The village of Forza d’Agro perches high above the oleander ribbons of Italian engineering genius which snake their way along the coast of Messina. This is Sicily and we are in the hilltop town where Michael Corleone was married. It is The Godfather territory. The Norman castle remains which dominate are a blink away from the established film festival of Taormina.
The Terre di Cinema Showcase this year attracted 33 film students from countries as diverse as Uruguay, Russia, Belarus, Israel, Brazil, England, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Italy. For two weeks they immerse themselves in practical film exercises, including post production and script supervision.
As this is Italy it is no surprise to learn that the inspiration behind the Showcase came from a member of the AIC, Vincenzo Condorelli, the Campus Director, Sicilian by birth and trained at the London Film School. Vincenzo was inspired and encouraged by Imago’s own Luciano Tovoli AIC ASC who remains actively involved in the organization and this year gave several Master Classes. As did the President of the AIC, Daniele Nannuzzi.
The theme of the showcase were words of Fellini; “ In cinema light is the idea, the feeling, the colour, the depth, the atmosphere, the style, the narrative, the poetic expression. Films are written by the light.”
At the end of 14 days of workshops and master classes the participants produce short films. Their most important lesson is the experience of working together in friendship. To this end they are assisted by qualified lecturers and professional staff members.
Master Class with Danny Hallett instructor from Tiffen International, Diago Portillo from Uruguay and Garrett Brown.
Five feature films comprise the New Cinematographers Award and screened in the open courtyard of Sent Agostino’s Monastery which house the offices and modern conference room of Terre di Cinema. The cinematographers who were present at their screening had earlier given Master Classes. They were Michele D’Attanasio AIC, Gergely Poharnok HSC, Tudor Mircea RSC, Olympia Mytilinaiou GSC and Jeanne Lapoirie AFC. This Award was dedicated to Cinematographers who have distinguished themselves in film Festivals. This year’s winner was Olympia Mytilinaiou GSC for her Cinematography on Miss Violence, a winner of honours in Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Venice and Montreal. After careful analysis the winning film was selected by the vote of the students.
The Nastri d’Argento Award for Best Cinematography went to Daniele Cipri for the film Salvo.
The first Italian Feature Production on tape was screened in the Masters of Light section. It was Antonioni’s seldom seen masterpiece made for television “Il Mistero di Oberwald”. Antonioni decided not to shoot on film in order to experiment with colour using the revolutionary technology available, according to Luciano Tovoli his Cinematographer in 1980. This was a memorable performance by Monica Vitti in a powerful experimental production which artistically has withstood the passage of time.
No showcase of this ambition can succeed without support and sponsors. The Terre di Cinema has the blessing of the Sicily Film Commission, Italy’s Ministry of Cultural affairs, the AIC and Italy’s National Film School. Sony, Arri Italia, Avid, Cartoni, Zeiss, K5600 from Paris,TAV, Canon, Panatronics, Panalight and Tiffen International were industry sponsors.
Shooting in the village
Sebastian from K5600 demonstrating soft lights
Distant rumblings from Mount Etna may have foretold of magical happenings if enjoying the Birra Messina in Monument Valley. Indeed they marked the arrival of one of the legends of the film industry. The distinguished figure making his way up the steep terrain to the square was Garrett Brown ASC returning to the country where he first held his first Master Class outside America demonstrating the Steadicam some 28 years earlier. This was at a Festival in L’Aquila where he and others of the calibre of Nestor Almendros ASC came assist the founder Gabrielle Lucci and his friend Luciano Tovoli. This International co-operation of the early Festivals were the seeds for the inspiration to establish Imago.
Eleven students were privileged to experience a day of personal tuition by Garrett Brown after the basics of operating the Steadicam had earlier been explained by Danny Hallett, from Tiffen International of Pinewood Studios.
One of Imago’s most active sponsors is K5600 lighting from Paris under their General Manager, Marc Galerne. Their Italian Sales Manager, Sebastien Barbedienne spent a day demonstrating his complement of lights, including the tricks of the Joker.
At the IAGA in Delphi, the decision was taken to establish an Imago Education Committee under Tony Costa. This Showcase largely under the supervision of members of the AIC justifies that decision. It fosters International co-operation and an understanding of the highest standards of filmmaking. It will continue to be supported by Imago.