I’m back in Florence for yet another edition of the excellent Balkan Florence Express, the film festival devoted to Balkan movies and organized by Cecilia Ferrara and Simone Malavolti with the help of Oxfam Italia. This year’s programme is richer than last year’s; it focuses less on the war and its consequences and more on present-day ordinary life in the Balkan countries, through different topics and cinema genres, from comedy to mockumentary.
Searching for authenticity in Florence can be quite a hard challenge: averring that the town is overcrowded with tourists would be an understatement and the fact that I had screenings to attend at fixed times in the city center made my off-the-beaten-path exploration of Florence trickier. Moreover, that weekend I spent at the Balkan Florence Express film festival was exceptionally rainy, and so now and then I was forced to stop and shelter in some nice café.
“Once I happened to be in Sarajevo during the Sarajevo Film Festival: I totally loved it”, Cecilia Ferrara confessed to me, a Balkan enthusiast who runs the Balkan Florence Express film festival together with Simone Malavolti.
“I didn’t know anything about cinema back then, but I did know that I wanted to bring those movies to Italy”.