The winners of the 2023 Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award

The awards ceremony of the Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award will take place in Perugia on 21 April during the festival.

Big names, important stories and an Emmy Award-winning American director embellish this edition. 

Great satisfaction in the Umbria Chamber of Commerce for the high quality of the journalists and publications that won the 2023 edition of the Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award which, set up way back in 2009, enjoys the patronage of the Italian National Order of Journalists and has now consolidated a global recognition.

“The Stories on Umbria International Journalism Award – stated the President of the Umbria Chamber of Commerce Giorgio Mencaroni – was a beautiful intuition that since its inception has been able to attract the attention of the world of communication for the seriousness and the credibility of its proposal”. Mencaroni continues: “Our intention was to create a new communication format for the area, capable of making the value of Umbria known throughout the world, its uniqueness and the distinctive features of a high-quality production system. The winners in this 13th edition have captured landscapes, events, people, stories that cover the entire regional territory: as the Umbria Chamber of Commerce we are particularly satisfied with this.”

The high profile of the nominations was also underlined by the president of the Jury, the well-known face of Tg2 Eat Parade Bruno Gambacorta, once again at the helm of the award jury. “The beauty of this award is that it is a living thing and every year what is expected changes starting from the experience of previous years, so the sections have a trend that is not always predictable: a year we have dozens of participations from all over the world for one section, the following year maybe there are few and mostly from Italy, while another section assumes exceptional importance. This year it happened with videos that have an extremely varied presence, all very interesting and which forced us to discuss at length to identify the winners. On the other hand, this is the beauty of an award that does not follow pre-established paths and which is based on what journalists and colleagues from all over the world experience, even by simply spending a holiday in Umbria.”

Dozens of nominations poured into the award secretariat from Italy, Switzerland, Serbia, Germany, Malta, Spain, France, the United States and Canada. 

The Bergamo journalist Vannina Patanè won the Tourism, Environment and Culture Section for the article “The city that lives on Art. Spoleto” published in Bell’Italia.

Vannina (born Giovanna Patanè) lives and works in Milan and writes about travel, art, culture and food and wine. For several years she has regularly contributed to the monthly In Viaggio, Bell’Europa and Bell’Italia and with the weekly F, all published by Cairo Editore, often dealing with Umbria. 

For the Umbria del Gusto section, the prize was awarded to Alessio Turazza for his article “Trebbiano spoletino. Umbria in white beyond the red Sagrantino” published on the colorful pages of Gambero Rosso. 

Turazza, from Milan, is a freelance journalist specializing in wine and gastronomy. He boasts collaborations with Gambero Rosso, Viaggiare con Gusto Sano and BioMagazine. He often carries out consultancy for e-commerce sites and lectures for wine tastings and food pairings. 

For the Video section, the prize was won by Francesca Pedrazza Gorlero, the Italian producer of “Italy Made with Love – Umbria”, an extraordinary video broadcast by PBS, a US public television company that represents 349 national stations. The video, shot with cutting-edge means and techniques, was directed and produced by American director Patrick Greene. 

An Emmy Award winner, Greene brings 20 years of experience, from concept and video shooting to the production of programs broadcast through traditional distribution channels and new media. The American director and producer has worked on more than 100 video reports, from documenting the recovery of the treasure of the largest shipwreck in the world, to diving with tiger sharks in South Africa, to discovering the secrets of Machu Picchu. His videos have been broadcast across the United States and into millions of homes around the world.

The prestigious Jury Prize went to Luciana Barbetti from Foligno for her exciting video reportage “Quintana, history and emotions” broadcast on TgR Umbria and San Marino TV. Currently deputy editor of TgR Umbria, Luciana Barbetti attended the Radio and Television Journalism School of Perugia and then contributed to Il Sole 24 ore, the press agency Radiocor and Il Messaggero. 

The Schools of Journalism Award was won by the young Tuscan Silvia Donnini – since November 2020 studying on the Masters in Journalism “Giorgio Bocca” course in Turin – with her video “Città di Castello celebrates the white trifola of the Upper Tiber Umbro” which aired on Studio Aperto of Italia 1. 

Silvia Donnini holds a three-year degree in Communication Sciences and contributes to Mediaset and the La Nazione newspaper. 

Finally, there are two special mentions that the Jury wanted to confer. 

The first went to Terni journalist Arnaldo Casali for his in-depth article “Valentino: one, none or one hundred thousand?” published in the prestigious periodical Medieval. 

A graduate in Medieval History, director of the Institute of Theological and Historical-Social Studies of Terni and of the multimedia magazine Adesso, Casali works in the Vatican as communications manager of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute. He is general director of the Terni Film Festival and collaborates with the Middle Ages, L’Osservatore Romano, Avvenire and TerniToday. Author of documentaries, he also boasts several publications about cinema and spirituality. 

The second special mention was given to the young Perugian Luca Marroni for his video “Umbria Nascosta, Grotta del Monte Cucco” broadcast on Umbria TV, a broadcaster for which he has been working since 2021. 

Marroni has contributed to TG5 and a holds a diploma from the School of Radio and Television Journalism in Perugia.

The 2023 Jury is chaired by Bruno Gambacorta, well-known television journalist creator and manager of TG2 Eat Parade, supported by the President and by the Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of Umbria, Giorgio Mencaroni and Federico Sisti, by the head of the Press and Communication sector of the Chamber of Commerce, Paola Buonomo, by the press officer of the Chamber of Commerce, Giuseppe Castellini, by journalists Federico Fioravanti, Camilla Orsini, Massimiliano Rella and by Donatella Binaglia, representing the ODG Umbria of which she is vice president. 

All the prizes and special mentions will be presented during the official ceremony to be held on the morning of Friday 21 April in Perugia, in the Sala delle Colonne of Palazzo Graziani, in Corso Vannucci, as part of the International Journalism Festival whose program the Stories on Umbria Award has been an integral part since its inception.

Photo credit: Ylenia Pepe at #ijf19