“New Visions” for Paradise Film Fest.

The Paradiso Film Fest is already in its fourth edition, with the evocative theme“New Visions.”

I remember the Festival we dreamed up in my backyard in Palazzo Adriano a few years ago, a group of us who wanted only one thing: for this small town in the Sicani Mountains to finally have the Film and Music Festival it deserved.

With the crucial help of the new city administration and Pro-Loco, and a handful of volunteers, we managed to pull off a memorable first edition. 2019 was the year of possibilities.

The next two years and the Covid-19 pandemic quickly brought us back to reality. Subsequent editions have been kept (with the exception of 2020), to keep the flame alive in a very difficult context.

The 2022 edition left its mark with a spectacular resumption of activities, with the first edition of the short film competition and a series of high-profile guests.

These various editions have planted seeds that are now sprouting into magnificent flowers of hope to be realized.

In the past two years, a new generation full of energy and new visions has emerged in Hadrian’s Palace. They are young men and women, all members of the “Youth Council,” which by definition has a regular turnover of members. The“Ingenuity” project involving other young residents of Palazzo Adriano gives them the tools to imagine and realize a future in an area that fits into a regional context of renewal and enhancement of the area and its many riches.

Today, emigration is no longer the only way to project into the future. Many of them have traveled, thanks to the Erasmus program or internships in the north. They returned convinced that right here, in Palazzo Adriano, their future could be realized, because today they see the potential.

Paradiso Film Fest is now driven by this new energy. This year I saw the young team running the festival suddenly become more professional. The short film competition was established, with criteria identical to those of the major festivals, and the response was overwhelming: we received about seventy entries from all over the world.

This year we are also renewing our collaboration with VKRS, a Belgian music video festival held annually in Brussels, whose artistic director Maxime Pistorio we will welcome.

We will also welcome first-rate artists who will share their films and music with the audience, and they will do so with enthusiasm, because everyone knows “The most beautiful little town in Sicily,” as Vittorio Sgarbi rightly said, and everyone wants to be there on the August 4, 5 and 6 in this magnificent square, the natural setting chosen by Peppuccio Tornatore for the Oscar-winning film “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.”

365 days a year, this village is cinema, it is music.

When I think about how far we have come since the first festival, I cannot help but realize that it is bigger than we could have imagined and that this festival is confirming itself in the European scene.

It is proof that a dream made in Sicily can also be realized in Sicily.

Pierre Vaiana, July 2023