Short Film Screening & Discussion
Nowruz – A Celebration of Resilience and New Beginnings on March 24, 2024 | 8 PM


Italy 2022


Matteo Damiani

Matteo Damiani has an extensive background in the film industry, having worked as an assistant director for renowned filmmakers including Roberto Faenza, Andrej Konchalovskij, Susanna Nicchiarelli, Daniele Vicari, Michele Vannucci, and Matteo Rovere. Additionally, MD contributed to the TV series Romulus and Supersex.

Transitioning into directing, MD’s documentary Grandi ma piccoli earned accolades, including the Best Film award at the Wag Film Festival 2016 and Best Italian Documentary at Roma Cinema Doc 2017.

In 2022, MD directed the short film The Last Party, produced by Movie Factory and featuring actresses Dora Romano and Luisa De Santis. The Last Party garnered multiple awards at both national and international festivals, solidifying MD’s reputation as a talented and versatile filmmaker.


Celeste, 70 years old and recently widowed, harbors a long-held desire she’s never had the courage to pursue during her marriage: to dance at the festival in her small hometown. As she prepares for the event, she receives an unexpected visit from Teresa, her estranged sister whom she hasn’t seen in years. Teresa needs to travel to town for a doctor’s appointment and asks to borrow Celeste’s small van, typically used for selling flowers at the cemetery. Concerned for her sister’s well-being, Celeste agrees to accompany her, with the condition that they return in time for the festival.

However, their journey takes an unexpected turn when the van breaks down, forcing Celeste and Teresa to continue on foot. Along the way, they reconnect, confront past issues, and rediscover each other’s company as if meeting for the first time. Celeste soon realizes that Teresa’s doctor’s appointment was merely a pretext, and her sister is hiding a secret that will profoundly impact their relationship.

Director Statement:

The Last Party is a poignant short film shot in the picturesque province of Pesaro and Urbino, generously supported by the Marche Region and Marche Film Commission.

Having premiered at the esteemed 58th Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema in Pesaro, Te Last Party has garnered significant recognition, including the prestigious Atena Nike Award in Taormina for Best Screenplay and Best Lead Actress. Additionally, it received accolades such as Best Short Film, Best Screenplay, and Best Lead Actress at the Garbatella Outisder Film Festival, as well as the Best Comedy Short at the Stuff Mx Film Festival. It also earned the Audience Award at the Cecinema Festival and was honored with Best Lead Actress and Best Short Film at the Accordi & disaccordi Festival.

At its core, The Last Party explores the profound experience of reconnecting after years of separation and rediscovering the beauty of relationships. As Celeste and Teresa embark on a journey of reminiscence and reconciliation, unspoken truths and poignant silences accompany them along the way. Despite belonging to a different era and rhythm of life, the two sisters, Celeste and Teresa, bravely assert their presence, despite feeling overlooked in their small provincial town.

Their story resonates with the resilience and determination of women who have often been denied agency in their youth. Teresa, in particular, harbors a lifetime of hidden emotions, including a clandestine love affair never disclosed, even to her sister. Yet, The Last Party reminds us that it is never too late to engage in heartfelt conversations, rekindle bonds, and reclaim one’s rightful place in life’s extraordinary journey.