The origins of AsoloArtFilmFestival date back to 1973, when Flavia Paulon brought to Asolo the International Festival of Film on Art and Artist’s Biographies, which, from its very first edition, became one of the most important festivals dedicated to the relations between cinema and art.
After the protests of 1968, the Venice Film Festival had abandoned all the minor festivals, including the International Festival of Film on Art and Artist’s Biographies. A few years later, when she got the chance, film critic and writer Flavia Paulon took it upon herself to start a new Festival of Films on Art in the town of Asolo, considering it a great opportunity of enrichment for the world of cinema.
Besides being its founder, Flavia Paulon was also the artistic director of the Festival until 1982, for a total of 10 editions. Under her direction the Festival, supported by UNESCO, became an international success, showing every year “the best original works, in Italy and in the world, on the specific subject of art”. Enrico Fulchignoni, President of the International Council of Cinema and Television, became a permanent member of the jury.
In order to protect the quality of the Festival, Flavia Paulon always picked the members of the jury very carefully, choosing leading figures of the film and fine arts worlds, such as: art critics Guido Perocco, Umbro Apollonio, François Le Targat, film critics Mario Verdone and Nedo Ivaldi, famous French gallerist Aimé Maeght, Belgian director Henri Stork etc. Also the selection of the films for the competition was the product of an accurate research made by Paulon herself who, after working many years at the Venice Film Festival, had become an expert in the field.
The selection was so rigorous and the quality so high, that the Festival soon became well-known in the whole world, becoming and inspiration for many other festivals. Many famous filmmakers and artists attended the Festival through the years: first of all Andrej Tarkovskij, who won the Asolo Grand Award with his film “Andrej Rublëv” in the first edition of the Festival; Alain Resnais, Jean Rouch, Henri Stork, Luciano Emmer, Giorgio Treves, Alberto Sordi, Fabrizio Plessi, Gaetano Pesce, Luca Verdone and Ingrid Bergam, who was awarded the Eleonora Duse Prize in 1977.
The main goal of the Festival was to show films that otherwise would have been difficult to see and know, filling the gaps left by television and mainstream distribution.
In the 1990s, the Festival was suddenly interrupted. In 2001 it was reprised again with the name of AsoloArtFilmFestival thanks to Attilio Zamperoni and under the artistic direction of Luciano Zaccaria. The following year the non-profit organization A.I.A.F. – AsoloInternationalArtFestival was founded with the aim of renewing the Festival. During the 15 years of A.I.A.F. management, the Festival gained again its international renown, with the participation of more than 80 nations and more than 8000 films. Among the winners of this era there are several worth to remember, such as Mario Martone, Nicole Romine, Liu Zchenche, actresses Ottavia Piccolo and Golshifteh Farahani, who received the Eleonora Duse Award.
In 2015 and 2016, AsoloArtFilmFestival was organized by the non-profit organization ALA-ArmoniosoLabirintoAsolano.
With the hope of receiving the recognition and the support it deserves, the Festival keeps living thanks to the new organizazion AAFF-AsoloArtFilmFestival.