International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announces football documentary Mi chiamo Francesco Totti by Alex Infascelli as the winner of the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award for the June festival chapter. Italian director Infascelli was selected by audiences who watched the film both online and in cinemas in Rotterdam during the festival from 2 to 6 June, with online availability until 9 June. The selection of Infascelli for the award and accompanying €5,000 prize on 9 June marks the official close of the festival’s 50th edition.
Festival director Vanja Kaludjercic: “We’re delighted, following February’s winning film Quo vadis, Aida?, to present the second Audience Award of our 50th edition, chosen from our June lineup, to Alex Infascelli’s Mi chiamo Francesco Totti. Congratulations to Alex for his moving storytelling of the illustrious career and life of the great Francesco Totti. IFFR has always had a love affair with this great sport. This combined with our rooting in the undeniably football-crazed city of Rotterdam, it’s no wonder that this film captivated the hearts of our audiences.”
Before Italian footballer Francesco Totti’s final game, this passionate documentary looks back on his well over 25-year career playing for AS Roma. Using a wealth of archival footage, Infascelli composes a passionate portrait of this one-club man, adored by the people of Rome as both a star athlete and humble family man. Infascelli depicts the footballer after having previously portrayed Stanley Kubrick in the 2015 documentary S is for Stanley, on Emilio D'Alessandro, Kubrick's personal driver.
Filmmaker Alex Infascelli: “This is unbelievable! Out of all the awards possible, this is the most important: the crowd. I am grateful to everyone who has opened their hearts to our film!”
The BankGiro Loterij Audience Award is given to the filmmaker whose title in the official IFFR selection received the highest average vote in the audience poll. To match the 50th edition’s two-part festival format, IFFR 2021 provided audiences with the opportunity to vote for two BankGiro Loterij Audience Award winners – one for both the February and June film programme. In February, the BankGiro Loterij Audience Award went to Quo vadis, Aida? by Jasmila Žbanić for her portrayal of the Srebrenica massacre. The film was later nominated for Best International Feature Film at the Academy Awards.
With the re-opening of museums in the Netherlands, the long-anticipated Vive le cinéma! exhibition opened in Amsterdam on Saturday 5 June. As a joint celebration of Eye Filmmuseum’s 75th anniversary and IFFR’s 50th edition, iconic filmmakers with a festival history were commissioned to produce installations for this exhibition on art and film, including Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and Jia Zhangke. The exhibition runs until 5 September.