CIVIL RIGHTS AMONG THE MAIN THEMES OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
ROBERT ALTMAN’S SHORT FILMS, ON THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS PASSING
MASTERCLASS BY BILL PLYMPTON
FESTIVAL POSTER BY IGORT
INTERNATIONAL JURY: GIANNALBERTO BENDAZZI, INTERNATIONAL EXPERT IN ANIMATION CINEMA, GIRISH KASARAVALLI, PARALLEL CINEMA CREATOR, TAKASHI SHIMIZU, MASTER OF J-HORROR
SPECIAL PROGRAMS: TWO ACCLAIMED WEBSERIES, SOS-SAVE OUR SKIN AND ARTHUR, THE ITALIAN JOHN SNELLINBERG FILM COLLECTIVE, NEW SLOVENIAN CINEMA, THE FOCUS ON GARO CINEMA FROM INDIA, THE TRIBUTE TO DAVID BOWIE, ITALIAN VIDEO-ART, FIRST EXPERIMENTATIONS WITH SOUND IN CINEMA HISTORY, AN ANIMATION FILM WORKSHOP, SHORT FILMS FROM PROMOFEST AND YOUNG FILMMAKERS AT CA’ FOSCARI.
AND ALSO: VENETO HIGH SCHOOLS COMPETITION, SHORT&SUSTAINABILITY VIDEO-CONTEST, “OLGA BRUNNER LEVI” AWARD, PASINETTI VIDEOCONTEST, LANFRANCO LANZA’S PAINTING EXHIBITION AND THE VIDEO-OKE! CLOSING CEREMONY SHOWS: ROBERTA PENNISI AND XU BAOLONG
The sixth edition of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is about to begin. From March 16th to 19th, the 30 short films of the International Competition – selected among the works made by students from all over the world – will be screened at Auditorium Santa Margherita, in the heart of Venice. Special programs, workshops and a masterclass will enrich the event.
Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, organized thanks to the collaboration of Fondazione di Venezia, is the first film festival in Europe entirely conceived and managed by a university. The festival is also conceived as a formative experience for Ca’ Foscari students, who take part in the overall organization. They provide new life to the festival, under the guidance of experienced professionals and the coordination of the artistic and organizational director Roberta Novielli. The active participation of more than 200 Ca’ Foscari students is the heart of the festival’s philosophy: they are involved in all the phases of the festival’s organization, from the catalogue to the logistics, including the press office, the making of subtitles, the video & graphics and the distribution of the short films in competition throughout Italian cultural circuits.
Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival has become one of the main Italian showcases for young directors enrolled in – or newly graduated from – the most prestigious film academies and universities all over the world. For this reason, the International Competition is the main core of the event and we are proud to announce that this year 27 different countries are represented by the selected movies: Italy, Germany, Estonia, Iran, Israel, Denmark, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Turkey, Japan, India, Kosovo, England, Australia, Finland, United States of America, China, Albania. And for the first time in Competition: Canada, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Czech Republic, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Poland, Ukraine. Even if it is quite difficult to define a unique theme for all the titles, you cannot avoid noticing how a special attention has been dedicated to the need for civil rights and the struggle for keeping families united in the worst of circumstances.
A prestigious International Jury has been called to award the best movie in competition, the best soundtrack (Levi Foundation prize), the best photography (Vivarini prize) and the best art film (Volumina Special Mention). As in the previous editions of the festival, the jury is composed by three personalities of great relevance to the film industry: Italian film critic and theorist Giannalberto Bendazzi is the most renowned specialist in the field of animation in the world. He is also the author and curator of many essays and volumes dedicated both to live-action cinema and animated movies. His last opus is Animation – A World History, just published in three volumes by Focal Press. A master in Indian cinema history, the filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli has been one the most important theorists and one of the founders of the Parallel Cinema in the 1970s. His movies have been awarded four times the Golden Lotus (the most important film award in India) and have been screened in several international festivals. In 2003 Rotterdam Film Festival has paid homage to the director with a retrospective. Japanese director Shimizu Takashi is one of the fathers of J-Horror, and his movies have also been made and distributed in the United States, starting from his most famous title, The Grudge.
A Special Program of the Jury will present three short films selected by Bendazzi, Kasaravalli and Shimizu. Giannalberto Bendazzi has chosen Stairs (1969), an animated work by Polish director Stefan Schabenbeck, a choice which demonstrates his constant attention to art animation cinema for which he has become the leading mouthpiece in the world. Kasaravalli will present his graduation short film, Avsesh (1975), which will become the starting point for an analysis of his entire career, which has so strongly influenced the whole Indian film industry. A must-see is the Italian premiere of Project Scissors: Night Cry (2015) by Shimizu, a short film made to support the launch of the most anticipated video game “Night Cry”; Shimizu will also present some excerpts from his upcoming movie, The Man from the 9 Dimensions.
This year, too, the great Italian graphic novelist Igort has donated to the festival one of his most wonderful images, taken from his book Symphony in Bombay. Founder of the Coconino Press publishing house, Igort is one of the most prestigious artists and his works have been distributed worldwide. In his latest graphic novel – Quaderni giapponesi (Japanese notebooks, 2015) – Igort tells his extraordinary and pioneering journey as the first Western artist who worked for a Japanese comics magazine.
Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival always offers a rich and varied range of special programs, including retrospectives, focuses and workshops. One of the main events this year is represented by a precious masterclass by American animator Bill Plympton, a leading figure in the world of animation. An independent filmmaker, his works have been twice nominated for the Academy Awards as the best animated short films. At Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival Bill Plympton will also present some of his most important works, such as Guard Dog, Your Face and Footprints.
On the tenth anniversary of his passing, Ca’ Foscari pays tribute to the great American filmmaker Robert Altman. The special program, curated by Michele Fadda, has been made possible thanks to the support of prestigious institutions such as the UCLA, the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research and the Altman Estate. Three short films have been selected to represent Altman’s early career: The Perfect Crime (1955), Pot au feu (1965) and the music video Girl Talk (1966).
Every year Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival dedicates several special programs to the intersections of cinema and different media: the world wide web is celebrated as a breeding ground of ideas and new talents. Awarded as the “European webseries of the year” in 2015, SOS – Save Our Skins will be presented in a special program, which is also an Italian premiere. Created and written by British authors Chris Hayward and Nat Saunders, and directed by Kent Sobey, SOS is a funny post-apocalyptic horror tale in the wake of the British parodies inaugurated by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
Italian collective John Snellinberg Film is the focus of another special program, curated by Michele Faggi. An artistic group from Prato, near Florence, “John Snellinberg” is the collective name of about a dozen artists whose works range from web series to feature films, including music videos, “playing” with B-movie genres – action movies, SF horror, Italian comedy, and carol movies. The Festival will screen five music videos and two short films: The Day Before the Day After and Snellinberg’s Christmas Carol.
Conceived as a web series, but officially presented as a TV program for Swiss Radio TV Network, Arthur is a 10-episode saga about a serial killer who wants to give up his “job”. A kind of Swiss Dexter, the series has been created by director Nick Rusconi and scriptwriter Chloe De Souza, who will be our guests during the festival. This explosive mixture of suspense and humor will be presented thanks to the collaboration of the Swiss Consulate of Venice.
Among the main aims of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival there is the introduction of various countries’ specificities. This year, two special events will focus on lesser-known film industries. The first one is dedicated to the New Slovenian Cinema: a special program by Rene Maurin and Martin Srebotnjak will include works made in the most important film school of the country, the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Televison (AGRFT) of Ljubljana. The second program, curated by Cecilia Cossio, In the Abode of the Clouds, will present a peripheral cinema reality in India, centered on the Garo area, between West India and Bangladesh. Two short movies will be presented: the documentary Wangala: A Garo Festival by Bappa Ray, followed by the brief presentation of Rong’ Kuchak – Echoes by Dominic Sangma, which won the Volumina Special Mention in 2015.
The life and career of David Bowie will be celebrated with a special program by Michele Faggi and the screening of Reality, a short movie by Steven Lippman, a delicate exploration of the artist’s works and a homage to his charismatic personality.
The Suspended Glance is a special program curated by Elisabetta Di Sopra and dedicated to Italian video art, including the works of six different artists, all dealing with the theme of the body. Carlo Montanaro will present Silent? No, Thanks!, exploring the first experimentations on sound in the history of cinema, starting from 1894 up to 1927, when the first sound feature-length motion picture was released: The Jazz Singer. Davide Giurlando presents Anymation, a workshop through which he explores peculiarities and milestones of animated cinema. A short selection of the best movies distributed by Promofest, a Spanish company that actively promotes the works of young directors, will be the focus of a special screening.
The opening event of the Festival will be the screening of a short movie, The Adventure, made by the students of Ca’ Foscari university itself attending a digital cinema course organized within the Festival activities and based on a short story by Italo Calvino, The Adventures of a Married Couple.
Alongside the International Competition, other contests are open to young filmmakers: the Veneto High Schools Competition, which presents works made by Veneto high school students; the Short&Sustainability video-competition, organized in collaboration with Ca’ Foscari Sustainable; the “Olga Brunner Levi” Prize, in collaboration with the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation, made by students from Italian high schools; and the Video-competition Pasinetti, Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival’s partner since its first edition, presenting five selected works.
Video-oke!, a role-playing game, allows our audience to dub famous movie scenes, thus becoming a playful moment for the festival. The mini-program Zapping the Web by Davide Giurlando collects some of the funniest videos from YouTube and Vimeo.
The festival will be enriched by the works of the Venetian artist Lanfranco Lanza, whose painting exhibition ‘Frames’ will constitute the scenic support of the festival. On the final evening, the award ceremony will include two artistic events related to the world of cinema: the dancing LED performance by Roberta Pennisi and the choreographic martial art dance by Chinese performer Xu Baolong