Montone Film Festival

This blog post is for those persons who want to keep up to date on Montone news. If you are food obsessed, the only thing I can say is that after the ceremony on Sunday, there was free panzanella for everyone.  Panzanella is the summer bread salad that uses up all the left over salt free Umbrian bread. I love it, and it’s a great way to feed the masses. Maybe you remember the parable about Christ feeding the masses with 5 fishes and loaves of bread, he probably made panzanella.

Every year, the Umbria Film Association, or whatever it is called, gives out keys to the city. It’s an honor, but at the same time, it’s a little too self-serving for my taste. The only time keys are handed out is during the film festival. Personally, I’d like to honor the street sweepers who keep this town remarkably clean.  (Anyone who visits always comments on how clean the streets are.  Maybe….a little too clean….).  This year they gave out two keys: one to the British director Ken Loach, and one to an Iranian S’unni director, Barman Ghobadi.  Mr. Ghobadi spoke long and eloquently about how his films are banned in Iran, the difficulty of making films in his country and about how he might leave and go to Canada.   
My favorite part of the final key ceremony is the award for best animation. The feature films are not awarded any prizes, only the animated shorts, and the judges are some of the local Montonese schoolchildren.  Every night, they troop out to the piazza, with their clipboards and make their notes; and on Sunday, they announce the winner, and why they chose the winner. I don’t know who won this year, but it seemed to be a unanimous decision. 

There is never a dull moment in town (except in the doldrums of February), and next week the battle of the bands commences. These are orchestras from different towns that put on concerts in the piazza, and its one of my favorite events. Alas, no food is served.

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