30 SHORT FILMS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION FROM OVER 24 COUNTRIES, MANY WOMEN DIRECTORS AND SHORT FILMS THAT DEAL WITH ISSUES RELATED TO WOMEN’S CONDITION. FOUR ITALIANS IN THE RACE.
THE WOMAN ALSO PROTAGONIST OF THE SPECIAL PROGRAMS DEDICATED TO THE HERAT INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL, TO INDIAN SHORT CINEMA AND TO THE GROUP MUJERES NEL CINEMA.
THE JURY WILL INCLUDE: FRENCH WRITER AND DIRECTOR PHILIPPE CLAUDEL, AMERICAN ANIMATOR TONY GRILLO AND ITALIAN DIRECTOR AND PLANNER LAURA AIMONE.
SPECIAL GUESTS: JAPANESE CULT DIRECTOR TSUKAMOTO SHIN’YA, THE MEMORABLE ‘SANDOKAN’ KABIR BEDI WITH HIS CARE&SHARE ORGANIZATION, ACTRESS JUN ICHIKAWA, AND OSCAR CANDIDATE VITTORIO SODANO.
PRE-OPENING WITH THE GREAT CHINESE CINEMA AND THE HOMAGE TO WESHORT WILL GO ALONGSIDE THE FESTIVAL’S REOCCURRING PROGRAM.
SIDE COMPETITIONS: MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION & “OLGA BRUNNER LEVI” AWARD.
The Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival reaches its eleventh edition, which will take place in a “widespread” dimension in Venice from 6th to 9th October with a very rich programme. Although the past year and a half has heavily influenced film festivals and cultural events in general, the Short offers its usual program composed special guests, numerous special programs and an International Competition with the best short films made by students of film schools and universities from all over the world. All of this was made possible thanks to the help of old and new partners and a crowdfunding campaign. The eleventh edition was made possible thanks to the collaboration of Fondazione Venezia and the support of Fondazione Ugo & Olga Levi and NH Venezia Rio Novo Hotel; thanks also to this year’s new partners: Guang Hua Cultures et Media a media editorial group, WeShort an on demand short film platform, Carpenè-Malvolti which is the oldest sparkling wine house production in Italy, the National Cinema Museum of Turin and the Giornate della Luce festival in Spilimbergo.
The Short’s poster was created for the second year running by Lorenzo Mattotti. It is the first festival in Europe that was entirely conceived, organized and managed by a university and it is faithful to its mission of being an event thought out by young people for young people, with the coordination of the artistic and organizational director Roberta Novielli. With its roots in Ca’ Foscari University, the festival has progressively become an event that belongs more and more to the city of Venice, with which it harmoniously blends in thanks to its “widespread” nature. Continuing with last year’s successful experiment, in fact, the audience will be able to watch the films not only in the historic location of the Santa Margherita Auditorium, but also in other eleven locations, such as museums, art galleries and cultural institutions throughout Venice (and Mestre): the M9 – Museum of the 20th century, the Fondazione Ugo & Olga Levi, the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ D’oro, the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, the Museo d’Arte Orientale – Ca’ Pesaro, the Concilio Europeo Dell’Arte – In Paradiso Art Gallery, the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, the Casa del Cinema, and the NH Venezia Rio Novo Hotel.
The heart of the festival stems from 30 short films of the best universities and film schools worldwide that will compete in the International Competition. Despite the production difficulties that have affected the world of cinema in the last year and a half, over 2,500 films have been submitted for the selection. Thanks to them, the Short will present a high level competition, ranging from genres and film traditions from over twenty countries. This year, women are particularly relevant, not just because female directors make up almost half of the film authors in the International Competition, but above all because of the themes covered by the shorts. As a matter of fact, there are numerous films focused on female protagonists who do not accept the fate that society would wish for them, but they fight back and choose their own personal battles, even at the cost of great sacrifices or facing many dangers: from the little girl of Yard Kings by Portuguese Vasco Alexandre, to the Serbian teenager of Days Lost by Jovana Avramovic, the sisters of Little One by Ana Andonova to the Brazilian activist of The Solace of Ruins by Gabriela Lourenzato, as well as the Indian dressmaker of Chiffon, the courageous adventurer of The Heart of the Volcano and the Lebanese documentary Aida.
Four Italian short films will compete in the International Competition, starting with Where the Leaves Fall by Xin Alessandro Zheng, the journey of a young Italian-Chinese boy who will rediscover his roots by bringing his father’s ashes to China. In Vegetariani by Marco Mazzone, a young man will try to shoot a rifle with a friend, after his father allowed him to use his own gun to hunt for the first time. In Round 0, Sonia Ladidà Schiavone, an Italian director moved to Iceland, focuses on a group of young boxers whose future could be compromised by an accident. Finally, the animated short En rang par deux by Elisabetta Bosco, Margherita Giusti and Viola Mancini tells the meeting between two African migrants in Italy who try to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers thanks to music. Another animated film is the Chinese work Dayfly by Yi Baoxingchen which manages to condense the transience of human life into three short and delicate stories. From Iran there is the short The Other by Ako Zandkarimi and Saman Hosseinpour, a story made of silence and discoveries with at its centre a Kurdish man who, after the death of his wife, suspects that he has been betrayed by her.
The international jury that will award the winner of the International Competition is traditionally composed by three personalities from the world of cinema: starting with writer and director Philippe Claudel, author of the famous novel Les Âmes grises that inspired an homonymous film. He is also a screenwriter, essayist and director of four feature films, the first of which is multi-award winning Ti amerò sempre (2008). Claudel will be accompanied by American animator Tony Grillo, author of over 100 animated works, commercials and short films as producer and director. He has collaborated with major brands such as Disney and The Simpsons, and also with important cinema personalities such as Tim Burton and Adam Sandler. Another member of the jury is Italian director and planner Laura Aimone, whose short film Il carnevale della vita showcases her debut behind the camera, followed by a long experience in the organization of the most important international festivals, from Venice to Berlin. As usual, the jurors will be protagonists of the Special Jury Program during which they will meet the public and present short films and excerpts of films they directed. Three new special mentions will accompany The Levi Award for the best soundtrack and the Pateh Sabally Award assigned by the Municipality of Venice for multi-ethnicity: the Special Mention of the Museo Nazionale del Cinema for the short film that offers the best contribution to cinema as art, the Guang Hua Cultures et Media Special Mention for the work that offers the best experimentation from a cinematography standpoint and the Special Mention of Le Giornate della Luce for the best photography. Carpenè-Malvolti has instead launched a competition dedicated to the directors of the International Competition and Music Video Competition for the creation of a script that will lead to the production of a short focused on the history of the company. The winner will be announced during the festival.
The two side competitions have also been confirmed, with the fifth edition of the Music Video Competition dedicated to music videos made by students of Italian and international universities or film schools. Nine videos from nine countries will compete this year, including the Italian Helydea. The “Olga Brunner Levi” Award, organized in collaboration with the Fondazione Ugo & Olga Levi, reaches its eighth edition and is dedicated to the theme of women in music, with shorts made by high school students from all over the world. Four finalists have been selected this year and come from Iran, Australia, Great Britain and Russia. Both competitions will be awarded by dedicated juries, nominated by Fondazione Ugo & Olga Levi.
Alongside the International Competition, there will be the usual vast proposal of special programs, masterclasses, focuses, retrospectives and special guests, starting with Japanese cult filmmaker Tsukamoto Shin’ya, who, after having created an animated promo for Ca’ Foscari’s cinematography activities, is returning to the University ten years later for an unmissable masterclass during which he will revisit his legendary career, starting from his cult film Tetsuo up to the most recent Killing. The Short will then remotely host the protagonist of Salgari’s many adventures, the legendary ‘Sandokan’ Kabir Bedi who will present the humanitarian association Care & Share, which has been taking care of the less fortunate children of India for some time. The actor will be interviewed by Stefano Beggiora to remember his long career divided between three worlds (India, Italy and the U.S.) and to talk about the humanitarian project of which he is Global Ambassador.
To recall the attention on today’s Afghani difficult conditions, especially for women who inhabit there, a special program is dedicated to the Herat International Women’s Film Festival, one of the most important festivals dedicated to women inside the Asiatic continent, and especially to its founder Roya Sadat and its coordinator Alka Sadat: afghani siblings who both followed a directing career. Alka Sadat will be in Venice to talk about the serious difficulties their festival faced (it did not take place in 2021) and to show her documentary, Afghanistan Night Stories, a story about the afghani army fighting against talibans, along with a sequence of a powerful movie made by her sister, A letter to the President. Going in the same direction are the other two special programs which highlight the problems and the discrepancies that women are meant to deal with daily, even in two societies apparently so distant and different like India and Italy. For the annual meeting with Indian cinema curated by Cecilia Cossio, Defiance by Shazia Iqbal and Castles in the Air by Tarun Dudeja will be presented. Both short films focus on the exploration of woman figures within a patriarchal and conservative environment. In addition, there will be the Mujeres nel cinema project, a group that combines thousands of Italian women who work in various capacities in cinema. 24 of their videos will be screened, divided into six sections: fiction, actresses/performers, music video, video art, documentaries and web series.
To anticipate the actual inauguration of the eleventh edition, there will also be a pre-festival, on October 5th, organized thanks to the collaboration of Guang Hua Cultures et Media, which since 2016 organises the Mostra Cinematografica Cinese in Italia and, starting from the festival, this edition will tour many Italian universities in Naples, Bologna, Rome and Milan. Introduced by Elena Pollacchi, there are in program films of two of the most celebrated contemporary Chinese directors Zhang Yimou with Shadow and Jia Zhang with Ash is Purest White. The new collaboration with WeShort will then be celebrated. WeShort is an on-demand streaming platform dedicated to short films, including the Oscar-winning short Skin by Gun, directed by Guy Nattiv and On Silent by Gabriele Paoli, which will be screened during the event and introduced directly by the main interpreter Jun Ichikawa on the stage and remotely by the Oscar nominee for make-up Vittorio Sodano. The founder of WeShort Alessandro Loprieno – guest here in Venice – will show the preview trailer of a short documentary produced directly by the platform and directed by their partner Carlo Fusco: Nuovo Cinema Breve.
Several recurring appointments of the festival will come back: the East Asia Now, curated by Stefano Locati, with three short films from South Korea, Philippines and Japan talking about fears and worries born over a year of pandemic. The meeting with the cinema of the origins curated by Carlo Montanaro, this year dedicated to the animation of the early twentieth century made on paper, with the screening of Émile Cohl e Max Fleischer artworks. Based also on animation there is Lo sguardo sospeso, the annual patrol of Italian video art curated by Elisabetta Di Sopra in collaboration with the video art archive Yearbook, screening fourteen animators and artists works among whom Donato Sansone e Saul Saguatti. The event with the Pasinetti Video Competition will also be present, a historic Venetian exhibition – interested in social, environmental and cultural subjects of the city – of which the Short offers a selection of the best works of the past edition.
Three programs will be dedicated to young people who, for the first time, came in touch with the cinematic field, showing some of the works, starting from the video-essays a new way of cinema critics made by visual essays, made by the students who took part in the Atelier Video Essay project, curated by Quarta Parete collective. The short films produced during the Master in Fine Arts in Filmmaking of Ca’ Foscari and the Summer School of the Venice International University and other international universities, entitled Films in Venice and Filming Venice, will be screened.
Finally, the festival will end with the closing ceremony where the winners will be announced and they will receive the award: beautiful glass sculptures made by glass master craftsmen associated with PROMOVETRO – Vetro Artistico di Murano. The event will close with the spectacle of the artist/animator Igor Imhoff, who will present an augmented reality performance – Catoptrofobia – dealing with the concept of phobia, an actor – placed in front of a video projection and the digital eye in front of the public – will imitate the daily gestures that everyone does, facing a mirror.