2007, the festival has been assigning the Golden Swan Award, a non-competitive award. The prize is a work of art by an important contemporary artist, and it is assigned to important personalities of Italian cinema (the Comencini family in 2007, director Silvio Soldini in 2008, Luca Vendruscolo and the authors of the TV series Boris in 2009).