Giffoni Experience Blog: Cai Sadd-Desmond, Generator 13+ Programme

Read Cai's experience of his trip to Giffoni Experience Film Festival.

Tell us about your host family, the people you have met so far and the different countries that you have encountered here in Giffoni:

My host family were very kind so I felt comfortable staying with them for the time I was attending the festival. I have made many new friends at the festival from many different countries such as Italy, America, England and Albania.

Tell us about travelling with the Irish delegation and what it’s like to experience a film festival abroad:

I enjoyed travelling with other Irish people but for me the best thing was making new friends from other countries as it is so interesting to see how different they are. Experiencing a film festival abroad is incredible because it is always interesting to see other cultures and also the village was a great venue for the event.

What have been your favourite films so far and why?

My favourite film so far was The Bachelors because in my opinion it had the best acting, plot and camerawork. The story was very captivating and made you more interested in what was going on. I also enjoyed Queen of Katwe because it is set in a country which has great poverty and is rarely filmed in. Another film I really enjoyed was Good Boy because I found it very funny and interesting. Sometimes it was a bit senseless but that did not matter to me as I don’t mind a bit of senselessness as long as it is humorous.

(Above: Still from "The Bachelors")

Have you met/will you meet any filmmakers and is there anyone in particular you enjoyed speaking/are looking forward to meeting?

I enjoyed meeting Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston and Kit Harington because it was amazing to see how they are as people off-stage and listening to how they became such renowned actors was fascinating. They were all kind people and had great stories to tell.

Is there a particular memory or experience that you will remember?

I will never forget all the new friends I made in Giffoni Film Festival. It was so fun meeting new people and especially people from different countries. After the films there was free time where we would play soccer on the pitch and go around the village. The village was a great place to hang out as there was a lot of places to eat and there were so many activities to take part in such as the colour party.

Giffoni Film Festival is about appreciating international cinema and creating an exchange between people from different countries. Is there anything that resonates with you about this?

By attending Giffoni Film Festival I feel that I appreciate international cinema more because I saw many films from different countries as opposed to films just made in the UK, Ireland and America. I also met tons of new people from different countries and I think that this is important for children to do because it removes racial boundaries and helps with cultural understanding so everyone can just get along.

....And any final thoughts or experiences which you wish to share?

I loved Giffoni Film Festival so much. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it. The last day was really sad because I had made so many new friends that I may never see again and I miss the village and overall positive atmosphere of the festival. I really hope that I will have the chance to return next year!

- Cai Desmond, Irish Juror, Generator 13+