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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Short Films by Lucani Filmmakers take Center Stage at #Cinemaratea

Lucana Film Commission Director Paride Leporace Interviews Filmmaker
In basso, la versione italiana

As the CineMaratea Film Festival (le giornate di Cinema) comes to a close, the Lucana Film Commission reflects on four days celebrating not only contemporary Italian cinema but also the cinema created by the young talent of the region.  

The event kicked off on Monday with the Italian premiere of "Ghostbusters", an initiative for which organizers expressed their heartfelt gratitude. The Potenza-based production company, Digital Lighthouse, showed off its state of the art technology and talented artists in making the whole production happen.

Although the event drew the likes of contemporary cinema masters Maria Sole Tognazzi and Claudio Santamaria, the spotlight also shone brightly on the young filmmakers of Basilicata origins such as Silvio Giordano, who presented his acclaimed short film "The Prince of Venusia".  Like many young Lucani, Giordano has traveled the globe studying his craft, but returned home to present his work. 

The festival wraps up tomorrow with a number of important speakers including Antonio Monda, the New York-based Italian cinema crusader and artistic director for Rome’s Festa del Cinema and Paolo Del Brocco, director of RAI Cinema. Then, Paolo Sorrentino will present a special director’s cut of his Oscar winning film, “The Great Beauty” 

Buona anche la seconda per le giornate di Cinema della Basilicata, in corso a Maratea dal 25 fino al prossimo 29 luglio.
Ottima soprattutto la partecipazione del pubblico che, numeroso, ha assistito alla proiezione in anteprima nazionale di Ghostbuster. Un risultato che sottolinea ancora una volta quanto sia efficace la formula messa in campo dalla rassegna marateota, che promuove il cinema in una stagione tradizionalmente considerata non favorevole alle proiezioni. Un sentito ringraziamento va al vice presidente della Warner Bros Italia, Ciampa, che ha concesso questa bellissima iniziativa. 

Spazio anche alle analisi della FEEM che ha presentato la propria ricerca sul nostro distretto dell'audiovisivo, e soprattutto al cortometraggio, sostenuto dalla Lucana Film Commission, che ha fatto bella mostra di sé anche grazie al supporto tecnologico della Digital Lighthouse.

Molto interesse di pubblico ha riscontrato "The Prince of Venusia" dell'artista Silvio Giordano, il quale, come altri giovani registi lucani, dopo importanti esperienze in tutto il mondo, ha deciso di tornare nella terra d'origine per girare questo film dal profilo internazionale.  

La manifestazione, organizzata dall'Associazione cinema Mediterraneo, è nata su precisi orientamenti gestionali e finanziari di Sensi contemporanei Basilicata e della Regione Basilicata ed ha concepito un contenitore che fosse in grado di evidenziare le politiche di sviluppo, messe in campo delle istituzioni, per la nascita di un distretto del cinema dell'audiovisivo lucano che negli ultimi tempi evidenzia sempre più le sue potenzialità.

Cineuropa's Interview with Michele Placido

It was announced this week that Michele Placido's new film, "7 minuti" will be shown at this year's Rome Film Festival.

11 amazing actresses women star in "7 minuti" by Michele Placido, a drama co-produced by Italy, France, Spain and Switzerland and being distributed by German company Koch Media. The cast features Cristiana Capotondi, Ambra Angiolini, Fiorella Mannoia, Maria Nazionale, Ottavia Piccolo, Violante Placido, Sabine Timoteo, Anne Consigny, Mimma Lovoi and Clémence Poésy.

The film is based on the play of the same name by Stefano Massini, who wrote the screenplay with Placido, and is the story of 11 women, a mixture of manual labourers and office workers, who are called to the negotiation table when the owners of the textiles company they work for sell the majority of their shares to a multinational. In a short space of time they must decide, for themselves and on the behalf of their fellow colleagues, whether to accept the proposal of the new owner. We caught up with the director of the film at the ‘Professional Cinema Days’ in Riccione.

Cineuropa: Andrea Occhipinti, the president of the distributors section of ANICA, said here in Riccione that Italian film is not very exportable and tends to follows repetitive formulae. Your film is an attempt to demonstrate the opposite, is it not?Michele Placido: We’re hoping to release the film at the same time in the countries that co-produced it: Italy, along with Spain, Switzerland and France. The exportability of Italian films depends on the producer and the director. Some invest thinking that the film should also have European partners as a way of guaranteeing its distribution beyond national borders, and thus involve other people in the film’s subject matter. The opportunity to direct 7 minuti was presented to me by playwright Stefano Massini, the newly-appointed director of the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, with whom I have other projects in the pipeline involving Cattleya. His writing is contemporary and European, and this film was taken on by a company interested in films that have the potential to do well abroad too. 95% of the films produced by 01 and Medusa are good-quality films, but aren’t exported abroad because there’s never any real plan to do so.

Why did you decide to tackle such a current yet tricky theme?I really loved Massini’s text, which was inspired by La parola ai giurati written by Reginald Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet in 1957. In that film, 11 people are called upon to decide whether a man is innocent or guilty. In his play, and in my film, we have 11 women, all of them very different, who must decide their own fate at the factory, with 400 colleagues waiting for their answer. I was inspired by something that happened in France just a few years ago, and the subject matter really is a hot topic. We have to go back to humanising work, because it’s wrong to simply become slaves to it.

Women and work: a combination that’s somewhat reminiscent of the latest films by the Dardenne brothers.You have to start with the idea of the film. For Bicycle Thieves Zavattini suggested the sensational idea of a man looking for a job to De Sica. Massini’s idea is powerful: the story could have centred around 11 men, but Massini had the intuition to use 11 women, which makes for a very different story. The ideological and political aspect is surpassed by hope, by the vitality exuded by these women, because women are natural bearers of hope, they have strong survival instincts, as one of the protagonists, Cristiana Capotondi, pointed out to me. 7 minuti certainly makes reference to themes that Italian film has tackled in the past, with Giuseppe De Santis, who made Bitter Rice, about female workers in the rice fields, and Roma 11:00, in which 200 girls turn up hoping to secure a job as a typist after seeing an advert in a newspaper. 

On the technical side of things, how did you choose to shoot this social drama which is also full of suspense?I shot this film like an action film, with director of photography Arnaldo Catinari, using three cameras. It’s what I did for Angels of Evil, with the cameras always on the go, with close-ups lingering on the faces of the protagonists. It was challenging to direct 11 women, most of whom are successful actresses, and bring them together in a more unusual role, in which they had to use their brains and their instincts. I saw straight away that I had to give these women a certain degree of flexibility. Fiorella Mannoia, a great singer who forges a special bond with the audience at her concerts, turned out to have an extraordinarily cinematographic face and mind.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Strong Italian Presence as 73rd Venice Film Festival Comes Together

August 11, 2016 Screening Schedule Announced

August 7, 2016 Just announced-

- A new title in the lineup, presented in collaboration with the Giornate degli Autori - Venice Days.. the documentary film by Enrico Caria- The Man Who Didn't Change History, freely inspired by the diaries of archaeologist and art historian Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, "Il viaggio del Fuehrer in Italia", and made with the images from the archives of Istituto Luce - Cinecittà.

- Italian horror film director Dario Argento will present a midnight screening of George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" on September 2

July 28, 2016 Just announced-

There will be three Italian films in competition for the Golden Lion:
"Questi giorni" by Giuseppe Piccioni.
"Piuma" by Roan Johnson
"Spira Mirabilis" (documentary) by Massimo D'Anolfi and Martina Parenti

Francesco Munzi’s "Assalto al Cielo" - made entirely of of archival footage-  and Kim Rossi Stuart’s "Tommaso" will be shown out of competition

Five Italian films in the Orrizonti section:
"Stanza 52" by Maurizio Braucci
"Liberami" by Federica Di Giacomo’s
"Molly Bloom" by Chiara Caselli’s
"Colombi" by Luca Ferri
"Good News" by Giovanni Fumu

Three Italian films in Cinema Nel Giardino
"Franca: Chaos and Creation" by Francesco Carrozzini
"L'estate addosso" by Gabriele Muccino
"Robinù" by Michele Santoro

One Italian film in Biennale College
"Ears" by Alessandro Arondio

One Italian film in Special Program
"Spes contra Spem: Liberi Dentro" by Ambrogio Crespi

One Italian Film in International Critics’ Week
 "Le ultime cose" by Irene Dionisio

The 73rd Venice International Film Festival will be held at the Lido from August 31 to September 10, 2016. It is directed by Alberto Barbera and organized by the Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta. Details are being announced little by little this year. But it's already shaping up to have a strong Italian influence, uniting the filmmakers of yesterday and today.

If you follow Italian Cinema Today on Twitter, you saw that I posted the opening film on June 20- "La La Land" by Damien Chazelle.. and on July 6 that the complete program will be announced this Thursday, July 28.  If you look behind those couple posts, there is so much more that has been revealed. Here, I am only posting that which has been confirmed. I'll leave rumors and speculation to the others. I am also posting just about Italian filmmakers, with links to the complete international lists on the festival's website.

Last night, I posted the newly announced juries. I was thrilled to see Chiara Mastroianni and Valentina Lodovini among the members. Listed below are the Italian filmmakers named as jury members and their descriptions from

Valentina Lodovini
These two filmmakers were named members of the Jury for the Venezia 73 Competition, in addition to the president, director Sam Mendes:

-The Italian magistrate, writer, playwright and screenwriter Giancarlo De Cataldo, author of the best-selling novel Romanzo criminale (2002) which inspired the film by Michele Placido (2005) and the television series by Stefano Sollima (2008). He is a two-time winner of the David di Donatello for the screenplays of Romanzo criminale, and of Noi credevamo (2010) by Mario Martone (which also won a Nastro d'argento for the screenplay).

-Actress Chiara Mastroianni, a famous star of European auteur films, who acted alongside her mother Catherine Deneuve at a very young age in Ma maison préférée by André Téchiné (1993, nominated at the César awards for Most Promising Actress). In 2010 she won the Excellence Award at the Locarno Film Festival. In 2014 she participated in the Venice International Film Festival with two films in Competition, Trois Coeurs by Benoît Jacquot and La Rançon de la gloire by Xavier Beauvois.

Italian actress Valentina Lodovini will serve as a member in the Orrizonti Section. One of the most important actresses in Italian cinema in recent years, starting with her role as the star of La giusta distanza (2007) by Carlo Mazzacurati, she was awarded the David di Donatello in 2010 for Benvenuti al Sud by Luca Miniero. In 2011 she starred in Cose dell’altro mondo by Francesco Patierno, presented at the Venice Film Festival.

Italian actor/director Kim Rossi Stuart was named president of the “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film – Lion of the Future. 
Click here for the complete list of international jury members.

Alberto Sordi and Serge Reggiani in "Tutti a casa"
In a pre-opening event on Tuesday, August 30, the festival will mark the centennial of director Luigi Comencini's birth by screening his masterpiece, "Tutti a casa" (Everybody Go Home). Digitally restored by Filmauro and CSC - Cineteca Nazionale di Roma, the film stars Alberto Sordi, Serge Reggiani, Carla Gravina and Eduardo De Filippo. Winner of two David di Donatello awards and one Nastro d'argento, "Tutti a casa" was produced by Dino De Laurentiis, with the screenplay by writing duo, Agenore Incrocci and Furio Scarpelli, also known as Age & Scarpelli. The event will take place at the Sala Darsena (Palazzo del Cinema) on the Lido.
This brings me to a section that I am really enthused about- "Venezia Classici"- a section of newly-restored classic films. Since 2012, this section has been presenting the world premieres of the restorations of classic films conducted over the previous year by film libraries, cultural institutions and productions all over the world. Curated by Alberto Barbera in collaboration with Stefano Francia di Celle, "Venezia Classici" also features documentaries about cinema and its makers. Contemporary filmmaker Roberto Andò will chair the Jury, which will be composed of cinema students. What a great foundation of cinema for these students to take with them. The students along with Andò will award the "Venezia Classici Award" for the "Best Restored Film" and the "Best Documentary on Cinema".

Vittorio Gassman in Dino Risi's "Profumo di donna"
The documentaries of the section will be announced during the press conference presenting the program of the Venice Film Festival, on Thursday, July 28. The Italian films selected for the "Venezia Classici" section of the 73rd Festival include:
by Dino Risi (Italy, 1948, 11’, B/W)
restored by: Archivio Nazionale Cinema Impresa-CSC-Cineteca Nazionale and Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
La battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers)
by Gillo Pontecorvo (Italy, Algeria, 1966, 121’, B/W)
restored by: Cineteca di Bologna and Istituto Luce – Cinecittà in collaboration with Surf Film Srl and Casbah Entertainment
Break up - L’uomo dei cinque palloni (The Man with the Balloons)
by Marco Ferreri (Italy, France, 1965, 85’,B/N)
restored by: Cineteca di Bologna and Museo Nazionale del Cinema  in collaboration with Warner Bros
Dawn of the Dead – European Cut
by George A. Romero (USA, Italy, 1978, 116’, Color)
restored by: Koch Media in collaboration with Norton Trust and Antonello Cuomo
Processo alla città (The City Stands Trial)
by Luigi Zampa (Italy, 1952, 99’, B/W)
restored by: CSC-Cineteca Nazionale and Gaumont in collaboration with Astrea. Sentimenti di giustizia
Profumo di donna (Scent of a Woman)
by Dino Risi (Italy, 1974, 105’, Color)
restored by: CSC-Cineteca Nazionale and Istituto Luce-Cinecittà in collaboration with Dean Film
Tutti a casa (Everybody Go Home!)
by Luigi Comencini (Italy, France, 1960, 115’, B/W)
restored by: Filmauro and CSC-Cineteca Nazionale
-Click here for the full list of international films in this section
A scene from Sorrentino's "The Young Pope"
On May 17, 2015, at last year's Cannes Film Festival, Paolo Sorrentino announced this HBO series, "The Young Pope". After nearly a year of production, the series will make its premiere at the 73rd Venice Film Festival with a screening of the first two episodes. 
Festival director Alberto Barbera says, “It is a great pleasure, as well as a privilege, to present at the Venice Film Festival the world premiere of the first two episodes of Paolo Sorrentino’s much-awaited television series. He is a filmmaker who dares to take risks, who – fearlessly and with his customary creative and innovative spirit – tackles the language of television series, the new expressive frontier which many filmmakers, primarily foreign, have already tried their hand at. The result will not fail to kindle sincere emotion and, above all, invigorating and boundless surprise.” The episodes will be shown in an Out-of-Competition special event on September 3rd in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido di Venezia. Click here for more information.

"Indivisibili "by Edoardo De Angelis
In the newly released Venice Days section, two Italian films will be featured in competition this year: 

"La ragazza del mondo" by Marco Danieli (which is also a debut piece), starring Sara Serraiocco and Michele Riondino, in which the protagonist is forced to choose between love and her place in the world of Jehovah’s witnesses.

"Indivisibili "by Edoardo De Angelis which centres around two conjoined twins and singers who are inseparable dreamers. The selection also includes road movie 

This year’s special events include the first official co-production between Italy and China (with the participation of Belgium)
"Coffee" by Cristiano Bortone, the first official co-production between Italy and China (with the participation of Belgium too)
"Vangelo" by Pippo Delbono, which was shot at a reception centre for refugees 
"Rocco" by Thierry Demaiziere and Alban Teurlai, on pornstar Rocco Siffredi
"You Never Had It – An Evening With Bukowski" by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Matteo Borgardt, which was born out of an old video interview with the famous American writer, which came to light thirty years later.

Filmmakers Thierry Demaiziere and Alban Teurlai
The short films made as part of the Italian designer Miu Miu Women's Tales project, which is dedicated to female creativity, are:
"Seed" by Japanese director Naomi Kawase 
"That One Day" by American filmmaker Crystal Moselle 

Click here to see last year's Miu Miu project by Alice Rohrwacher

The Sala Web Lineup Announced

-The Sala Web program is my favorite part of the Venice Film Fest because it lets those of us unable to attend to see a number of the films in various festival programs. Tickets are available through Festival Scope beginning September 1.

"Il più grande sogno"
Here is this year's complete lineup:
Orizzonti Section
THE EREMITES (DIE EINSIEDLER), di Ronny Trocker – dal 2 settembre
Germania, Austria, 110'

HOME, di Fien Troch – dal 3 settembre
Belgio, 103'

KING OF THE BELGIANS, di Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth – dal 3 settembre
Belgio, Paesi Bassi, Bulgaria, 94'

IL PIÙ GRANDE SOGNO, di Michele Vannucci – dal 4 settembre
Italia, 97'

MAUDITE POUTINE, di Karl Lemieux – dal 5 settembre
Canada, 91'

DARK NIGHT, di Tim Sutton – dal 6 settembre
USA, 85'

KÉKSZAKÁLLÚ, di Gastón Solnicki – dal 7 settembre
Argentina, 72'

LIBERAMI, di Federica Di Giacomo – dal 7 settembre
Italia, Francia, 89'

BIG BIG WORLD (KOCA DÜNYA), di Reha Erdem – dal 8 settembre
Turchia, 100'

MALARIA, di Parviz Shahbazi – dal 9 settembre
Iran, 90'

BITTER MONEY (KU QIAN), di Wang Bing – dal 9 settembre
Hong Kong, Francia, 150'

Biennale College

ORECCHIE, di Alessandro Aronadio – dal 1 settembre
Italia, 90’

HOTEL SALVATION (MUKTI BHAWAN), di Shubhashish Bhutiani – dal 2 settembre
India, 103’

THE SOLITUDE (LA SOLEDAD), di Jorge Thielen Armand – dal 3 settembre
Venezuela, 89’

ONE SISTER (UNA HERMANA), di Sofia Brockenshire, Verena Kuri – dal 4 settembre
Argentina, 68’ 

Cinema nel Giardino
FRANCA: CHAOS AND CREATION, di Francesco Carrozzini – dal 2 settembre
Italia, USA, 80’ 

Programma Speciale
THE ORCHID SELLER (EL VENDEDOR DE ORQUIDEAS), di Lorenzo Vigas – dal 8 settembre
Venezuela, Messico, 75’ 

Fuori Concorso
OUR WAR, di Bruno Chiaravalloti, Claudio Jampaglia, Benedetta Argentieri – dal 9 settembre
Italia, USA, 69’ 
Check back here or follow Italian Cinema Today on Twitter for more announcements and news that I will post as details become available.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Interview: Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre on joining "Flipo con la Basilicata"

(Click here to go directly to the Crowdfunding Campaign)

As Italian-Americans in the United States or being of Italian origin wherever you are in the world, we all share the common bond of nostalgia for our grandparents and great grandparents that decided to leave their country in search of a better life. In America, we've all watched the videos circulating social media about growing up Italian-American with the traditions of family and food being at the core. The majority of our ancestors came from the center or south of Italy- from regions like Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily. It's not easy to go back and retrace the footsteps of our ancestors but it is possible to continuously search for ways to stay connected to their land in the midst of the madness and commitments of our everyday lives.

Writer/Director Nicola Bisceglia with Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre meet the press
Here's one great way to do it.. A group of young filmmakers in the region of Basilicata started a web series last year. "Flipo con la Basilicata" follows a Spanish exchange student upon hearing news that he's just been awarded a scholarship at a university located in the south of Italy. Knowing nothing about the region of Basilicata, he originally has mixed feelings. But after moving to the region and assimilating into the beautiful, welcoming culture with his new university friends, he comes to love this land far off the beaten path of tourist attractions. The two episodes were pilots, so to speak. Based on the reception of those episodes, the filmmakers would decide whether to proceed. Perhaps it was their simplistic approach or beautiful landscapes and history lessons that transported the episodes to over 30 countries and to theaters for special screenings throughout Italy. Based on that success, the filmmakers are moving full-steam ahead and now, are trying to raise money to begin shooting the actual series. They started a crowd funding page and are offering unbelievable incentives including food and wine from their region of Basilicata. Aside from the Aglianico wine, such products are virtually impossible to find outside of Italy. The combination of this series shot on location all over the region, and the regional products being offered, the filmmakers have presented a wonderful opportunity for viewers to actively take part in this production while staying connection to the land of our origins or just embracing the unique culture of southern Italy.

I talked with writer/director Nicola Bisceglia when the pilot episodes were just kicking off in November, and I recently checked in with Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre for some insight on the reception of the first two episodes and what we can expect in the future. Nausicaa answered my questions in Italian, so both versions are included.

Are you happy with the first season of "Flipo con la Basilicata"?
I am pretty satisfied. In addition to the good results on the web, we were invited to present the project at various events and national and international festivals. What makes us happy is the curiosity raised by this project, which is shown through the questions, appreciation, posts and selfies for "Flipo Face" that viewers send us, and that's what gives us the strength to continue. Today, we are focused as a group on preparing the next episodes and seeing what we could improve upon.

Sono abbastanza soddisfatto, oltre ai buoni risultati sul web, siamo stati invitati a presentare il progetto in vari eventi e festival nazionali ed internazionali. Quello che ci rende soddisfatti è la curiosità che suscita questo progetto e che ci viene mostrata attraverso le domande, l’apprezzamento, i post e i selfie “faccia da flipo” che ci mandano ed è questo che ci da la forza per continuare. Ad oggi siamo tutti concentrati per preparare e migliorare al meglio i prossimi episodi, ma anche noi come gruppo di lavoro.

Tell me about some of the feedback and compliments you received.
Honestly, we have received many compliments for the way we've begun to speak about our beautiful region. The project has been seen as a new form of advertising that through authenticity and spontaneity, places the viewer in realistic situations. This is what was appreciated the most and admired by the public in the first two episodes. Of course we also received some criticism, but we take all feedback and try to improve ourselves! Was the series watched much outside of Italy? Our site is translated into five languages and the episodes are subtitled in Spanish and English to facilitate the international audience. Data from YouTube, Facebook and messages showed that we were seen in over 30 countries. In this regard, we have initiated an interesting project which has also involved other nations. This international element will be reflected in upcoming episodes.

Onestamente abbiamo ricevuto tanti complimenti per come abbiamo iniziato a raccontare la nostra splendida regione. Una nuova forma di pubblicità che attraverso un linguaggio autentico e spontaneo immette lo spettatore in uno stato di realtà, questo è quello che più di tutto è stato apprezzato e ammirato dal pubblico dei primi due episodi. Ovviamente abbiamo ricevuto anche diverse critiche ma noi prendiamo tutti i feedback per cercare di migliorarci! Was the series watched much outside of Italy? Il nostro sito è tradotto in cinque lingue e gli episodi sono sottotitolati in spagnolo ed in inglese per facilitare la diffusione internazionale. Dai dati di youtube, facebook e messaggi ricevuti siamo certi di essere arrivati in oltre trenta Paesi. A tal proposito abbiamo avviato un percorso interessante che vede coinvolte anche altre nazioni e che vi mostreremo con i prossimi episodi.

What can you tell us about the upcoming episodes?
We consider the first two episodes as a pilot and now we continue the story from where we left off. There will be some new characters and a number of international news on which I prefer not to discuss yet. We will be sort of a festive caravan that in our wanderings will try to involve the people whose paths we cross. We are confident that it will be quite an adventure.

In realtà non si tratta di una nuova stagione, consideriamo i primi due episodi come un pilota e adesso proseguiamo la storia da dove l’avevamo lasciata. Ci saranno alcuni attori nuovi e una serie di novità internazionali sulle quali preferisco non anticipare troppo: saremo una carovana festosa che nel suo vagare proverà a coinvolgere anche le persone che incontreremo nel percorso…. siamo certi che sarà una bella avventura.

What are some of the locations?
We just did the location scouting to determine where we would be shooting and we are excited about all the possibilities. There are many places in Lucania that are unknown even to us. So, we'll start again from Potenza. We'll be back in the Vulture area, and then continue on to Matera. There will be a number of surprises along the way, which we hope you will also discover while watching the episodes.

Abbiamo appena fatto i sopralluoghi per definire le location e siamo entusiasti di quello che abbiamo potuto apprezzare, ci sono molti luoghi che anche a noi lucani sono sconosciuti. Ripartiremo da Potenza, torneremo nelle zone del Vulture e dopodiché proseguiremo verso Matera. Ci saranno una serie di sorprese lungo il tragitto, che speriamo possiate scoprire guardando gli episodi.

Will you be using that great song again by Krikka Reggae?
The collaboration with Krikka Reggae was valuable for us and certainly will continue. We will also try to optimize their fifteenth year together! We appreciate and respect their work. So it's an honor and a pleasure to collaborate with them. We would still like to work with other local musical groups as well. The concept of networking is key to our project, so we are looking forward to discovering new musical talents.

Watch the video for Krikka Reggae's "Io vivo in Lucania, vengo dalla Lucania" directed by Giuseppe Marco Albano.. The song was featured in Episode 2 of "Flipo con la Basilicata"..

La collaborazione con la Krikka Reggae è stata per noi preziosa e sicuramente proseguirà, cercheremo anche di valorizzare il loro quindicesimo compleanno! sono una realtà che ha il nostro apprezzamento e rispetto e collaborare con loro è per noi un onore oltre che un piacere. Questo però non esclude la collaborazione con altri gruppi musicali locali, il concetto di fare network (politica del nostro progetto) passa anche da collaborazioni di questo tipo, vi faremo infatti scoprire nuovi talenti musicali e che vale la pena conoscere.

When do you think the new season will premiere?
I think we will be able to post the first new episodes in October. There will be a lot of post-production and we will definitely have to be attentive to many details. We will keep everyone updated on our website and on our social media pages- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our YouTube channel, where the series will be broadcast.

Penso che riusciremo a pubblicare il primo dei nuovi episodi ad ottobre, ci sarà un grosso lavoro di post-produzione e sicuramente dovremo essere attenti a moltissimi dettagli. Poi valuteremo con che cadenza pubblicare gli altri episodi ma terremo tutti aggiornati dal nostro sito e dalle nostre pagine social Facebook, Twitter e Instagram e dal canale YouTube che costruiremo ad hoc.

Is there anything you'd like to say to someone considering a contribution to your crowd funding page?
I simply say that a small act of patronage can greatly change the organization of production, and that the rewards we offer to show our gratitude to our sponsors are as appetizing as they are attractive. This is our sincere hope!

Dico semplicemente che un piccolo atto di mecenatismo a noi può cambiare molto l’organizzazione di produzione, e che le ricompense che offriamo grazie anche ai nostri sponsor sono tanto appetitose quanto allettanti, speriamo davvero di raggiungere questo risultato!

Join us in supporting this exciting new project. Click here to go directly to the crowd funding page.

Here are the first two episodes of "Flipo con la Basilicata"...

Episode 1 "Flipo!"

Episode 2 "Carpe Diem"

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Basilicata: Terra di Cinema: The Documentary "Emilio Colombo. Memorie di un Presidente" to be presented in Potenza

The teaser trailer for the documentary “Emilio Colombo. Memories of a President” is now online. The film will be presented in Potenza on July 25 at 6:30 pm.

The event is organized by CISST (Centro Internazionale per gli Studi Storici Sociali e dei Territori) in the section CGIAM (Centro di Geomorfologia Integrata per l’Area del Mediterraneo di Potenza). The film was produced by Alessandra Peralta and Cleto Cifarelli with the music composed by Germano Mazzocchetti.

The documentary is the result of long and detailed research. It contains testimonies by the main players whose paths crossed the protagonist. Those players include Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Mariotto Segni, Jacques Delors, Arnaldo Forlani, Antonio Fazio, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Maria Romana De Gasperi, Gianni Pittella, Gianfranco Ravasi, Giorgio Napolitano and Giampaolo D'Andrea. The film demonstrates the positive synergies between the different professions and skills, representing the historical studies of Italian and history in a post-World War II world.
See the trailer below..
"Emilio Colombo. Memorie di un Presidente." Online il teaser del documentario.

E' online il teaser del documentario "Emilio Colombo. Memorie di un Presidente", che sarà presentato a Potenza, in anteprima nazionale, lunedì 25 luglio, ore 18.30, presso il Teatro Stabile.

L’evento è organizzato dal CISST (Centro Internazionale per gli Studi Storici Sociali e dei Territori ) sezione del CGIAM (Centro di Geomorfologia Integrata per l’Area del Mediterraneo di Potenza) che ha interamente prodotto il documentario, firmato da Alessandra Peralta e Cleto Cifarelli, e che si fregia delle musiche composte dal Maestro Germano Mazzocchetti.

Il documentario, frutto di una lunga e puntuale azione di ricerca, contiene testimonianze rilasciate dai principali protagonisti che hanno incrociato la sua storia, come Hans Dietrich Genscher, Mariotto Segni, Jacques Delors, Arnaldo Forlani, Antonio Fazio, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Maria Romana De Gasperi, Gianni Pittella, Gianfranco Ravasi, Giorgio Napolitano e Giampaolo D’Andrea. La produzione, frutto di sinergie virtuose tra professionalità e competenze diverse, rappresenta oggi un’importante fonte storiografica per lo studio della storia italiana ed europea del secondo dopoguerra.

Ecco il link del teaser..

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Basilicata: Terra di Cinema - A Big Week Ahead for Short Films Made in Lucania

In basso, la versione itlaliana
"La Slitta"
Three days dedicated to cinema made in Lucania

July 19, 20 and 21 are three important days for short films supported by the #bandoallacrisi of the Lucana Film Commission.

The events kick off tomorrow on Rome's Island of Cinema with the "Corti Lucani di sera". The annual Roman summer film event is enriched once again with productions made in Basilicata with the screening of "Papaveri e Papere", "La Slitta" "La Riva", and "Cenere." The evening will be moderated by Laura Delli Colli, President SNGCI (Sindacato nazionale giornalisti cinematografici italiani). She will interview the filmmakers and the director of the Lucania Film Commission, Paride Leporace.

The next event will take place on Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30 pm at the National Archaeological Museum in Muro Lucano, Potenza. The event, "Corti ma Buoni", will feature a number of productions made in Basilicata, including "Legno", "Flipo!" "Papaveri e Papere" and "La Riva". During the evening, the director of the Archaeological Museum in Muro Lucano, Salvatore Pagliuca, will lead a Q&A session with Paride Leporace, Vito Leone, promoter of Bella Basilicata Film Festival, and with the directors and producers of the short films. The discussion will follow the screenings.
The three-day extravaganza will conclude on Thursday in Potenza with the premiere of ""The Prince of Venusia" by Silvio Giordano on the Renaissance prince, count and musician, Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. The screening, beginning at 7:30 pm, will take place at Cinema 2 Torre. The screening will be preceded by a discussion with the participation of Paride Leporace, the manager of cultural tourism systems of Basilicata region- Patrizia Minardi, the Director General of the BCC Laurenzana and Nova Siri, who has supported the production- Giorgio Costantino, sociologist Laura Franchini, the art critic and independent curator Alessandro Tabucco, and the film's director, Silvio Giordano.
For more information, visit the Lucana Film Commission online.

Shooting "La Riva"

La versione italiana

Al via una tre giorni molto importante per il cinema lucano

Il 19, 20 e 21, tre momenti importanti per i cortometraggi sostenuti dal #bandoallacrisi della Lucana Film Commission. 

Si comincia il 19 Luglio, sull'Isola Tiberina di Roma, con l'evento "Corti Lucani di sera". Il tradizionale appuntamento cinematografico dell'estate romana si arricchisce nuovamente delle produzioni made in Basilicata, con la proiezione di "Papaveri e Papere", "La Slitta", "La Riva" e "Cenere". La serata sarà moderata da Laura Delli Colli, presidente SNGCI, che intervisterà i registi lucani ed il direttore della Lucana Film Commission Paride Leporace.
Mercoledì 20, ore 19,30, l'appuntamento è presso il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Muro Lucano (PZ), per la rassegna "Corti ma Buoni". Nel corso della serata il direttore del Museo Archeologico di Muro Lucano, Salvatore Pagliuca, converserà con Paride Leporace, Vito Leone, promotore del Bella Basilicata Film Festival, e con i registi ed i produttori dei cortometraggi. A seguire, la proiezione di "Legno", "Flipo!" "Papaveri e Papere", "La Riva".
Giovedì 21, a Potenza, ci sarà l'anteprima nazionale di "The Prince of Venusia" il film di Silvio Giordano, su Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa. La proiezione, con inizio alle 19.30, sarà presso il Cinema Due Torri di Potenza, con ingresso gratuito. La proiezione sarà anticipata da un talk al quale parteciperanno: il direttore Leporace, la dirigente dell'ufficio sistemi culturali e turistici della regione Basilicata Patrizia Minardi, il direttore generale della BCC di Laurenzana e Nova Siri, che ha sostenuto la produzione, Giorgio Costantino, la sociologa Laura Franchini, il critico d'arte e curatore indipendente Alessandro Tabucco, ed il regista Giordano.

Italian Cinema Today Sunday Series: Cinema & Cibo - Interview: Recipe Author and Movie Extra Daniela Borzelli of BIOPiatto

Today begins our Sunday series- Cinema & Cibo. Every Sunday, at least for the remainder of the summer months, I will feature a recipe or food-related subject with a connection to cinema.

When I began researching for this series, I stumbled upon a Twitter account called BIOpiatto, which translates to "organic dish". I was drawn to this account due to the diversity of the recipes and how healthy and delicious they looked. I had absolutely no idea the treasure I was about to discover.

Meet Daniela Borzelli. She was raised in the Cinecittà neighborhood of Rome near the infamous movie studios and spent much time in her grandparent's Garbatella district, where Nanni Moretti's infamous scooter scenes for Caro Diario were shot. She is an amazing, strong woman who overcame a serious eating disorder and today, is able to celebrate the joy and creativity of healthy eating. She began a blog, which came under the radar of the popular Italian Giallo Zafferano cooking network. The two forces teamed up and with the acclaimed network's affiliation, Daniela's recipes have reached foodies all over the world.

Daniela opened up to me about a life-changing tragedy that caused her to shut down emotionally and physically, leading her and her family down a dark, dangerous road to anorexia. Her parents did everything they could to stand by their daughter and save her life. And then one day, she woke up and everything changed.

Daniela with actors Stefano Fresi and Pitero Sermonti
After talking with her for a while, I wasn't expecting a cinema connection to come up in our conversation. I was just fascinated by her personal story. Then to my delight, she told me that she was an extra in Sydney Sibilia's much anticipated Smetto Quando Voglio - Reloaded and shared with me her experience of working on set with the director and his hilarious, talented cast. She also has a special connection to the Golden Age of Italian cinema. Her parents were friends of the prolific actor Maurizio Arena, who appeared in nearly 80 films before his untimely death at the age of 45. Arena rose to fame in the mid-50's with Dino Risi's beloved international classic, Poveri ma belli. Today, there is a park in the Garbatella neighborhood named in his honor.
So without further explanation, here is my much-enjoyed conversation with the creator of BIOpiatto, Daniela Borzelli.

Tell me about your story and what led you to start this cooking blog..
My blog was born out of passion. The inspiration came to me on the advice of a friend in Barcelona where I was celebrating my birthday with my daughter. I'm not a chef, I am a woman and a mother. In my past, I've had health problems because of a bad bout with anorexia. I was sick for a while and eventually my weight got down to 37 chilograms (82 pounds).
Anorexia is a disease that unfortunately is not considered a serious illness. It can be caused by the nervous system or by problems due to body weight. In my case, it was anorexia nervosa. 
When I was 17, a close friend was killed in a motorcycle accident. To make a long story short, I was devastated and began my downward spiral. My parents did everything they could to help me find my way back. My father even took me to see a magician. After my weight went down to 37 chilograms, I was bedridden.
I refused food. I slept all day not to think. My father put holy water on me as I slept. I caused more harm to my parents than to myself. I did not care about anything. However, I was eventually helped by a psychiatrist. He recommended that I go on vacation with a friend to a place far away from my problems where kids my age were having fun. That advice led me  and a friend to Ibizia. The day before we were to leave, I woke up craving a prosciutto sandwich. My mother, weeping, ran into the kitchen right away to prepare it, and from hand to hand, that was my rebirth. Then when we were in Ibiza, my medication was stolen from my room on the first day, so that was it. I never took it again. I returned from the trip and everything was fine.

Then how did your interest in cooking come about?
After that experience, I felt a renewed will to live. I felt the desire to eat and the desire to look at the my body again. So I began to devote myself to the recipes. I wanted to put care and effort into my meals. Instead of salt, I cook using spices, seeds, organic products.. and now and I live life to the fullest and make sure that I will live longer and in good health. I took over my life I live with my daughter and together we eat well and are we're very happy. My friend in Barcelona, who I had not seen in 20 years, suggested that I start a blog with all my new recipes. I experiment with flavors and spices. I document the beneficial properties, I create a certain taste and I publish the recipe on the blog. Sometimes I add ingredients for extra health benefits. For example, in a simple salad if you add ginger, you get a salad with anti-inflammatory properties. If you add chia seeds, you get a remedy for osteoporosis. In practice, I try to help people correct their diet by incorporating or substituting foods because as my motto states.. Eating is a necessity.. to eat intelligently is an art.

Daniela's parents
What is your favorite Sunday family meal? My favorite Sunday dish is egg pasta with a sauce made of chicken giblets (pasta all'uovo con il sugo con le rigaglie di pollo). It's a dish at our house that my father makes. In the Borzelli home, all the men were good cooks. Now, my father is 86-years-old and my cousins all share his passion for cooking. My father was born in the most beautiful and intimate town of Rome, Garbatella, where you still see the clothes hanging in the windows and you hear the ladies screaming as they converse from one window to another. The children still play in the yards. My childhood was spent there. All of our holidays and Sundays were spent at the home of my paternal grandparents. My father was a close friend of Maurizio Arena, who also grew up in the neighborhood. So getting back to this Sunday dish, all the giblets of the chicken are used to make the sauce.. the heart, lung and liver. Then it's seasoned with onion. You have no idea how good this is with the fresh egg pasta. In Rome, we say  "è la morte sua"- which means it's better than anything else!

How did your father know the actor Maurizio Arena?
He and my father grew up together. I must have seen "Poveri ma belli" 300 times!

So explain to me the beautiful photos that you sent..
(Two-shot) This was taken at the home of Maurizio Arena. He lived across from my dad.

(Postcard- bottom) This is a postcard that Maurizio wrote to my mother. At the time, my father was in the Air Force. You can see underneath Maurizio's name, his girlfriend also sent her greetings. Her name was Eloisia Cianni. She was Miss Europa of 1953.

(Autographed photo) This is dedicated to my mother. They were close friends when he was a still a little known actor.

Tell me about your experience in Italian cinema and more recently with "Smetto Quando Voglio Reloaded".

Daniela on set with actor Stefano Fresi
I work as an extra from time to time in order to supplement my income. It's a nice diversion and a fun job. I am registered with three agencies that work with Mediaset, RAI Fiction and various feature films. Recently, I was asked to play a journalist in the new film by Sydney Sibilia, "Smetto Quando Voglio Reloaded". It was a great experience. There were 240 people working in a theater over a two-day period. The actors were just so funny and friendly. The sweetest was Stefano Fresi. He is really a force of nature! The actors were instructed by crew managers not to take photos with us, but during breaks, they came out to where we were and posed for photos. The scenes that I witnessed were just too funny. We spent 12 hours shooting, but the scenes with Stefano flew by. Pietro Sermonti was also very courteous. I'm petite, so when we posed for the photo, he was sort of squatting down to match my height. I'm excited to see how the film turns out. Sydney Sibilia is a young, witty director that has created a spectacular cast. There is harmony between them. There are jokes between the cameraman, director and actors. It's really a great family.

What is your favorite Italian movie?
My favorite film of Italian cinema is Steno's "Un Americano a Roma" with Alberto Sordi.

It's great that you should mention Un Americano a Roma.. Last year, I published the recipe for that famous dish of spaghetti! Here it is... Maccheroni all’italiana. So why is it your favorite Italian film?
America is the dream of many Italians that believe there is a better life, a better future overseas. And here's this Roman boy who feels very American.. the great Alberto Sordi with his unmistakable gestures. I love it!

Speaking of pasta, your dish- Pasta Puttanesca is our featured "Sunday Cinema and Cibo" recipe. Tell me about this creation.
The puttanesca is a Neapolitan dish. The flavor of oregano is my favorite thing, and then added with the tomato and capers, gives life to a very tasty and spicy dish. In addition we also add the flavor of the anchovies. I thought of this dish because it is fresh as well as tasty and I always play with the flavors to add something more. Here, I just added thyme and reduced the amount of tomatoes. There is no salt, only spices, and the thyme is such a thin herb that I put it in the dishes often. Those who don't use salt should add more spices. Then  slowly, the true flavors of the food come out. Salt modifies, and in a way, falsifies food. It also causes water retention and hypertension, so it's good to avoid it. I don't always eat clean.. once in a while, I eat "piatti sporchi" (junk food) but as a rule, I eat healthy.

Getting back to your struggle with anorexia, is there anything you'd like to say to young girls today dealing with the illness?
The advice that I can give to the girls who are suffering from this eating disorder is to do like I did and take a nice vacation and cultivate something that keeps your mind and body occupied. In this blog, I have found victory. Those who fall can get up. So, my second advice is to live, make mistakes and face your decisions alone because only by doing this, you will form a strong character. Anorexic people are fundamentally weak, but weak psychologically. I now leave the choices to my daughter. I stop to look at what she does but I never interfere in her life. You have to learn to choose to grow, make mistakes and correct those mistakes. Nothing is impossible. It takes a lot of determination and I am the example that you can get back to love life, and I love it so much that I have found my cure in food. Anorexia care involves eating well and healthy by eliminating certain foods, reducing red meat, canned sausages, increasing fruits, vegetable seeds, spices and berries and keeping physically active.
With this blog, I try to give an example that will is power. I'm fine now and I thank the Lord every morning that He makes me open my eyes. I have a daughter and family who needs me, and I must be their strength. I have a rich life, full of emotions that I had forgotten.

Click here to visit Daniela's blog. I find that Google Translate gives the most accurate translation. Visit her also on Twitter.

Upcoming Cinema and Cibo Series 2018

During August and September of 2016, I ran a Sunday series called “Cinema & Cibo” in which I profiled Italian filmmakers and their passions for food. 

In addition to Daniela's story, I also published my treasured 2007 interview with the late Italian-American actor Dom DeLuise, whose family’s origins are in Basilicata… 
Click here to read the article.

Dom DeLuise cooking with his mother
Documentary filmmaker Dario Carrarini talked with me about his film L'eleganza del cibo. Tales about food and fashion as he was preparing to present the trailer at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. Click here to read the article.
Lettuce dresses featured in Dario Carrarini's documentary film
And it's always fun to find an excuse to talk about the gorgeous and talented De Laurentiis family! Giada De Laurentiis's new show at the time was about to premiere. Giada in Italy   featured stories and recipes inspired by her grandmother, Golden Age cinema goddess Silvana Mangano.. and featured scenes with Giada's mother, actress/activist Veronica De LaurentiisClick here to read the article.

In Conversation with Director Cecilia Pignocchi

Filmmakers Arthur Couvat and  Cecilia Pignocchi It’s unusual for a first-time filmmaker to be recognized by a high-profile, international fi...