Il Cinema Ritrovato: The essential festival for die-hard film fans

Il Cinema Ritrovato: The essential festival for die-hard film fans

Film festivals are often assumed to be solely designed to showcase brand new films – but this isn’t always the case.

Every year, festivals such as Sundance, Cannes and Venice debut forthcoming titles, the majority of which are in need of distribution, with the eye firmly fixed on the future.

But there’s one festival that the most die-hard film fan should have on their radar: Il Cinema Ritrovato.

Since its debut in 1986, the festival, which takes place in Bologna, Italy, has compiled programmes filled with rare prints of even rarer films as well as beloved classics best experienced on the big screen.

According to the festival’s website, there will be “a great wealth of dazzling digital restorations but also screen many films in 35 and 16mm prints from archives and rights holders who keep safeguarding and preserving our common film heritage”.

This year’s event kicks off on 22 June, and will run for 10 days through to 30 June. It will feature strands dedicated to Marlene Dietrich and Pietro Germi, alongside “lesser-known and underappreciated masters”, including Anatole Litvak, Kozaburo Yoshimura and Gustaf Molander.

There will also be a 70mm screening of John Ford’s 1956 Western The Searchers and a 4K restoration of 1974 Steven Spielberg film The Sugarland Express.

Other classics being screened include Ealing comedy The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), musical Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil (1958) and Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest (1959).

More dedicated film lovers will no doubt want to see FW Murnau’s silent film The Last Laugh (1924), Raoul Walsh’s The Roaring Twenties (1939), starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Priscilla Lane, 1966 yakuza film Tokyo Drifter and Harry Kümel’s erotic horror film Daughters of Darkness (1971).

Heightening the experience are scheduled screenings accompanied by a live orchestra, which will take place in Piazza Maggiore, a square located in the centre of Bologna surrounded by palaces and the Basilica of San Petronio.

Il Cinema Ritrovato takes place in Bologna, Italy (Margherita Caprilli)
Il Cinema Ritrovato takes place in Bologna, Italy (Margherita Caprilli)

The full programme will be unveiled on 10 June – but you can see what has been announced to date here.

There are a range of passes on offer – a standard pass, permitting you access to all screenings, is £102, with a discounted pass, priced at £51, is also on offer. There are also cheaper passes available for students.