Il Varco Short Film Festival - 5th edition

28 Jun 2021 - 04 Jul 2021

Pescara, Italy

Last updated: 31 May 2021

COVID-19 Notice: we are committed to run the festival in a hybrid form, both LIVE and ONLINE with geoblocking. We think that late june will be safe for screening outdoor in Pescara, but we still want to keep the wide audience that followed our last online edition.

𝘽𝙮 𝙛𝙖𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙄'𝙫𝙚 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙝𝙖𝙙 - Severino Iuliano, Winner Best Film 2017 with "Penalty"
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙦𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙖𝙛𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙑𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙁𝙞𝙡𝙢 𝙁𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙖𝙡 - Alain Parroni, Best Italian Production 2018 with "Adavede"
𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙛𝙞𝙡𝙢 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙨 𝙖 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙦𝙪𝙖𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮 - Antonio La Camera, "Nel ritrovo del silenzio". 2019
"𝗠𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻!" - Giulio Mastromauro, David di Donatello Winner - 2020


Since its birth in 2017, our festival committed to a deep and thoughful sifting of the international short film panorama, trying to showcase a selection that is able to portray the actual variety in languages, forms, innovations and genre films that is today independent cinema. What we look for, in terms of selected films, is a sign or premonition of an author to come. We try to find these new directors by looking not for just one sign, but for many good omens at once: a peculiar management of the film’s rhythm; an original aesthetic form; deep, metaphorical writing; the tendency to speak about one’s own peculiar vision of the world. All of this should converge in films that are able to release a very strong and deep emotional and intellectual pull in the spectator.

We try to adapt our selection to the times we’re living, and we’ll choose programs, themes, moods and awards also based on how the films are able to portray the ever-changing reality we’re going through in these times. Also, the films are picked based on other picks as well, creating intertwining synergies, insights, interactions among them.

Our award is called The Hollow Man. It was inspired by T.S. Eliot’s homonimous poem, but with a different meaning. For us, it is the symbol of someone who has torn his heart apart and offered it to us.

We strive for the creation of a festival that is really able to showcase, empower and promote the films of authors that can stay in time as masterpieces of the short film format.

We've just hosted one of the most followed online festivals in Italy during the Covid-19 pandemics, in collaboration with 𝗖𝗶𝗻𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗰𝗮 𝗱𝗶 𝗠𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗼, the second biggest film library in Italy, with almost 30.000 spectators following the live event.

We're preparing a big 5th edition for 2021 that will take place in the city center of Pescara, with open air screenings on the beach, a wide exhibition of experimental cinema for two weeks and a teeming community of filmmaker to join us.

We're up for the challenge of becoming the most recognized film festival for new emerging authors of the independent cinema circuit.


We had the privilege of having two Palme D'Or ("A Gentle Night" and "All These Creatures") in Abruzzi premiere in 2018 and 2019. Directors that got selected in our festival later saw their film recognized with big awards. We were among the first to screen "May Day" in 2018 that later got in the final 10 in Oscars 2018. Winner of the 2017 edition "Penalty" Aldo Iuliano later won the italian Golden Globe and was shortlisted in Oscars 2017. We were among the first to screen Elio Di Pace in a festival, next year he was selected in Venice. Simone Bozzelli, hosted in Nuovo Cinema Abruzzese, was selected in Venice shortly after our screening. Australian film "Wherever was using this bed" made over 170 festival runs and 70 awards after our festival. Our jurors are among the best professionals of the italian film industry. We only care about quality movies, intelligent vision, experimentation and authorial style. We're not saying that this movies went far because of us, but we can tell you that being selected here means that your film has all that is needed to be recognized as an author's film and if we do select it, many others will surely be interested in it.


Selected directors get a chance to become part of our Board of directors, a special Jury made by the directors that were selected in our previous editions. Moreover, on the festival dates, there will be a filmed Directors' Roundtable where the selected directors will have a debate about the forms and languages of short film, that will be distributed in web and TV. 𝗕𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗼𝗳 𝗗𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝟴𝟱+ 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗺 𝗱𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀 including 𝗦𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀, 𝗢𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗿 𝗡𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲𝘀, 𝗤𝘂𝗶𝗻𝘇𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿𝘀, meeting them and sharing ideas with them. Board of Directors jurors get to vote at our festival and have free stay with us in Pescara.


𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗼 𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗶 - 𝗧𝘄𝗼 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗘𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟵, 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟵
Will give the prize for Best Editing

𝗗𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗲 𝗖𝗶𝗽𝗿𝗶̀ - 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗱 𝗱𝗶 𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗖𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗽𝗵𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟬
Will assign the prize for Best Cinematography

𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗼 𝗗'𝗔𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗳𝗶 - 𝗚𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗻 𝗟𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗡𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟭𝟲
Will assign the prize for Best Documentary

𝗟𝘂𝗰𝗿𝗲𝘇𝗶𝗮 𝗚𝘂𝗶𝗱𝗼𝗻𝗲 - 𝗨𝗕𝗨 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝟯𝟬
Will assign the prize for Best Actress

𝗦𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗼 𝗟𝗮 𝗥𝘂𝗶𝗻𝗮 - 𝟯 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝗨𝗕𝗨 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿
Will assign the prize for Best Actor

𝗔𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗶𝗼 𝗖𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗮 - 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝘁 𝗔𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗢𝗹𝘆𝗺𝗽𝗶𝗰𝘀
Will assign the prize for Best Original Score

𝗟𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘇𝗼 𝗕𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗮 - 𝗦𝗜𝗔𝗘 𝗕𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗮𝘁 𝗩𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗙𝗶𝗹𝗺 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹
Will assign the prize for Best Animation Film

𝗙𝘂𝗹𝘃𝗶𝗼 𝗥𝗶𝘀𝘂𝗹𝗲𝗼 - 𝗦𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗲 𝗱𝗲 𝗹𝗮 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗾𝘂𝗲 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗿
Will assign the prize for Best Director

𝗔𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗮 𝗚𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗽𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗼𝘀 - 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗲𝗿, 𝗱𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗜𝗹 𝗩𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗼
Will assign the honorable mention Il Varco

Join Nadja Andrasev, Hanxiong Bo, Fedrik De Beul, Edison Sanchez, Rossella Inglese, Simone Bozzelli, Jimmy Olsson, Darius Etemadieh, Margo Mot, Dagne Gumbreviciute, Mino Capuano, Antonio Romagnoli, Alain Parroni, Lorenzo Berghella, Lorenzo Pallotta, Antonio Di Biase and other 65 directors that are joining us this year in our jury that gets to vote and stay with us in Pescara. Complete list here https://filmfestival.ilvarco.n...

Awards & Prizes


All the submissions get a 50% discount package for all our partner festivals, making the submission practically convenient. For a complete list of the festival look on our website.


All selected shorts get $250 in services (Italian Subtitles, Italian-Subtitled DCP package), free stay and food for the director and a $500 worth of distribution contract proposal with Gargantua Film (not mandatory) for the distribution of the film in Italy. Moreover, the director is invited (forever) to take part in the Board of Directors in our festival.


🏆 Hollow Man Award to the Best Film: $1000 cash prize and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Short Documentary: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract.
🏆 Best Animation Short: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Experimental Short: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Italian Short: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract


🏆 Best Director: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Cinematographer: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Editing: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Original Score: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Acting: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract
🏆 Best Screenplay: award and a $700 worth of distribution contract


Practical info

Pricerange per day
Partner hotel , AirBnb
Main target group
16 - 25 y/o , 25 - 50 y/o , Above 50 y/o
Directions & transport
Car park , Train/tram/bus , Airport (max 20km)
City center
Average attendence per day
500 to 2000 attendees
Art disciplines
Support for disabled people