The Torino Film Festival was established in 1982 as the International Youth Film Festival, presenting itself from the start as a metropolitan festival that is linked on one hand to critical thinking, and on the other to the evolution of film language. It was founded by Gianni Rondolino and Ansano Giannarelli, who together run the first edition of the festival. Particular attention was given to retrospectives, which were always of high level and accompanied by important amounts of in-depth study, and to creativity, with a section dedicated to technologically avantgarde independent cinema. With an unprecedented audience in Italy, the festival’s backbone was the liveliness of film classes at University (where Rondolino owned a professorship), combined with the relationship with the public produced by cinematic associationism (AIACE, the Movie Club), from which Rondolino’s most trusted collaborators came from.
From 1989 on, when Rondolino became director of the festival, it has been led by Alberto Barbera (from AIACE), Steve Della Casa, Roberto Turigliatto and Giulia D’Agnolo (from the film club Movie Club founded by Baldo Vallero, who will be on the festival board for a long time). From 2006 on, the festival has been guided by important directors such as Nanni Moretti, Gianni Amelio, Paolo Virzi, and two film critics, Emanuela Martini and Stefano Francia di Celle. For its 40th edition, Steve Della Casa returns to lead the festival.
The festival has dedicated great attention to retrospectives (particularly successful are the French New Wave, the New German Cinema, John Carpenter, George Romero, Manoel De Oliveira, Paolo Gobetti, Aleksandr Sokurov, William Friedkin, Roman Polanski, Wim Wenders, Philippe Garrel, Paulo Rocha, Mohsen Makhmalbaf). Many nowadays famous directors’ first works were also made known thanks to the festival (Jane Campion, Pablo Larrain, Paolo Sorrentino, Pietro Marcello, Gabriele Muccino, Matteo Garrone, Jafar Panahi, Bryan Singer).