THE JURY IS COMPOSED BY THREE DIRECTORS: THE ITALIAN ROBERTA TORRE, NOMINATED TO FIVE DAVID DI DONATELLO PRIZES WITH HER RECENT FILM, RICCARDO VA ALL’INFERNO; THE JAPANESE HIROKI HAYASHI; THE POLISH MARCIN BORTKIEWICZ.
THE VISIONARY FILMMAKER PETER GREENAWAY AND THE DISNEY ANIMATOR ROBB PRATT AS SPECIAL GUESTS OF THE 2018 EDITION WITH MASTERCLASSES, INTERVIEWS AND SHOWS.
GIORGIO CARPINTERI COMES BACK FOR SECONDS – THE GREAT ITALIAN ILLUSTRATOR, CARTOONIST AND PAINTER SIGNS THE POSTER OF THE CA’ FOSCARI SHORT FILM FESTIVAL FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW: AN AMAZING CITY BETWEEN THE SEA, THE FAR EAST AND A TRIBUTE TO CINEMA.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS: JAPANESE DIRECTOR SHUTARO OKU’S CINEMA AND THEATRE; THE INDIAN ANIMATOR GITANJALI RAO; THE WORKSHOP ON ANIMATION BY GIANNALBERTO BENDAZZI; THE CELEBRATIONS OF THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF CA’ FOSCARI; THE RENEWED MEETING WITH ITALIAN VIDEO ART AND THE CINEMA OF THE ORIGINS, WHICH THIS YEAR IS DEDICATED TO SCIENCE; THE TRIBUTE TO LOBAGGE AND OTHER COMIC WEBSERIES; THE MOST CURIOUS AND SPERIMENTAL SHORT FILMS FROM THE FAR EAST; THE COLLABORATION WITH THE DONG FILM FEST; THE FILMS BY THE STUDENS OF THE FIRST CA’ FOSCARI MASTER COURSE IN FILMMAKING; THE “PASINETTI” VIDEOCONTEST; THE VIDEOKE!; FOR THE CLOSING CEREMONY, SIMONA AND CARLO TRUZZI’S SHADOW ART SHOW.
COLLATERAL CONTESTS: MUSIC VIDEO COMPETITION & “OLGA BRUNNER LEVI” PRIZE.
The eighth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival will take place from 21 to 24 March at Auditorium Santa Margherita in Venice in the year of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s 150th anniversary. As it is customary, thirty short films will compete in the International Competition dedicated non-professional Cinema students around the world, accompanied by special programs, tributes and interesting masterclasses.
The Festival, created with the collaboration of the Venice Foundation and AVA (Venetian hotel-keeper association), is the first in Europe entirely conceived, organized and managed by a University and keeps faith to its mission to be an event thought by young people for young people: they are the protagonists of this big gathering, in front of the screen and behind it. “Short” is indeed conceived as a professionally formative moment for the Ca’ Foscari volunteer students, enriching more and more each year its organizational machine, led by experienced professionals and coordinated by Artistic and Organizational Director, professor Roberta Novielli. The active participation of students is the central element of the “Short” philosophy, because young people are involved in the whole process from beginning to end: from the catalogue to the logistics, from the press office to the subtitles, from the video group to the distribution. The number of participants grows year after year, and new forces are always added to them.
The International Competition, one of the Short’s main focuses, this year is confirmed as a privileged showcase in Italy to discover the best works by young filmmakers who attend or have just graduated the most prestigious Cinema schools and universities of the world, as proven by the about 2.500 short film applications from each corner of the globe: a very high-level selection representing cinematography stiles very distant from each other. Despite the thirty selected short films represent 26 different nationalities – which range from Mexico to South Africa, from Costa Rica to Uzbekistan (both figuring for the first time in the International Competition) – a theme powerfully emerges from the 2018 selection, as universal as particular in its infinite declinations, the most visceral, intense and artistically dramatic theme there is: the relationship between a mother and her child. Many works are focused on this subject, like The Day Mum Became a Monster by Josephine Hopkins, the story of a little girl who waits for her birthday to see her separated parents together, until the mother begins to behave strangely, breaking her child’s frail balance, and transforming her anticipation in a nightmare. Tash Kөmүr by Evgenii Chistiakov holds the perspective of two teenagers with difficult family environments, who dream a better life in a Kyrgyz remote village where they are forced to work in a coal mine. The Hungarian short film Eric by Hakan Sagiroglu is about the tragic search of a Polish mother for her missing son, during which she will have to face her own shadows. Something similar happens, even if in a very different context such as South Africa, in The life of Ana by Mlu Godola, in which a single mother puts in danger her son’s life and will have to remedy some mistakes of her past to save him. Even more intense is the condition of the mother of the Mexican film Don’t Pass Through San Bernardino by Hugo Magaña; in this case, the woman will ignore any institution’s advice to discover the truth about the death of her son. Pipinara by Ludovico Di Martino, the first of the two Italian short films, is focused on two young robbers of the Roman coast, whose innocence will be hopelessly lost when their life dramatically meets the one of the great Italian filmmaker and poet, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Adavede by Alain Parroni shares the Roman landscape and takes place in the borders of the Italian capital, between the countryside and the suburbs, where the search for a phone charger become the pretext for the protagonist to embark on a not-only-physical trip which will bring back buried memories. Here are the 30 short films of the 2018 International Competition).
This year the International Jury can count on three exceptional representatives of the world of cinema, continuing a tradition that over the years has seen alternating directors, actors, producers, journalists and various professionals of international prominence. To decide the winner of this year’s International Competition and assign the special mentions will be three directors, starting with the Italian Roberta Torre, whose last feature film Riccardo va all’inferno has just been released and is nominated for five David di Donatello Awards. Over the years she has directed works such as Tano da morire (David di Donatello and Nastro d’argento in 1998), Mare nero (in Competition at Locarno in 2006) and I baci mai dati (presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2010). Japanese director Hiroki Hayashi started as an assistant to Takeshi Kitano and Kiyoshi Kurosawa before founding his own production company and making his directorial debut in 2005 with Rakuda Ginza. In his following feature films he’s developed an approach that allows him to involve local communities in the filmic process, eventually leading him to create Blossoming into a Family (2017). Third member of the jury is director Marcin Bortkiewicz, a Polish documentary filmmaker who presented his first fictional short film, Drawn from Memory, at the Cannes Film Festival at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, followed three years later by his debut feature film, the highly regarded Walpurgis Night, winner of numerous prizes as best debut film.
Following tradition, the Special Jury Program will be dedicated to each jury member, constituting a unique opportunity for the audience to meet these three artists and retrace their careers through images and words. Torre will offer a selection of scenes from her latest feature film Riccardo va all’inferno (2017). Hayashi will present his short film Soul Journey – To the future of Nanto (2015), while Bortkiwicz will bring to Venice his documentary Early Learning (2009).
In addition to the First Prize to the best short film of the International Competition, this year have been confirmed the “Volumina” Special Mention for the best art film, the “Levi” Award for the best soundtrack (offered by the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation and assigned by a special jury) and the “Pateh Sabally” Award, awarded by the Municipality of Venice and dedicated to the themes of multi-ethnicity and hospitality. The awards are Murano glass sculptures by the glass master Alessandro Mandruzzato. Furthermore, this year’s innovation is the possibility for these films to be selected by TVCO, a leading international distribution company which will distribute them to the global market.
The great Italian illustrator, cartoonist and painter Giorgio Carpinteri enriches the 2018 edition of the Short Film Festival creating its poster for the second consecutive year, editing an image from Aquatlantic, his latest graphic novel released this year. The design represents a fantasy city between the Sea and the East, thus recalling two typical elements of Venice. A subtle ode to cinema is also contained in the character dressed in white that moves like a sequence of three “frames” at the bottom of the image.
Rich and varied is this year’s special programs offer, ranging from tributes, dedicated programs, workshops and interviews with guests. The pride of this eighth edition of the Festival is certainly the presence of the British filmmaker Peter Greenaway, who will be introduced by Flavio Gregori, Deputy Director for Cultural Activities and Relationships at Ca’ Foscari University, for a long-awaited masterclass during which several video clips taken from his works will be presented. Active since the 1960s, Greenaway soon became famous for its provocative films and sought-after aesthetics such as The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982), presented in Venice, Drowning by Numbers (1988), winner of the award for the best artistic contribution, and the controversial The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989). In recent years he has achieved an almost pictorial style (Goltzius and the Pelican Company, 2014), which well suits his artistic installations at the Venice Biennale, such as the series Nine Classic Paintings Revisited.
Another special guest of this edition is Robb Pratt, historical Disney animator who will delight the Auditorium’s audience with an unmissable masterclass, during which, in addition to illustrating the most interesting aspects of his expertise, he will be presenting some of his works, such as the recent CARMAN – The Road Rage Anti-Hero, an animated series designed as an animation tutorial. Pratt has worked on some of Disney’s classics such as Pocahontas, Tarzan and Hercules before moving on to designing the storyboards for Planes and other successful Disney Channel series. As an independent animator he has made some short films that rewrite classic superheroes.
The audience of the Short Film Festival will also have to opportunity to meet other international guests, such as the Indian Gitanjali Rao, one of the most important Indian animators. Cecilia Cossio, the curator of the Special Program dedicated to her, will present some of her most celebrated short films, such as Printed Rainbow, winner of the Best Short Film Award at the Semaine de la Critique, Festival of Cannes, 2006. Rao’s works often portrait her home town, Mumbai, where strong and independent women are at the centre of delicate stories of dreams and regrets and in which silence poetically creates new shades of meaning.
The works by the Japanese Shutaro Oku are something different: he is equally involved in Japanese cinema and theatre, either trying intermediate connections in his theatre set videos of traditional Japanese theatre, or implementing 3D visual effects on stage. On the stage of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, Oku will present his short films La La La Don (2017), followed by a collection of his best backdrop-videos for the Nō theatre from 2000 to present days; he will also present the world premiere of his latest film, Nigorie, shot between Tokyo and Venice during the previews weeks of the Short Film Festival.
After being a member of the jury in 2016, Giannalberto Bendazzi, the most eminent scholar on animation cinema, comes back to the Auditorium to present his new work: Animation. A Global History, in two encyclopaedic volumes. During a prestigious workshop, Bendazzi will show and analyse a selection of scenes from renowned animation works.
As Ca’ Foscari University this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of its foundation, the Short Film Festival dedicates a special program to this significant occasion. The winner of the video contest Tell 150 years of Ca’ Foscari in 150 seconds will be announced, together with the premiere of In the Silent Heart of the Divine by Riccardo De Cal, short ilm about the intervention by Carlo Scarpa on the university’s historical room, Aula Baratto. The program will end with the short films by two Ca’ Foscari University students: the mockumentary Angelo’s Folly by Tommaso Giacomin and As if it Never Happened by Jacopo Renzi.
A space will also be dedicated to the new format of the web series, one of the most relevant and innovative forms of visual communication of the last decade over the internet. Some comic series have been really successful, such as Lobagge by Andrea Muzzi and Claudio Piccolotto, a funny satire on Italian independent cinema to which the program is dedicated. By the same authors, Pupazzo criminale (by and with Lillo & Greg) and Eppure era una gran brava persona, will be screened as examples of parodic intents in cinema, TV series, TV news respectively.
East Asia Now will shift the perspective to the other side of the world to discover some of the most weird and experimental short films produced over the last year among Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the Philippines. This year’s selection, edited by Stefano Locati, will highlight the most unusual aspects of each of these cultures. This occasion also serves to the presentation of the Dong Film Fest, an Italian festival dedicated to young Chinese cinema to promote cultural and film exchanges between the two countries.
The Suspended Glance, special program curated by Elisabetta Di Sopra with the collaboration of Visualcontainer and dedicated to Italian video art, comes back as usual, this time introducing a selection of recent works by young and local video-art artists on the transience of reality and the complex relationship between man and nature. Among the names in program, Davies Zambotti, Sonia Armaniaco, Eleonora Roaro, Antonello Matarazzo and more.
Another customary appointment of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is the one dedicated to the cinema of the early days, edited by Carlo Montanaro in collaboration with Fabbrica del Vedere. This year’s edition, Fantastic Science, focuses on scientific films of the early XX century. It’s a cinema that aims to prove and broadcast knowledge, but nevertheless equally spectacular, as testified by the time-lapsed films of high-speed bullets perforating soap bubbles, growing flowers or the destruction (and the magic ‘reconstruction’) of a theatre in ruins.
On 5 of March a lectio magistralis by Alberto Barbera will close the first cycle of the Masters of Art in Fine Arts in Filmmaking, directed by professor Roberta Novielli at Ca’ Foscari University. To celebrate this occasion the Short Film Festival offers a series of works by last year’s Masters Course students: the video-tutorials about the rules and manners to keep in Venice, Venezia Your Home, the collective project Dedalus and the three graduation short films Viola, Teatro dei piombi and Lin-Da
The collaboration with the ‘Francesco Pasinetti’ VideoContest, traditional event promoting local cinematographic activities to support the participation of young generations, is renewed. The works that will be shown this year are the finalist book trailers of the ‘Bruno Rosada’ Prize: few-minutes videos tell the story of a book through images. Videoke!, the fun variation of karaoke where players test themselves in dubbing dialogues of well-known film scenes, will also be back.
Together with the International Competition there will be two more collateral contests. First, the second edition of the Music Video Competition, curated by Giovanni Bedeschi and addressing musical videos by students from Cinema Universities and Schools, from Italy and aborad. The winner will be decreed among the ten finalists coming from Italy, the USA, Denmark, Nigeria, Cyprus, Kosovo, Spain, Germany and Ireland. Then, the fifth edition of the “Olga Brunner Levi” Prize, organized in collaboration with the Ugo and Olga Levi Foundation, this year is opened to high school students from all over the world and will select the best video about a female character bound to the theme of music. This year’s finalists are from Italy, the USA, Romania and Belarus.
The special show of the Closing Ceremony this year is entrusted to Simona and Carlo Truzzi, among the major representatives of shadow art in the world, who will create surprising figures (portraits of famous actors, singers and various personalities) with a cloth, a source of light and the sheer movements of their hands: shadows have never been so ‘full’.