FOCUS ON FOOD
FOCUS ON FOOD:
A word of Greek origin (ieròs) meaning strong, powerful, flourishing. But also
sublime, lofty, divine, sacred. In a figurative language, it means serious,
solemn, important… As the best part of everything, it is the absence which gives
wisdom, rigour, substance, without redundancy, referring to the fundamental
taste and, again, to the sacred that we have ab origine. Such as the
austere, brusque contact of the natural elements: earth, water against hunger,
the human damage in environmental disasters, western richness’ refined and rich
BERE PER DIMENTICARE / DRINK TO FORGET
Michele Calabresi/Patrick Heeren/Carla Molino, Italy 2006, 40'
60 years after the liberation from Nazi-Fascism, Hitler and
Mussolini come back to Italy… on wine and beer’s label. How can it be possible?
Who does produce, sell and buy these bottles? Bere per dimenticare
investigates this alarming phenomenon and its emotional outcomes, commercial
and legal ones, through interviews to producers and sellers, jurists and
politicians, partisans and extermination camps’ survivors. These interviews
collect very different reactions. From one side, the indifference of uncritical
consumers that believe this commercial initiative to be harmless and of short
social significance; from the other side, the deep survivors’ sorrow in seeing
the real meaning of terrifying images and slogans cancelled and banalized.
Thanks to this inquiry we have the portrait of a society without memory and
consciousness, that thinks over its past and its own identity unwillingly.
Official selection: Kiev International Documentary Film
Festival; Jewish Eye - Worl Jewish Film Festival - Jerusalem; Film Huesca
Festival; Avignon Film Festival; Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival; Barcelona
International Jewish Film Festival; Prix Europe 2006; Salento International Film
Festival; Festival de Cine de Granata; IBFF International Bunker Film Festival;
Festival der Nationen – Ebensee.
Hubert Super, Austria / France / Belgium 2004, 107’
Victoria Lake is not only the larges
tropical lake in the world, but it has also a very peculiar microcosm. Until
1954, many different species of fishes, some of them still unknown, had swum in
its waters. Since that fateful date, things have changes completely: for still
unclear reasons (or maybe too much clear), a Fate, a predator fish , was ushered
in the lake. Suddenly, the rich lake fauna changes, and the Fate becomes, thanks
to its huge dimensions, the undisputed queen of the lake and the leading drive
of local economy. Fishing thrives, as well as its tilling and export. European,
Russian and sometimes American cargoes, throng every day the little local
airport to take on tons of fishes. But a question rises spontaneously: as local
people still live in a complete state of poverty, how do they pay the cargoes
sent all over the world? While here poverty and hunger are increasing, and
diseases spread in a frightening way, the rest of the world receives extremely
expensive Fate’s fillets. In exchange for what? The hypothesis (confirmed by
some witnesses and, by intuition, very plausible) is that the cargoes, that go
to lake Victoria’s shores to throng fishes, don’t arrive empty but “loaded up
with wonders”: Kalashnikovs, ammunitions, even tanks that supply the
incalculable hotbeds of war scattered all over Africa.
Awards: Academy Awards 2006, nomination
for Best Documentary; Venice Film Festival 2004; Europe Label Cinema - Days of
the Authors; European Film Awards 2004, Best Documentary; Viennale 2004, Vienna
Film Prize; Copenhagen Dox 2005, Best Film; Festival De Film D' Environnement
Paris 2005, Grand Prix; Chicago Doc Festival 2005, Best Film; Thessaloniki Doc
FF 2005, Audience Award; Oslo Eurodoc 2005, Norway Distribution Award; Docaviv
In Israel 2005, Grand Prix for Best Film.
- IL BRAVO GATTO PRENDE I TOPI/A GOOD CAT CATCHES MICE.
Francesco Conversano/Nenè Grignaffini, Italy 2006, 85’
A journey in
rural areas of China that shows dramatically – through fragments of farmers’
stories, men and women - the dark shadows of the country of the new economic
miracle, in a nation where free market live together with the governing
Communist Party. The title of this documentary recalls one of Deng Xiaoping’s
most famous sentences: “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white, the
important is that it catches mice”, which summarizes the pragmatic spirit, the
determination and the pride of the Chinese people.
DAVID OF DONATELLO 2006: Best Documentary.
VOYAGE CONTRO LA FAIM/A JOURNEY AGAINST HUNGER
Von Gunten, Switzerland
In 1999, in answer to the strong
increase of people suffering from malnutrition all over the world, the United
Nations sanctioned a new “human right”: the right to feeding. All nations in the
world must be obliged to permit their own citizens to have an adequate feeding.
The following year, the Swiss writer and sociologist Jean Ziegler was nominated
by the United Nations Special Reporter on the right to feeding. “A journey
against hunger” talks about Ziegler’s mission in Ethiopia, a country constantly
affected by the plague of hunger. Von Gunten follows the doctor in his
encounters with those persons for whom hunger and death are daily entities. The
question is: will be Ziegler really able to help them?
ALLE RADICI DEL BAROLO/TO THE ROOTS OF BAROLO
10’ Serralunga d’Alba
Teobaldo Cappellano, a viticulturer for all his life, has
chosen to cultivate European vines, producing Barolo wine as they did in the
19th century like in the 800, but at the same time risking the vine pest. A
“philosophical” experiment or a real productive activity?
IL POETA DELLA GRAPPA/THE POET OF GRAPPA
Romano Levi produces grappa with a traditional system, being
the last one in the world. His bottles can be found in some of the best
restaurant all over the world and the former German Chancellor Schroeder is one
of his customers. But Romano does nothing in order to promote his activity, he
just hand-paints every label: artistic pieces and a pleasure for collectors.
MIACCIA MON AMOUR/MIACCIA MY LOVE
Matteo Bellizzi, 10’
Andrea is in competition with local McDonalds launching a
traditional product called Miaccia (a flat bread with melted cheese). Andrea
does not please with himself and wants to export this business in the rest of
Italy. In order to make it, he needs to know the mountain traditions of his
grandparents, to be able to propose continuous novelties. They help him with
enthusiasm, but they don’t understand him completely.
IL RE DELLA DOLCEZZA/ THE KING OF SWEETNESS
The Leone factory Lion is sweet and beautiful as the
tablets it produces: a palace art-nouveaux you can’t easily forget. Giovanni
Monero, the owner, was born in this factory, inherited from his grandfather, but
now he has to leave it because the premises are not adequate anymore. The
Leone tablets are so famous and requested that there are no alternatives.
But Mr. Monero has some ideas for the new plant, where he will bring the “sweet”
passion of 150 years of activity.
LE STRADE DELL’OCCITANIA/PROVENÇAL ROUTES
Provençal tradition and culture are alive and rooted in everyday’s life, today more than ever. Two brothers constituted the Lou
Seriol group, musicians active on the international scene but the local one
as well: they run the only Provençal bar in Italy where all the valley dwellers
and young “troubadour” come to drink a glass of pastis. A way to keep
their culture alive!
is one of the greatest Italian companies in the production of documentaries. Its
founders, Stefano Tealdi, Elena Filippini and Edoardo Fracchia work in order to
develop a production able to call the attention to the audience Italian topics
and to build a solid documentary culture in Italy. Stefilm is a member of the
Executive Committee of Discovery Campus. Stefilm productions, developed thanks
to MEDIA Programme support, are mainly international coproductions. Up to now,
Stefilm has worked with more than 40 international TV channels and with more
than 50 partner among distributors, independent producers and institutions.
Stefilm has started recently activities of training and distribution.
Asnate Ribena, Latvia 2005, 12’
The healer Alise lives in a world aware
of nature. Using herb brews, she helps people to regenerate themselves.
- DOMINGO FRANGO ASSADO / SUNDAY ROAST
Italy /Brazil 2006, 20'
In a shantytown of a Bahian village, an eleven-year-old boy
steals a black chicken consecrated to the Condomblè rituals, a religion
practised by the afro-Brazilian slaves. Very soon, rumours about a curse that
will affect the thief are spread, and the outcry caused by this episode causes
the boy a great discouragement, inducing him in search of a solution, in order
to get rid of a curse that is probably just a pang of conscience. Domingo
Frango Assado is a story of redemption that, dipped in the world of a
typical rural Brazilian childhood, humble but not desperate, passes through
Federico Mutti, 27 years old, of Italian-Brazilian
nationality, lives in Bologna and Rome. “Domingo Frango Assado” is his début as
director, written in collaboration with Manuel Moruzzi. The director of
photography is Massimiliano Guerrisi, Fabio Bianchini is the editor, Mirko
Donates is the set designer. The film is an independent co-production
SEI QUELLO CHE MANGI/YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Stefano Russo, Itay 2003,
This is Renata’s first day at work. Like many girls of her
age, she still doesn’t know well who she is, neither what she would like to
become. The passing of the day, the alimentary/relational/hierarchical net, the
first responsibilities, inexorably induce her to integrate. As the smell of food
sold in fast-foods gets stuck, in the same way routine, the need of belonging,
represent the last act of our glossy Fast-Lives.
Pescara Corto Script Award 2002
- SEI MIA / YOU’RE MINE
Raffaele Di Placido, Italy 2006, 8'
One day, a son living far away from home receives a package
from Italy containing jars of gravies prepared by his mother. Distance,
homemade dishes, mum… a dangerous and grotesque mix!
Prizes won: 2° prize at “Santena Film festival” 2005.
- BJCEM: CHOU FARCEUR
Cardona, France 2005, 10’ animation
This short film is part of the French selected works at the
Biennial of Young European and Mediterranean Artists of (BJCEM). The
Biennial, dedicated to young artists, chose the best works to represent
community and synergy through three artistic disciplines: music, visual art and
gastronomy. Benoît Cardona conceives his culinary creations from the market to
the table. His alternative and convivial cooking is presented as a video
performance, showing a series of completed dishes, video sequences of his
cooking and a presentation about the producers’ approaches. Finding his
inspiration from the supplying channels’ idea – the core of fair trade -
Cordona aims to redefine the chef’s job as part of a chain that goes from the
raw materials’ producers to the completed dish.
- LE DEVOIR/THE TASK
Lippens, Francia 2006, 8’
A grotesque and surreal job on the interaction between being
human, food and atmosphere in a possible future. A man wakes up in an unknown
space, of cylindrical shape. The glass of the wall that encircles him is thick
and slimy. In half-darkness, the man realizes to be prisoner of this strange
cell, already used before. When he begins to understand where he is, he feels
unable to face this obscure situation.
After her graduation in psychology at the Université Libre of
Brussels, Ariane moved to New York in order to attend the New York Film
Academy’s classes. Later on, she was admitted at the London Film Schoo, where
she studied direction for two years: from production to editing, set designing,
illumination and direction. In September 2004, Ariane directed ‘Le Devoir,
sponsored by the Belgian GFrench community.
- LES OEUFS
Iao Lethem, France 2006, 24’
Love stories have often a triangular aspect. Human relations
do, undo, get entangled… but here, there’s even a fourth dimension! Just like
scrambled eggs… there’s the white part, the yellow one, the fork melting them
all, and the cooking as well! Eggs beaten with a fork, cooked until they become
creamy, it has to be said, they’re not easy to prepareand not everybody can
prepare them. Eggs don’t have to dry up on a side of the pan and don’t have to
In other words, they don’t have to be really scrambled to
become creamy. And they often hide other strains… in a house w have a mother, a
father and their daughter. A triangle, but without balance, in a frailty
originated by an exceedingly strong desire of a father towards his daughter who
is already a woman, and that comes back home after a long absence, awakening in
this way demons “tamed” by morality and sense of guilt…
INTRECCI: SGUARDI SUL MONDO -
TERRA MADRE/INTERLACES: GLANCES ON THE WORLD – TERRA MADRE (MOTHER EARTH)
Urihi, Giovanna Cossia/Marco De
Italia 2007, 15'
The latest Interlaces episode, the series created by
Marco De Poli and Giovanna Cossia, about the reportage shot in Turin during
Terra Madre (Mother Earth) convention, organized by Slow Food. Interlaces,
monthly TV magazine distributed since January 2000 by ADN Kronos to a circuit of
110 local televisions - it is the first organic attempt in Italy to give voices
and faces to Southern situations, to talk about possible contacts with our
culture; to widen the “glances” on a world more and more interdependent, and to
offer subjects to discussion about important problems, still unsolved at the new
millennium’s thresholds. It is promoted by the NGO Gruppo per le Relazioni
Transculturali, with the support of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs –
General Department for the Cooperation to development, and it was made by URIHI
Associations, edited by Giovanna Cossia and Marco De Poli.