Keys of the City

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THE UMBRIA FILM FESTIVAL is not a Festival with a competition, but one of the main characteristics that make it unique among other similar events is that every year we invite either an author, a director, an actor or an important personality in international cinema and give to them the Keys of the Town of Montone.

Donating the Keys of the Town is a symbolic act that dates back to Medieval Age when towns like Montone were surrounded by walls. They had gates which were closed during the night with key locks, for defense purpose.

Offering the keys of our town means to give more power in Montone to an important personality: the ability to go everywhere around the town, and in fact everyone who was given this acknowledgement has entered with their own cinema in Montone’s square, among the people, in its cultural and social heart.

The first who was given this appreciation was Terry Gilliam in 1998, now Honorary President of our Festival. In the edition of 2017, Bill Nighy received this distinction, and before him a lot of other personalities of the entire world got on the Festival stage to receive this distinction directly from the Mayor’s hands: Colin Firth, Peter Lord, Lone Shefrig, Ralph Fiennes and many others.

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