EFP Cannes
28 June 2017

Dear Mr. President

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Dear Mr. President (Lettera al Presidente)

Dear Mr. President (Lettera al Presidente)

Dear Mr. President (Lettera al Presidente)

original title:

LETTERA AL PRESIDENTE

directed by:

screenplay:

Marco Santarelli, Teresa Bertilotti

cinematography:

world sales:

country:

Italy

year:

2013

film run:

69'

format:

colour

status:

Ready (04/10/2013)

festival & awards:

June 2nd, 2013. Rome at dawn, the city wakes up slowly. In the afternoon, on the sidewalk that runs along the main road that separates the official residence of the President from the city, a long queue of people wait for the gates of the gardens of the Quirinale to open, in a consolidated event that celebrates the Day of the Republic. Along the garden paths of the Head of State’s residence, three men follow a guide who illustrates the history of these gardens. Who are these three men? To find out, we must take a step back in time. To the year 1969.
From Tortoreto, a small town in the Abruzzo region, three young boys, in the wake of the collective euphoria that followed the Moon landing by the Americans, they write and sign a letter to the President of the Republic Giuseppe Saragat, asking him to help them go to Mars. That written request is now on display in the rooms where the archives of the President preserve the thousands of requests and letters that Italian citizens have written to their presidents. A priceless legacy which has never been studied, from the end of World War I to the present day. It tells the story of Italy in the post-war period, during the reconstruction and the economic boom, with its lights and shadows. A journey composed of hard and dramatic life stories, and a myriad of dreams, which present the Italy of yesteryear (and perhaps of today) from an uncommon point of view.

Director’s statement
June 2, 2013. Rome at dawn, as the city slowly awakens. In the afternoon, there’s a long line of people outside the entrance to the presidential residence, waiting for the grounds of the Quirinale to open on this recently reinstated holiday that celebrates the Italian Republic. Letter to the President is an intimate look at the lives of the men and women who turned to Italy’s highest authority, the President of the Republic, from the immediate post-war period to 1969, for advice in solving a problem or making a dream come true. It’s a priceless legacy from those decades, and up to the present day, one that has never been properly studied. Covering the post-war reconstruction of Italy and its economic boom, with its promise and its failings, it’s a journey made up of the dramatic real-life stories and the many dreams, as well, that emerge from the Italy of yesteryear (and perhaps today, as well), seen from a wholly original viewpoint.