The Short meets The World of Bruno Bozzetto
The International Competition between the clashes in a tent city in Footprints of Ants and the conditions of Korean comfort women in Eonnileul gieoghae
Yesterday the guest appearance of renowned Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda defined the second day of the thirteenth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, alongside the participation of many guests and special programs, including Bruno Bozzetto, master of Italian animation, participating at the Festival to host a masterclass mediated by the animation expert Davide Giurlando.
In a thrilling turn of events the renowned Japanese animator Fusako Yusaki made a surprise remote appearance to greet her old friend and colleague with whom she has shared many experiences, amongst which working on the Carosello ad. The event, held on the stage of the Santa Margherita Auditorium, presented an artist whose creative work has been a reference point for many generations of Italians. This provided an opportunity to look back over Bozzetto’s long and award-winning career since its beginnings: from the drastic move to Milan as a child to his experiences in London; from his ties to Disney and Carosello to his sources of inspiration that defined his art and professional training. A more detailed analysis of the creative process shed light on the realization of his animation works Tapum! Weapons History, An Award for Mr. Rossi, and of his feature film masterpiece West and Soda. Three of his most celebrated short films were screened: Life in a Tin (1967), Grasshoppers (1990) – nominated for an Oscar – and Europe Vs Italy (1999). His penchant for choosing challenging subjects was discussed, in relation to topical, political themes, or in relation to nature, war, human society, ethics and satire. The conversation revolved around the evolution of animation throughout the years, with a focus on the change from working along long time frames with traditional bidimensional graphics to the comfort and efficiency provided by the digital turn. An interesting point of discussion centered on the importance that Bozzetto gives to the content of his short films, to the shrewd use of sound and music, to the encouragement of critical thinking in the viewers: “For me, drawing is a way to tell stories, the important thing is having something to say.” This concept was expressed in juxtaposition with the modern fascination for embellishments and special effects in mainstream works, which, according to Bozzetto, often serve to conceal a lack of meaning.
Yesterday, the thirteenth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival started with the “Francesco Pasinetti” Video Contest, chaired by Anna Ponti and curated by M. Nardin, G. Andrea Martini, M. Paladini and I. Albano, giving space to the documentary genre and to short films with social, cultural and environmental themes.
The programme continued with the screening of six of the thirty short films in the International Competition. The audience watched Fly High, the Italian short film produced by the CSC of Piedmont and directed by G. Fais, L. Pappa Monteforte, K. Rosso and Y. Tunceli, which uses animation and sarcasm to show the instability of our normality, easily shaken by the unexpected. He was followed by Footprints of Ants, from Turkey, in which the tensions between asylum seekers and local farm workers living in a tent city are recomposed in the common search for two missing children, Bariş and Evin. The Short Film Festival expresses its sincere solidarity with director Ümit Güç who was unable to attend because he chose to stay and help his compatriots affected by the terrible earthquake that devastated Turkey and the city of Antakya, where he was born. Next up was Biała Dama, from Poland, in which director Maria Magdalena Jeziorowska tells the story of a dissatisfied wedding photographer who, upon discovering a bride’s secret by chance, seizes the opportunity to take revenge on the groom’s unpleasant mother. Bulgarian director Alexandar Tomov’s The Lord Is My Shepherd then brought to the screen a black comedy based on the tragicomic real-life story of an alcoholic mother and son. The Russian short film Pererug, scripted by Italian Diego Zucca and directed by Mikhail Philippovich Boreysha, then narrated the different moral choices of three friends who, after killing a mythological creature in the forest, discover that they have acquired extraordinary powers, but also that they have a price to pay. Finally, In the Nation of Car Lovers, by the Nepalese director Sagar Gahatraj, which exploits a particular use of colours to make a dystopian short film in which technology allows industrial farm animals to be transformed into human beings: a denunciation of the exploitation of the capitalist system.
During the afternoon the workshop edited by Francesco Pitassio, Professor of the University of Udine, was then held. Cronostar – Divismo e senilità is a reflection on how the raising of the average age affects our society and how we enjoy the cinema. Taking inspiration from the affirmations of the sociologist Edgar Morin and the film critic Andrè Bazin, the workshop was a precious occasion to understand if the rules and exceptions of the nowadays cinema are the same or are, instead, completely changed from the past cinema. «The stardom produces models that are historically and geographically changeable according to the cultures that produce them. A film of the ’20s is different from a film of the ’40s not only for the technological apparatus but for the history of those years and for the relative culture; as well as a film of the ’20s produced in France is different from a film of the ’20s produced in Hollywood». Pitassio then dialogued with the director Roberta Torre, remotely connected to discuss with the lecturer, given the extreme adherence to these issues of his latest feature film, Le Favolose (2022), which saw transgender women as protagonists reunited on the funeral of one of them.
The program of the International Competition continued in the evening with the screening of the English Morning Commute, a short film by George Gray that, in black and white – and without dialogues – shows a man waiting for the train. That was followed by Yuta, directed by Matheus Malburg, a Brazilian short film talking about the tensions between the police and two fierce Argentine fans who came to Brazil to follow their favorite team. Swallow Flying to the South, from the Rhode Island School of Design, told the story of a five-year-old girl, Swallow, abandoned in a boarding school in Beijing; the director Mochi Lin chose animation to deal with the themes of imprisonment, censorship and escape. Die Verlorenen is the German short film directed by Simon Baucks, which brought viewers into the drama of three brothers struggling with the processing of a mourning and with their respective addictions to alcohol, gambling and amphetamines. To follow Die unsichtbare Grenze, by Mark Siegfried Gerstorfer, Austrian short film that showed the consequences of a climax of violence during the eviction of an Albanian family without residence permit. The day ended with the Korean short film Eonnileul gieoghae by Hayoung Jo, a musical denouncing the condition of Korean comfort women from the point of view of a child forced to abandon naivety and optimism.
Also, during its second day, the Festival took advantage of the building Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, where, simultaneously with the Auditorium Santa Margherita, the “Francesco Pasinetti” VideoContest was held, and of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale that in the afternoon has screened the short films Tear Off, Not for sale, Bloody Gravel and As Dúas en Punto.