Topics, events and guests

From the beginning, the themes developed by the festival dialogue with the architectural elements present in the area: the river, the wall, the door, the bridge and the time and the theme Apatris.

The topics

Among the most representative we include:

  • The river ( 2005), as a metaphor of travel and adventure;
  • Apatris (2007) identity and dignity of those who do not have a homeland;
  • The wall ( 2008), which represents the physical and political constraint of separation- exclusion throughout human history;
  • The bridge (2010), union of civilizations;
  • The door (2011), which we hope always open to knowledge and cultural interchange;
  • Time (2012) , relaxation of the soul, inspired by the clock of Porta Portello stopped at the time of oblivion.

The events and the artists

The events and artists that have taken place in the River Film Festival are many and of great cultural value, we mention some:

  • In 2008, the Palestinian Consul Aiu Abul presented the documentaries ” The Walls of Berlin” and “Borders”;
  • in 2009 the Bakthar Ensemble celebrated the fusion of Greek and Central Asian culture . The floating stage hosts the director Costas Ferris with the film “Rembetiko”, Silver Bear at the 34th Berlin Film  Festival, in addition to 120 artists from Istanbul, Athens, London, Kabul, Berlin and New York with their performances and their films;
  • In 2010 River Film Festival  hosts a refined selection of the best musical, theatrical, cinematographic and artistic events entitled Costantinoples-Patavium on the occasion of the appointment of Istanbul European Capital of Culture. An ensemble of Korean opera singers who illuminate, with their voice, a summer night in Padua in the presence of the Consul Ambassador of Korea in Italy. The Propileo Art Gallery event that took place inside the historic Porta Portello . Veteran of the Golden Bear in Berlin, the film “Caesar must die” is screened and is commented by the prisoner/ actor Salvatore Strian and the theater director Fabio Cavalli, in Rebibbia prison, of the “Giulio Cesare” representation by William Shakespeare from which the film is based.
  • In 2014, the inauguration of the Festival sees the screening of the film ““Il Pianeta che ci ospita”, a wonderful short film by Ermanno Olmi, the result of three-years shooting throughout Italy. To follow, out of competition, the film “Hydro” by Xavi Tello, Rafa G. Sanchez and 54 other registers from around the world, a collective work, shot in 27 countries and set to music by 17 orchestras, on the underwater world where the Virgilio of the situation is a sea turtle traveling the seas;
  • The 2016 edition, the tenth, celebrates an anniversary and opens with the program “River in the city”: a series of events that precede River Film Festival realized  at the University of Padua and at some city’s theatres. Interesting are the themes illustrated and debated: The architecture of sound in today’s cinema – Collective cinema and Crowdfunding – the documentary between poetics and narration – Acting in the digital age.

In the 16 years of the festival many artists and musical groups have performed on stage in various genres : Federica Einaudi, Anita Subrajanav, the Rebetiko Band, the pianist Luis De Arquer, just to name a few . Moreover,some cultural initiatives took place at Portello area aiming at training and film production such as RIVER CORTO, RIVER COLLEGE VIRTUAL REALITY and RIVER EDUCATIONAL .

Among the various national and international institutions with which the association has collaborated are:


University of Padua

Catholic University of Milan

SOAS University of London

York St John University

Aalto University

British Film Institut

London Film School

Swedish Film Institute

La Escuela de Cine S. Antonio de los Baños, Cuba

Iranian Youth Cinema Society


Aesthetica Film Festival