• 25 March 2023


The three judges meet the audience of the Short and retrace their careers

 The Special Jury Program was held at Santa Margherita Auditorium Yesterday afternoon. In this occasion, the audience had the opportunity to delve into the rich artistic career of Roberto Citran, Robb Pratt and Mika Johnson, the three judges of the International Competition of Ca’ Foscari Short film Festival.

The first judge to take the stage and talk with film critic Anton Giulio Mancino was Roberto Citran. The venetian actor briefly retraced his career, from his very first approach to the world of cinema, thanks to a film club held among his friends, to winning the “Nastro d’Argento” award in 1994 with the movie Il toro. Citran highlighted the importance of a long and in-depth study for each role he played, stating that, according to him, the theater is the perfect place to “let yourself go”. During the conversation, some clips of his most well-known movies were shown, such as Il prete bello (1989), Il toro (1994), Il mandolino del capitano Corelli (2001), Io sono lì (2011) and Welcome Venice (2021). The actor also paid homage to masters of the Italian cinema, such as Francesco Rosi and Citto Maselli, who recently passed away.

After Citran, it was time for Robb Pratt‘s turn, a famous Californian animator, director, and screenwriter, who is known for his works in the 2D animation. He worked as an animator for Walt Disney and as a storyboard artist for Hercules, The Hunchback of Notredame, and Pocahontas.  In addition, he has created and directed several independent animated shorts, including Superman Classic and Flash Gordon Classic, which echo the style and aesthetic of cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s. Pratt introduced himself to the audience in the iconic Superman T-shirt, admitting how the superhero has always been a model for inspiration. He then quoted some of the works that have most influenced his artistic output, such as Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Back to the Future. Before concluding, he presented the graphic novel Eva Strongbird and the Marine, created in collaboration with British artist Des Taylor and inspired by Pop-Art. For Pratt, the art of animation is a true philosophy, because it “encompasses everything: love, action, and emotions.”

The last juror to take the stage was Mika Johnson, a multimedia artist and filmmaker working in the field of virtual reality (VR) and short films. Johnson told the Short audience about how watching a David Lynch film was the beginning of her own career. During the conversation, the short film Walter, part of the artist’s celebrated project The Amerikans (2011-2013), was screened. The short documentary features the owner of a funeral home with a particular passion for neckties. Johnson explained how he was inspired by ordinary people living in Ohio, where he has lived most of his life. “I wanted to get into people’s dreams,” the director continued, “when you observe those around you, you change. Contrary to popular belief, there is no objectivity in documentary filmmaking. Documentaries are like quantum physics.” Finally, some sequences from his first feature Confessions of a Boxman (2020), inspired by the novel by Japanese Kōbō Abe, were shown, as well as from the VR work that aims to immerse the viewer in the shoes of Gregor Samsa, the protagonist of Kafka’s short story, La Metamorfosi.