City of Dreams (Citta’ dei Sogni) is a short film from the Short Film Corner of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. We did a short interview with the director Paola Bernardini.

Paola Bernardini

Paola Bernardini

What is your film about?

This film tells the coming of age story of two young brothers who run away from home. They embark on an adventure across the wondrous countryside of Puglia, Italy with a child’s dream of a new life. As the boys face adulthood, the myth of this “City of Dreams” begins to crumble. It was entirely shot in different towns of Puglia with first time actors.

What are the main topics raised by the story?

Breathtaking, emotional and humorous. We follow Ernesto and Giovanni as they travel through Puglia to find their “City of Dreams”. It’s a story that tackles the universal concept of “coming of age”; the process of finding your way after reality doesn’t live up to your fantasies. 
We also explore the intricacies and beauty of brotherhood. A brother can cut you down to size, then build you back up; through love, trust and the blood bond, that can be broken by none.

Hand spit(1)

Who is the target audience of your film?

Anyone who appreciates coming of age stories will like this. When screening the film we have seen people of all ages and countries enjoy the film. This relly showed us how broad thy story is. Our main inspirations have been films like ‘Stand By Me’,’ Bicycle Thief’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’.

FInal Scene(1)

Why did you decide to submit the film to the short film corner?

I wanted to present the film in a professional setting. Being in the Cannes Short Film Corner gives us the opportunity to experience the market and meet other professionals in the business. I wanted to enhance the business side of my craft and meet other passionate filmmakers like myself.


We are planning on shooting two more shorts in Puglia, Italy. The landscape of Puglia is so diverse and inspiring, it is a filmmakers dream. Our goal is to make a series of three dealing with similar themes. In addition, I am in the early development stages of my first feature.

You can find the growing list of interviews of the Short Film Q&A from Cannes, here: http://www.daazo.com/cannes2016qa/info