SIFF - Sabaoth International Film Festival

A FESTIVAL UNITING FAITH AND ART

It is well known that Italy is the land of art, culture, excellent cuisine and a temperate climate. It is the homeland of “bel canto” and of opera but also of excellent modern music. It is famous for its great filmmakers of the past (from Rossellini to De Sica, from Visconti to Fellini) as well as for today’s talented directors who are making their mark in the film industry. However, Italy is also a country that is steeped in history. It’s Christian roots stem back to 2000 years ago and these roots can neither be denied nor eradicated notwithstanding our present calling to interact and promote dialogue with other worlds and cultures.

Faith and Art: these are the two principles on which the Sabaoth Film Festival is founded.

HISTORY

The Sabaoth International Film Festival is unique in its genre, being a rare example of Christian film festivals in Europe open to the secular public. It was created in 2004 by the Cooperativa Sabaoth, who had already launched a festival of Christian music in 2000 (the Sabaoth Music Festival), now renowned in Italy. Each edition of the Sabaoth International Film Festival offers the public and film critics high quality cinema that is also a vehicle for transmitting a positive message.

Films that help us re-discover values that have, sadly, often been neglected.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE

From the “magic lantern” to 3D, the world of films has always contributed to the creation of myths and trends. It has often made us laugh, made us think and also offered messages that have had a strong influence on society. Of course, films have also generated millions in income. Without wanting to diminish the importance of great artists who have used this media to express their thoughts by means of dramatic or tragic scripts, we strongly feel that in this particular moment of time, films need to go back to telling “positive stories” in which the power of the message of hope can act as a ferry for the audience, taking them beyond the obstacles and negative circumstances of their lives.

The heart of the Sabaoth International Festival is precisely this: transmitting hope.

The films participating tell real stories (documentaries) or fictional ones that narrate the tangible possibility of overcoming difficult and painful situations (life crisis, marital problems, illness, death, etc.) Many times in fact, we cannot change the circumstances but we can intervene to improve them and above all, we can modify our ability to react positively to them. The category dedicated to films for children and youth is particularly dear to our hearts because we believe that this is an important means of educating youngsters to respect their fellow peers, teaching them to face suffering without making fun of it or succumbing helplessly to it. Often in the category dedicated specifically to films for youth, as opposed to exalting a competitive spirit at all costs (which is the current trend nowadays) the story highlights a spirit of self-sacrifice, the importance of friendship and the ability and sensitivity to listen to and understand others.

Christian media wants to bring these values to the forefront.

At a closer look, these are the same values that uphold a “healthy” secular society and that should be applicable for every human being: the restoration of dignity, forgiveness, respect, mutual assistance and acceptance of others.

THE OBJECTIVE

Since its creation, the objective of the Film Festival has been to bring together high quality Christian cinema, TV and animated film productions from all over the world, in order to promote and encourage creative excellence in this field. The films nominated are divided into different categories: feature drama, short drama, feature documentary, short documentary, children/youth, first time/student productions and animation. The winners of each category receive an ADAM AWARD, the Oscar of Christian cinema. The Festival presents films by famous directors as well as first- time productions; productions made with millions of dollars as well as those made with a few thousand euros. They are films that have a great market potential but first and foremost, possess “a soul and a centre that emanates identity” as Wim Wenders so eloquently put it.

An identity in which we can all find our place – a universal identity..

Another of our objectives is to invest in the dubbing and distribution of these films, which are already successfully officially distributed in other markets but hardly ever available in Italy, notwithstanding their high artistic value.
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