Villa Medici Film Festival

Villa Medici Film Festival
1st edition
From 15 to 19 September 2021

The French Academy in Rome and its director Sam Stourdzé launch the Villa Medici Film Festival, a new film festival dedicated to artists and filmmakers who explore contemporary practices of the moving image. The first edition is held in Rome, at Villa Medici, from Wednesday September 15 to Sunday September 19, 2021.

For more than a decade, the links between cinema and contemporary art have continuously intensified and generated new film writings. The role of Villa Medici is to foster a dialogue between the arts and to open up these new territories of creation. The festival shows films that invent their own form and embody a freedom to think, seek and share as many approaches to the world as possible.

The international competition presents fourteen films, of all lengths and genres (documentary, fiction, essay), produced in 2020 or 2021. Two prizes will be awarded by a jury composed of Teresa Castro, Mati Diop and Béla Tarr: the Villa Medici Prize for best film and the Jury Prize for a unique film that caught the attention of the jurors. These endowed prizes will also offer the two authors the opportunity to complete a writing residency at Villa Medici.

For five days, this new festival presents open-air evening screenings in the gardens of the Villa, performances and installations, different focuses on established filmmakers or artists, carte blanche to institutions defending contemporary creation, talks about the films shown and about thematic issues regarding the conditions of production and distribution, bringing together programmers, curators and collectors. The festival takes place in the spaces of the Villa – two indoor movie theaters, an open-air cinema, installations, meeting places – to make this remarkable venue in Rome a showcase dedicated to cinema.

Download the press release


Cinema at Villa Medici

Since 1974, the French Academy in Rome has welcomed resident filmmakers or screenwriters (Clément Cogitore, Mitra Farahani, Benjamin Crotty, Thomas Salvador, Nora Martirosyan, Xavier Beauvois, Rémy Belvaux…) and artists making short and feature films (Éric Baudelaire, Valérie Mréjen, Lola Gonzàlez). Since the early 2000s, Villa Medici has been showcasing cinematographic creation and its history, with programming initiatives such as Cinemondo, Re | visioni or Cinema all’aperto festival.


The French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici thanks the sponsors and partners of the first edition of the Festival: