The Giffoni Experience: An experience that I will never forget
Giffoni Film Festival 2018, also known as The Giffoni Experience, was a magical 12-day trip that I will never forget. In Early March while browsing Facebook, an article about “Giffoni Film Festival” and how they needed a few Pakistani kids to represent the country at the festival caught my eye. Being immensely interested in film and travel, I sent them an e-mail about how I was interested and wanted to be part of it. I went for the interview and in my mind I “aced” it. Turns out I actually did ace it as I received an email only hours later about my selection in GFF 2018. Excitement and glee rose and I was elated beyond imagination. Two months later, on July 17, I was boarding a plane that would take me to the magical place known as Giffoni Film Festival.
During the festival I was hosted by a family who, despite the language barrier, were as friendly and caring as one could be. The first day of GFF was clearly a huge one as Hollywood stars Paul Rudd and Evangline Lily were coming to present the latest entry in the ever growing Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp. The Film was as good as you would expect and I got the chance to high five Paul Rudd himself!
Sam Claflin and Jeremy Irvine also came during the Festival to present ‘Adrift’ and ‘Mama Mia: Here We Go Again”. But then came the reason this festival was held for, a chance to give some lesser known films some exposure and chance to be seen by young and upcoming talent. The 7 independent films we saw were impactful and had a deep message in all of them, for example, “Los Bando” a story about three young enthusiastic musicians travelling across the country to take part in a Rock Contest had the message of not giving up no matter how many the obstacles; or “Cross My Heart”, a story of young children holding an old woman hostage so they don’t get put in foster homes and be separated, had the message of no matter what your age is, you can fight against the oppressors.
All 7 indie films taught me something. In the end we had to vote for the best film. “This Crazy Heart” was the one I voted for and it was the one that won. It was a touching story about a Millionaire helping a terminally ill kid.
But watching the films wasn’t all that I did. I went to a concert where famous Italian rapper, Vegas Jones performed his famous hits such as “Brillo” and “Trankillo”. The food was also exceptional, cheese pizzas tasted like the best cheese, the best dough and the best basil sauce were mixed together and baked in the best oven in the world. As I found out, there were over 250 types of pasta but I only had the opportunity to try 8 types. But those 8 were delicious. Weather was similar to that of Pakistan. 35-40 degrees in the morning and 15-20 degrees in the night. Giffoni was a small area and in those 12 days I memorized every street and every pizzeria.
All in all, I have to say, The Giffoni Experience is a magical experience and the 12 days I spent there will live forever in my memory. The food, the environment, the films, the music and the people made this an unforgettable trip.
The author is a student and based in Lahore.