Our history

The Salento International Film Festival (SIFF) represents a significant entity in the world of film festivals, having been founded in 2004 in Tricase, in the heart of Salento. This region, known as the “Gateway to the East,” has a long history of cultural crossroads and traditions that blend Eastern and Western influences, reflecting the rich tapestry of civilizations that have left their mark on the heel of Italy.

The idea of a traveling festival, which took off in 2010 with an event in London, marks a significant turning point in the history of the SIFF, extending its impact well beyond Italian borders. The conception of SIFF World has allowed for the presentation of films and events in numerous international destinations, including cities like Zurich, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile, Yerevan, Oslo, and Reykjavik, among others. This itinerant approach has not only expanded the geographical reach of the festival but also enriched its cultural profile, attracting a global and diverse audience.

Over time, the SIFF has earned a prestigious reputation, valued not only for the artistic quality of the films presented and the beauty of its locations but also for the international figures who participate in it. Through the presence of guests and witnesses from various fields and cultures, the festival offers an eclectic and profound view of cinema, art, and culture. Its formula, which focuses on high-quality content and meticulous research among forms of contemporary cultural expression, reflects the belief that cinema represents today the most powerful means of cultural communication and connection between peoples.

The continuous evolution and success of the Salento International Film Festival have solidified its place in the landscape of film events both nationally and internationally. The SIFF’s commitment to promoting cinema as a tool for dialogue and mutual understanding among different cultures underscores the power of the cinematic medium as a vehicle for universal communication, capable of uniting people through shared stories and experiences.

Our Vision

The vision of the Salento International Film Festival (SIFF) is deeply rooted in the power of cinema to convey and enrich cultural understanding through the diversity of its expressions. The festival commits to promoting stories from every corner of the globe, emphasizing the importance of authentic and varied representation that can offer the audience a broad and profound perspective on the many facets of human existence. This effort aims not only to celebrate the artistic beauty of cinema but also to use it as a tool for promoting tolerance, understanding, and intercultural dialogue.

The SIFF’s focus extends well beyond the mere screening of films; it aspires to become a catalyst for community engagement and education through the organization of workshops, events, and special screenings. These initiatives are designed to stimulate the active participation of the audience and to strengthen the bond between the festival and the local community, highlighting the role of cinema as a vehicle for knowledge and for personal and collective growth

Additionally, the SIFF places a strong emphasis on social responsibilities, incorporating ecological and sustainable practices into its operations to demonstrate a commitment to a greener and more conscious future. This component reflects the festival’s awareness of the importance of acting responsibly not only in the cultural field but also in the environmental arena.

Collaboration with international film festivals, cultural organizations, and academic institutions represents another fundamental pillar of the SIFF’s vision. Through these partnerships, the festival commits to building a global network that fosters cultural exchange and enriches the cinematic experience, broadening the boundaries of dialogue and mutual understanding.

In summary, the vision of the Salento International Film Festival is based on the idea that cinema is much more than just a form of entertainment. It is a powerful force for education, empathy, and social change, capable of uniting people beyond linguistic and cultural barriers and inspiring a more inclusive and understanding future.

Some of the events in Salento and around the world