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Articles by: Darby Mudano

  • Events: Reports

    Salina and New York. Two Islands Bridged on the Big Screen

    In the last century, hundreds of thousands of people have connected Sicily to New York through a constant flux of migrations and life stories that have shaped the history and culture of both the Italian region and the American metropolis. From this year on, cinema will be another bridge that will link them together, a bridge that will cross the Atlantic Ocean bringing "Made in Italy" documentaries to the attention of the U.S. audience

    The New York presentation of the IV edition of the SalinaDocFest, a festival dedicated to the narrative documentary, will be hosted at the John D.Calandra Italian American Institute on June 11, 5 pm.

    Organized and Sponsored by the Calandra, ANFE-Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Emigranti, and i-Italy, its purpose will be to introduce those people who are enthusiastic about Italian contemporary cinema to the works of young directors exploring the documentary-making field.

    The event, that will feature the presence of the director of ANFE - Sicilia Gaetano Calà, and the Artistic Director of the SalinaDocFest, Giovanna Taviani, will offer a round-up of the history of this renowned 100% Sicilian initiative that this year will be dedicated to the theme of "Il mio Paese: identità" (My country:identity)

    The Festival, that aims at bringing to the island the best in the 'narrative' documentary production and the most promising young cineastes of the current Italian and international survey, has already gained international recognition.

    Commenting on this, Prof. Antonio Monda, organizer of the succesful "Open Roads:New Italian Cinema"festival being hosted these days at the Lincoln Center in NYC, stated: "The SalinaDocFest is supporting the growth of the documentary genre in Italy, because it shows the importance of this language, the documentary language, which has given so much to Italian Cinema. In the 1950s and '60s so many important artists debuted and tested themselves with documentaries: the Taviani brothers, Ermanno Olmi, Pasolini and many others... the best of Italian Cinema. What this means is that nowadays there is a strong will to make documentaries and not necessarily only narrative features and it's an important change which has already been picked up by the American audience".

    His words not only underline the importance of the SalinaDocFest per se, but also the relevance that an event such as the one hosted at the Calandra on June 11 can have in making the American public aware of this quite unknown Italian field of excellence.

    The official trailer of the SalinaDocFest, that will be screened during the presentation, will also introduce the attending public to the rare beauties of this island part of the Aeolian Archipelagus and maybe inspire them to take a trip to Sicily during the days of the Festival, September 14-19.

    The Aeolian Islands, named for the god of the winds, Aeolus, are located off the northeastern coast of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The seven individual islands that make up the archipelago are Alicudi, Filicudi, Lipari, Panarea, Salina, Stromboli and Vulcano. They make up a peaceful, yet enigmatic volcanic archipelago which is an extraordinary place to visit. The combination of its beautiful setting and its slower, less harried way of life, make the archipelago a worthwhile side trip from the mainland.

    The Aeolian Islands' fascinating landscapes enriched by a dark blue sea, a green Mediterranean flora and the small fishing towns with their ancient historical sites have such a charm that they have induced some famous directors of the past including Federico Rossellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Vittorio De Seta, and Wilhelm Dieterle to set their works there. 

    Moreover, the artistic director of the SalinaDocFest, Giovanna Taviani, is following this same path with her new movie "Fughe e approdi. Ritorno alle Eolie tra cinema e realtà" (Escapes and Landings. Back to the Aeolian Islands between Cinema and Reality).

    On June 11 she will present her debut work at the Calandra Institute. It is entitled "I nostri 30 anni. Generazioni a confronto" ( Our 30 years. Generations Face to Face), a journey in the world of Italian Cinema as seen from the eyes of four generations of directors (from Risi to Monicelli; from Bellocchio, Bertolucci and Taviani, to Moretti, Giordana, Virzì and Salvatores; and the last generation of directors). In the picture they talk about what it meant to them to document 30 years of history of Italian cinema and dwell on the 30-year-olds of our country.

    An essayist and researcher on Italian Cinema and Literature, Giovanna Taviani already presented this movie during the 2005 edition of Prof. Monda's Open Roads Festival, receiving praise both form him and the public: "I personally think that the work of Giovanna Taviani is incredibly well done. Movie-making runs in her family and she has followed in her father's footsteps. She's the daughter of Vittorio Taviani but I always looked at her independently and I admired not only the high quality of her thought but also her professional attitude and the passion she puts into her projects. She's not only a film-maker but an active organizer of an exciting festival. She always looks ahead", Prof. Monda stated.

    The screening of "I nostri 30 anni" will be followed by a debate on Italian contemporary cinema featuring the partecipation of the Italian-American director Nancy Savoca. Author of movies such as "True Love" and "Household Saints", the latter will offer the public the point of view of a director that has focused several of her works on Italian community and its reealities here in New York and in the United States. Both the directors will be available to discuss the subject and share their opinions with the public.

    June 11, 5pm
    John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
    25w 43rd Street New York, N.Y. 10036

    Presentation of the IV Edition of the SalinaDocFest

    5:00 PM - Welcoming Remarks
    Prof. Anthony Tamburri, Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (CUNY)
    Letizia Airos, Executive Editor of i-italy

    5:15 PM - SalinaDocFest. Facts & History
    Giovanna Taviani, Artistic Director of SalinaDocFest
    Gaetano Calà, Director of ANFE Sicilia
    Presentation of the Festival (History and Scopes) and of its fourth edition (September 2010). Mr. Calà will give a speech on the "Memoria Documentata" (Documented Memory)

    6 PM - Movie Screening
    I nostri 30 anni. Generazioni a confronto ( Our 30 years. Generations Face to Face) by Giovanna Taviani (73 minutes)

    7:15 PM Debate on contemporary Italian cinema with the Italian-American director Nancy Savoca