Essay Film

- 2023 EDITION -


Cagliari Essay Film is a short film competition focused on the genre of the essay film and the diary film, cinematic forms in which the author's voice guides the viewer through their own reflections.These are films that involve an intimate relationship between images and words, allowing the author to reproduce the complexity of thought and provide full expressive freedom to the filmmaker. The goal is to explore issues that are deeply personal as well as social, political, and cultural.

DECEMBER 16, 2023
Fondazione di Sardegna,
via San Salvatore Da Horta 2, Cagliari.


"The selection includes some of
the most interesting proposals we have encountered on the festival circuit in the last two years" says the artistic director Alberto Diana,
"These works have a great generational approach, mostly made by female directors, which show an important trend in contemporary cinema”.
The International competition include films that have participated in the most important
international festivals (such as Till the End by Beatrice Perego), films with an original approach to
animation (Ribs by Farah Hasanbegović) or to the archive (Ciudad Lineal by Riccardo Bertoia), intimate explorations (Sounds of Weariness by Taymour Boulos) or anthropological investigations (Monolith by Tori Carson) and sci-fi (Grodek by Devin Horan).
The films in the Isola competition are made by three authors with different backgrounds, able to creating intimate stories about distances and migration (Diorama by Elena Conti), multi-voice reflections on the relationship with its own body and self-cceptance (What Remains by Marta
Massa) and poetic investigation into the dreams of young women (The World Saved by the Girls by
Maria Luisa Usai).
The out-of-competition films are promoted by Cagliari Creative Factory: Sguardi by
Simone Paderi, Il Cimitero dei Coralli by Claudia Mandas and Elisa Meloni, Fuga dal
Supermarket by Marco Spanu.

Awards & Prizes

(Chosen by the Expert Jury)
500 euro;
(Chosen by the Young Jury)
500 euros.
(Chosen by the Expert Jury)
500 euros prize.

*ISLAND competitive section dedicated to authors born, domiciled or resident in Sardinia without any thematic or geographical boundary.
Works by non-sardinian authors are eligible if they have Sardinia as their location and/or main theme.

Rules & Terms

Submission is open to published or unpublished works having the characteristics of "essay film" or "diary Film", dated not before January 1, 2020. Any format and technique is allowed.DURATION
The length of works must be less than 30 minutes, including titles.
Subtitles are not mandatory for works whose main language is Italian. Works in any other language must be provided with English and/or Italian subtitles.
21 NOVEMBER 2023

Info on

Thanks to its experimental nature and openness to new forms of cinematic expression, the essay film can challenge audience expectations, offering fresh perspectives and stimulating critical thinking through the reflections of the authors.
It's a cinematic genre that distinguishes itself by its tendency to blend elements of documentary, fiction, narrative, and critical reflection. This genre was particularly developed by directors such as Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard, and Agnès Varda in the 1950s and 1960s, but it has continued to evolve and influence contemporary film production.

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The cinematic genre of the diary film contains numerous analogies with the literary genre of the same name. However, unlike the literary genre, where there is a clear distinction between autobiography and diary, in the diary film, this separation is lost in a varied array of styles. These films do not follow a daily chronological structure (structurally, they resemble more of notebooks), but in their journey toward a fragmented and scenic expression of the filmmaker's life, they resemble diaries where the date has been omitted, and the pages have been mixed.

About Us

Cagliari Film Essay is organized by Creative Factory, a hub for audiovisual and contemporary creativity. The objective of our center is to foster an exchange between authors, artists, the local community, and the public, with a focus on generating initiatives expressly aimed at enhancing the Cagliari and Sardinian territory. The center is equipped with a cinema screening room and a multimedia hall for training workshops.

The artistic direction of the competition is entrusted to Alberto Diana, a documentary director whose works have been featured in numerous Italian and international festivals. He has also collaborated with the Festival dei Popoli in Florence and IsReal - Festival of Real Cinema in Nuoro.
The organization is overseen by the board of the Creative Factory Association: Elisa Meloni, Simone Paderi, Denise Maria Paulis and Massimo Angius, in collaboration with the members of the Creative Factory: Claudia Mandas, Marco Spanu, Gabriele Ghiani, Elena Garau.