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Holy See Pavilion at the


Social Friendship: Meeting in the Garden

Movie projection and conversation between Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça and Director Mario Martone


The Dicastery for Culture and Education, in collaboration with the Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo, announce the event “Social Friendship: Meeting in the Garden”, to be held on September 7th, 2023, at the Holy See Pavilion, hosted by the Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore - Benedicti Claustra Onlus in Venice.

This collaboration between the Dicastero per la Cultura e l’Educazione, the Benedicti Claustra Onlus and the Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo realizes the coming together of two cultural events of global significance: the Biennale Cinema 2023 and the Biennale Architettura 2023. This conjunction occurs on the awarding of the Robert Bresson Prize to Mario Martone, in the presence of Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, on September 7th at 11 a.m. at the Spazio Cinematografo at the 80. International Film Festival of La Biennale di Venezia.

Organized during the 80. Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia, the event will be an opportunity to visit and learn about the Holy See Pavilion and to attend the screening of the film “Nostalgia”, with the extraordinary presence of director Mario Martone and lead actor Pierfrancesco Favino.

The event “Social Friendship: Meeting in the Garden” is named after the Holy See’s exhibition for its National Participation at the 18. International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by architect Roberto Cremascoli and commissioned by Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, the Pavilion extends from the exhibition halls to the garden of the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore, managed by the Benedicti Claustra Onlus, which actively collaborated in the project.

During the evening, it will be possible to explore the Pavilion, including the installation “O Encontro” by Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza (Pritzker Prize in 1992) and the refined garden designed by the Italian collective Studio Albori, Emanuele Almagioni, Giacomo Borella and Francesca Riva who will accompany the guests, together with the curator, on a guided tour of the Pavilion.

After the visit, the evening will continue at the nearby Compagnia della Vela, where a dialogue will be held between the Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça and the Director Mario Martone, before moving on to the screening of the film “Nostalgia.” The discussion will be moderated by journalist and author Aldo Cazzullo. The film tells how, after forty years away, Felice (interpreted by Pierfrancesco Favino) returns where he was born: the Rione Sanità in the heart of Naples. There, he rediscovers the places and the traditions of the neighbourhood and a past that devours him.



Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça

José Tolentino de Mendonça (Portugal, 1965), Cardinal, Prefect of the Dicastery for Culture and Education. A long-time university professor, in addition to theological nonfiction, he is also the author of an extensive body of poetry and is considered one of the most original voices in Portuguese literature. He has previously served as Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church (2018-2022). His priority is the dialogue of Christianity with the contemporary world.

Roberto Cremascoli

Architect, curator, author. He studied at the Faculty of Architecture in Porto and at the Polytechnic University of Milan, where he graduated, in 1994 under the supervision of Pierluigi Nicolin and Álvaro Siza. Co-founder in 2001 of COR arquitectos studio in Porto, together with Edison Okumura and Marta Rodrigues. The collective has designed works built in Portugal, Italy, Switzerland and France resulting also from successes in international competitions. The Renovation of the Grande Hotel in Porto, the Black Tower of Light on the Roof, Cantù and the NAC -Nucleus of Contemporary Art in the Resin Factory in Marinha Grande, Portugal, are some of his achievements. The firm has signed several projects together with Álvaro Siza such as the Residential Complex in Via Roma in Gallarate, a work completed in 2020. He has been curator of several exhibition projects and publications such as “Porto Poetic” at La Triennale di Milano (2013) and “Álvaro Siza, Inside the human being” at MART (2014). In 2016, he was the curator of the Portuguese Pavilion at the 15.

International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia entitled “Neighborhood, Where Alvaro meets Aldo” with Nuno Grande and the Portuguese Pavilion at the XXI Triennale di Architettura di Milano “Objects after Objects” with Maria Milano.

Mario Martone

Mario Martone, director and screenwriter. He has made the feature films Morte di un matematico napoletano, L’amore molesto, Teatro di guerra, L’odore del sangue, Noi credevamo, Il giovane favoloso, Capri-Revolution, Il sindaco del rione Sanità, , Nostalgia, and Laggiù qualcuno mi ama. Each of these films is connected to an articulated series of plays, documentaries, short films, staged operas that make up the body of his work. He founded the Falso Movimento and Teatri Uniti groups and directed the stable theaters in Rome and Turin. He created the Teatro India in Rome in 1999. In 2018, the Madre Museum in Naples dedicated a major solo exhibition to him. During the pandemic, he made a Barber of Seville and a La Traviata in the form of films for television. For his filmographic activity he received a Silver Lion-Grand Jury Prize at the 49th Venice International Film Festival, four David di Donatello, five Nastri d’Argento, three Globi d’Oro. The Rivista del Cinematografo gave him two “Navicella Cinema Italiano” awards for the best film of the year: in 2010, for Noi credevamo and in 2015 for Il giovane favoloso. In 2023, he received the Robert Bresson Award, the recognition of the Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communication.

Dicastery for Culture and Education

The Dicastery for Culture and Education fulfills the Holy Father’s mandate expressed in the Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium of March 19, 2022, through the promotion of culture, intercultural dialogue, the enhancement of cultural heritage and the development of the fundamental principles of education, with reference to schools, higher institutes of study and research, Catholic and ecclesiastical (cf. NN. 153-162 of Praedicate Evangelium). The structure of the Dicastery is divided into the Culture Section and the Education Section, which work, within the scope of their respective competencies, in an integrated and coordinated form.

Abbey of St. George Major - Benedicti Claustra Onlus

Benedicti Claustra Onlus was born from the desire of the Benedictine monks to promote and support, through direct collaboration, activities and projects for the development of art and artistic research. The Monastic Community of San Giorgio Maggiore Abbey in Venice, in the wake of a centuries-old tradition, still promotes art, culture and creativity in its various forms of expression. Inside the Palladian Basilica, the Benedicti Claustra Onlus hosts cultural initiatives of great artistic value and with a strong spiritual connotation. The presence of contemporary works of art within a sacred space has awakened the sensitivity of the faithful and visitors, triggering a fertile confrontation that opens new horizons of evangelization and dialogue. The various activities of the Benedicti Claustra Onlus are part of an overall program called “ART SAVES ART”: all donations for various cultural activities are reinvested in restoration work to protect and enhance the works of art in the Abbey.

Fondazione Ente dello Spettacolo

Established in 1947, the Ente dello Spettacolo promotes film culture in Italy by mandate of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. The Foundation’s editorial hub is Cinematografo, which, through the Rivista del Cinematografo (founded in 1928, among the first Italian publications in the sector, and the oldest still active), Cinematografo.it, festival initiatives, awards (such as the Robert Bresson Prize, Cinematografo Awards) and book publishing, serves as a space for reflection and mediation of the meanings of storytelling in words and images. Criticism, training, planning, communication, organization of events, workshops, reviews and festivals: with its activities Cinematografo presides over every sphere that concerns cinema in Italy and abroad, representing an authoritative point of reference for enthusiasts and for all those who want to approach the world of cinema for cultural deepening, personal growth, business development.

Vatican City, September 6th, 2023

For National and International press:

Cristiano Grisogoni | DCE: cristiano.grisogoni@dce.va

Flavia Chiavaroli | COR arquitectos: flavia.chiavaroli@corarquitectos.com

Carolina Pensato | Ufficio Stampa Cinematografo | ufficiostampa@entespettacolo.org


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