• 7 May 2022


FOCUS JAPAN: Yukiko Mishima and Shin’ya Tsukamoto big protagonists at the Short

International Competition: today is the day of Pupus, adocumentary by Mariam Cossu, the only Italian who is competing

Side contests: the high school finalists of the Olga Brunner Levi Contest and Music Video Competition have been screened

Furthermore: the works of the Indian director Ashish Pandey, Elisabetta Di Sopra’s video art and the first nudes in the history of cinema

Before the beginning of the third day of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, the anticipated meeting with Yukiko Mishima took place yesterday. The festival’s director Roberta Novielli was in a conversation with Shape of Red and Dear Entranger’s director, who is considered one of most interesting female voices that have emerged from the Japanese scene of the new millennium. Yukiko Mishima told us about the beginning of her career and her love for cinema and acting, about women, who often are the protagonists of her movies, and about the importance of feelings and their manifestation. “People’s feelings are the most important thing”: this was the answer of the film director when she was asked about what drives her to bring to life characters and stories full of nuances, feeling that range from the force of love to determination, but also to loneliness and pain. Afterwards, Ode to Joy was projected: it’s a short film made in 2021 which puts into images what was said by the author during the meeting. The work is part of the collective project called DIVOC-12, which was born with the purpose of tackling issues and social problems that set off during the last few years because of the pandemic. Today as well was centred around Japan thanks to Shin’ya Tsukamoto‘s speech through a virtual meeting. The author, who had already been a guest last year, this time did not talk to us about his movies, but his literary career, in a conversation with Francesco Vitucci, an Eastern Languages professor at Bologna University and the author of the Italian translation of A Snake of June, which was recently published by Marsilio. The book is the adaptation of the homonymous film released in 2002. The story talks about a woman, Rinko, trapped in a marriage where she doesn’t feel free to express herself; that is, until she is blackmailed by a mysterious man who pushes her to reveal her true self. The meeting has highlighted his effort and the difficulties he faced in order to turn the themes discussed in his movie into a book. The author wrote A Snake of June as his first book and did a complete revision of the dynamics and the narrative of the work to adapt it on paper. The work required a great expertise because on a book the psychology of the characters can be described only through words. Translating visual effects, which in the movies lived through images and feelings of the characters themselves, was very hard as well. When asked about the chance that the book will have success in Italy, the film director replied that Italy was the country that discovered him and where he has always had a wide recognition, therefore he is very thrilled at the idea that his book is being published in Italy.

The third day of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival had already begun simultaneously in the Auditorium Santa Margherita and Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi, hosting the ninth edition of Olga Levi High Schools Competition, realized in collaboration with Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi. The jury, composed of Roberto Calabretto, Marco Fedalto and Cosetta Saba, will proclaim tomorrow the winner, deciding among young high school students competing. With the screening of the five finalist short movies, it was clear the surprising dedication and artistic inclination of the young filmmakers. Some of the themes featured in the short movies examine youth values and related issues, such as the struggles of interpersonal relations, integration and monotony. For example, in Su e giù (Up and Down) by the italian filmmaker Chiara Mancina, we can find the topics of the ordinary routine and medicine addiction, which describe the youthful drama of a girl who can no longer live as peacefully as she used to, trapped in an increasingly oppressive routine. Thereafter, alongside the events held in Fondazione Ugo e Olga Levi, the short films of the Music Video Competition have been presented, with the screening of eight finalist music videos, made by students from film schools and universities around the world. The movies, made for the accompaniment of the music, deliver deep meanings, dealing with the themes of emotional dependencies and loneliness, with a focus on personal introspection and the connection between music, art and nature. The winner will be revealed tomorrow by the jury composed of Giovanni Bedeschi, Marco Fedalto, Daniele Furlati, e Roberto Calabretto.

The day continued in the afternoon with some awaited special programs. To get the ball rolling, Lo sguardo sospeso represented the historical appointment with Italian video-art that was dedicated to the works of its curator this year, Elisabetta Di Sopra. On stage, a dialogue with Manuel Fiorentini was set to retrace the main goals of her career and her artistic journey. The story of the film director from Pordenone intertwines inevitably with the city of Venice, where she lives and works. Between the screening of one of her films and another, each of them characterized by a strong emotionality and by the simple complexity of daily gestures, the artist told and shared a lot about her story with the audience of the Auditorium, as it shows from works like Intersezioni (in which the subject is Venice itself), Il limite, Legami, Con_tatto e Pietas. Subsequently, the special program Il corpo svelato followed, curated by Carlo Montanaro. The Carlo Montanaro Archive collects photographical and cinematic evidence from the birth of the Seventh Art, from the last decades of eight hundred till the beginning of nine hundred. What Carlo Montanaro proposed to the spectators today was a curious research about the rendering of the naked body, framed by the lenses of plenty of interpreters; from the first experiments with chronophotography by Eadweard Muybridge, to the mischief of the Pathé brothers and the works of George Méliès. A sort of a journey that lead to Edison’s America and through France of Lumière brothers, articulating all of the poses, manners and experiments that featured and keep featuring the marvellous art of motion picture. The third, rich, day at the Festival proceeded with a special event dedicated to Ashish Pandey for the Indian Cinema program curated by Cecilia Cossio. The author, live connected from Mumbai, presented three of his short films, all characterized by the will to give a voice to the marginalized figures of Indian society. The first two short films, The Cabin Man (2007) e Khule Darwaaze (2010), are a reflection on solitude, particularly harsh from the perspective of the traditional Indian world in which the individual gains meaning from the interaction with others. Nooreh (2018), the last short film, measures instead a collective marginality, analysing the gory conflicts between India and Pakistan.

After the special Program dedicated to the Jury, finally the festival’s third day ended with the screening of six other short films competing in the International Contest. The first film to be projected was My Brain Burst Out Laughing, directed by Iranian animator and concept artist Ali Astaraki. Astaraki represented the tragedy of war on the screen through scenes of staggering dystopian reality and a creative animation that merges different cinematic techniques. The second short film competing today, The Table of Grave, which was already selected by international festivals, also engaged with the theme of war. In 15 minutes, director Mirak Zymberaj portrayed the terror and anguish of the Kosovo armed conflict of 1999, intertwining it with the life of Uka, who tries to protect her daughter and niece from Serbian troupes by hiding the kids in an underground hideout, which looks like a grave. The following short was Austrian film Wiedersehen directed by Helene Sorger, who chose to narrate the story of two soldiers deserting the battlefield. Set during the Second World War, the film brings to surface feelings of comprehension and generosity among the two men, who rediscover the beauty of sharing under extreme circumstances. The fourth short film was Shikhandi, by Indian director Sahil D. Gada, who explored the theme of transexual identities: Dev is a young theater aficionado, but he is forced to hide his dream and identity from his violent father. The vicissitudes of the androgynous heroine Shikhandi, the protagonist of an Indian poem, are on the background of Dev’s life, playing a key role in his self-realization. Young director Lee Yun Seok presented The Line of Sleep, a film concerned with sleepwalking and infancy. The protagonist Su is working in a missing children center. When he sees a missing child, Su’s child trauma resurfaces, forcing him to deal with the disquiet and the sense of abandonment that permeate throughout the story.