Historically, Friulian cinema makes its appearance at the start of the ‘80s, with Maria Zef by Vittorio Cottafavi, a film inspired by the novel written by Paola Drigo in 1936 bearing the same title. The film tells a story that Vittorio Cottafavi had intended to bring to life for many years. Set in Carnia, Maria Zef shows the tragedy of a young woman who lives in the mountains with her uncle and her younger sister and who ends up killing him to defend herself and her sister from his clutches. Writer Siro Angeli played a key role in the production of the film as not only was he the scriptwriter but also skilfully interpreted the protagonist.
The film was broadcast many times by the regional RAI and presented at several international festivals and events.

Shot in 16 mm, then blown up to 35 mm, today the film is unable to be screened. In fact, the copies left are discoloured and also most of the sound is ruined. To make sure that this heritage of our cinematography, a group of cultural entities – the Cineteca of Friuli in Gemona, il C.E.C. (Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche) in Udine and Cinemazero in Pordenone – have been pursuing for years the idea of restoring old films involving other entities and obviously RAI that owns the related rights. The project also envisages the distribution of film in DVD along with a book that will be edited by the critic Sergio Grmek Germani.

In the same years of Maria Zef other works were produced, both amateurial and professional, such as I varès volût vivi by Pittini or the Friulian versions of 1986, of the trilogy Cuitrileture part prime, seconde e tierce (versions enriched with new introductory shootings) by Marcello De Stefano, one of the directors that are most sensitive to reality, who reproposed the Friulian issue in all its facets through the essay-film.

Before then, the few films produced in Friuli were all in Italian. These include La sentinella della patria by Chino Ermacora and, above all, Gli ultimi by Vito Pandolfi and David Maria Turoldo. A fundamental boost to our film production surely came from the Mostre dal Cine Furlan, a biennial festival created in 1988 by the Centro Espressioni Cinematografiche of Udine with the objective of stimulating and spreading our cinema. Thanks to this event, in the ‘90s there was a qualitative and quantitative growth in products: from feature films to documentaries, from experimental films to cartoons.

The seventh art is involving an increasing number of professionals and enthusiasts. Among these we can mention Lauro Pittini, Lorenzo Bianchini e Massimo Garlatti-Costa as regards fiction; Benedetto Parisi, Giancarlo Zannier as regards fairy tales and folk stories; Dorino Minigutti and Renato Calligaro as regards teaching and artistic films; Remigio Romano, Carlo Della Vedova and still Parisi as regards documentaries.
In conclusion, high professionalism is developing in the field of cinematography in Friuli, though there are still too many structural and organizational drawbacks that slow down its growth.

Consult the materials

Object More
Friulian language cinema and other visual arts
TV, online and audiovisual productions
Educational videos and documentaries
Mostre dal Cine Furlan
Concors par Tescj Cinematografics

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