The official “birth certificate” of the Premio Forte dei Marmi per la Satira Politica is a resolution by the municipal council of Forte dei Marmi dated 17 August 1973. An award born in Tuscany, the cradle of caustic, anarchic spirits, with the ambitious intention to valorize those who have dared challenge the untouchability of Italy’s politicians and at the same time to create an informed link between the world of politics and public opinion. Thanks in part to the media attention it immediately attracted, from the very start the Satire Award emerged as a thoroughly original and anti-traditionalist award, far removed from the seasonal haute monde atmospheres of the great Italian literary prizes: a modern contribution to perpetuating and invigorating that predilection for pasquinate that has always distinguished our country.
Recalling the words of Leonardo Sciascia when he accepted this award, “satire is the tripoint area lying between literature, the powers that be, and the people,” we like to think that the Premio marks the meeting point of satire, those same powers, and the people. Since 1973, much of the recent history of the Bel Paese has paraded in Forte dei Marmi, where numerous world protagonists of satire and humor have come to receive the award reserved for the finest talents working in these genres. Many of the names now enshrined on the Olympus of satire came to Forte as semi-unknowns, noted by perspicacious juries as rising future talents; others, of great international celebrity and renown, have accorded us the honor of attending and so anointing the Premio as an event of premier standing. When we review our history and surmise what Peter Nichols – historic correspondent for the prestigious British newspaper The Times, hastily dispatched here in August of 1973 to observe how “the Italians suddenly decided to laugh at themselves” – would write today, we believe we can say with certainty that Italy aced the exam.
One thing that jumps out at us as we run down the dean’s list of prizewinners is how those years of public disquiet were shot through with a vein of incredibly intelligent, penetrating commentary. And despite the fact that, today, some pundits speak of a “crisis of satire,” noting how politicians are already caricatures of themselves crueler than anything any pencil could draw, we cannot refrain from noting how the history of this little prize, which teaches us that fuming consciences have never really disappeared and that “common indignation,” understood as the hardy impertinence of the human spirit, is an irrepressible part of our makeup – that, in short, satire is in no danger of extinction.
If we look back, we see how, as the genre expanded into new media and attracted broader swathes of the public, year after year the Premio likewise expanded from its two initial award categories (satirical literature and satirical painting), adding at the second edition awards for cabaret theater, satirical drawings and television satire, and later, even more categories until arriving at today’s list: journalism, national and international satirical drawing, literature, TV, radio, theater, cinema, web, sector studies, and special initiatives.
Some of the Names in our Palmarès
Mino Maccari, Achille Campanile, Giancarlo Fusco; Mario Melloni (Fortebraccio); Benito Jacovitti; Tullio Pericoli e Emanuele Pirella; Giorgio Forattini; Francesco Tullio-Altan; Pino Zac; Alfredo Chiappori; Sergio Staino; Emilio Giannelli; Sergio Angeletti (Angese); Vincenzo Gallo (Vincino);la redazione de “Il Male”; Michele Serra; Paolo Rossi; Massimo Bucchi; Pat Carra; Lella Costa; Serena Dandini; Roberto Benigni; Renzo Arbore; Dario Fo; Leonardo Sciascia; Indro Montanelli; Cesare Zavattini; Oreste Del Buono; Achille Campanile; Nanni Moretti; Enrico Ghezzi; Antonio Ricci; Gino Vignali e Michele Mozzati; Serena Dandini; Curzio Maltese; Piero Chiambretti; Geppi Cucciari; la redazione de “Le Canard enchainé”; Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo; Paolo Villaggio; Maurizio Nichetti; i disegnatori francesi: Claude Serre, Tim (Luis Mitelberg), Pancho (Francisco Graells), Plantu (Jean Plantureux); i disegnatori britannici: Ralph Steadman, Steve Bell, Andrzej Krauze; Jaume Perich e la rivista “Mongolia” dalla Spagna; David Levine, Jules Feiffer, Garry B. Trudeau, MacNelly dagli Usa; il giornale “Dedeté” (Cuba); Doaa Eladl (Egitto); Marco Travaglio; Michele Rech (Zerocalcare); la redazione di TGLercio; il gruppo di autori di “The Pills”; Nadia Khiari (Tunisia), Sid Alì Melouah (Algeria); Claudio Bisio; Claudio Santalmassi; la redazione di “Pizzino”; Giorgio Faletti; Giobbe Covatta; Giovanni Sartori; Riccardo Mannelli; Ezio Greggio; Marco Dambrosio (Makkox); David Riondino; Danilo Maramotti; Stefano Disegni; il sito web “Dagospia”; Paola Cortellesi; Antonio Albanese; Virginia Raffaele; PierFrancesco Diliberto (Pif); Silvia Truzzi and many, many others.
The foundations for the Premio were laid by the promotional and founding Committee, composed of Umberto Donati, Antonio Molino, and Carlo Augusto Polacci; over the years, the municipal government brought in many others to oversee the undertaking both as members of the Organizing Committee and, beginning in 1989, as members of the board of the Fondazione Città di Forte dei Marmi. Mentioning all their names stands as an expression of our thanks for the pertinacity and savvy of all those who were determined to see this event begin and grow and who, through their hard work, made it so.
The members of the various bodies that have guided the event through its history include Alessandro Buselli, Maria Laura Bertoni Guidi, Mario Bibolotti, Francesco Bogliari, Umberto Buratti, Giulio Cosi, Marcello De Angelis, Sergio Eufrate, Fabio Frullani, Enrico Gabrielli, Annalisa Gai, Giorgio Giannelli, Rossano Giannini, Andrea Landi, Salvatore Licitra, Renato Maggi, Renato Magri, Giorgio Marchetti, Luigi Marchi, Massimo Marsili, Angelo Mattugini, Paolo Moretti, Letizia Oddo, Marco Pacini, Paolo Barberi, Giovanni Berardinelli, Athos Bertelloni, Massimiliano Bertoli, Raffaella Panichi, Paolo Peterlin, Roberto Pierini, Marcello Polacci, Arturo Puliti, Enrico Salvatori, Roberto Santini, Alberto Stefani, Roberto Tacchella, Vivaldo Tonini, Celso Trombella, Mario Sarti, Cancogni, Attilio Pagani, Rachele Nardini, Giacomo Pieve, Enrico Ceretti, Massimo Galleni, Luca Vagli, Vivaldo Tonini.
Cinzia Bibolotti and Franco Calotti added their expertise to the Organizing Committee in 1976, the former as secretary, the latter as press officer. They both developed a true passion for the genre and were soon the artistic curators of the Premio and the exhibitions.
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