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TRAINING Italy

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The Solinas Award returns to La Maddalena to set up a higher-education centre

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- The screenplay prize has organised a co-design lab in Sassari that sees architecture and film students take part in an ambitious international project

The Solinas Award returns to La Maddalena to set up a higher-education centre

The Solinas Award is returning to the island of La Maddalena, where it was founded back in 1985, with an ambitious international project: a higher-education centre for cinema and audiovisual developed with the University of Sassari in partnership with the University of Cagliari, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, CINEMED/Montpellier International Mediterranean Film Festival and the Italian Culture Institute in Madrid (Madrid Italian Film Festival). 

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Over the last few days, an initial co-design laboratory was organised in Sassari, which saw the involvement of architecture and film students from the three universities, plus screenwriters, architects, teachers and Solinas Award finalists. Among the guests taking part in the initiative were two foreigners from the Montpellier Film Festival: Israel’s Or Sinai, who was victorious in Cannes’ Cinéfondation in 2016 with Anna, and Mounia Akl, a Lebanese director and screenwriter selected for the 2016 Cannes Cinéfondation with the short film Submarine and for the Directors’ Fortnight Factory in May 2017. In this “Story Construction Site”, which culminated in a kind of audiovisual marathon-cum-hackathon, six different designs were put forth for a laboratory that will use and sustainably redevelop a number of abandoned spaces within the territory of the archipelago off the coast of northern Sardinia. These spaces will be flexible in terms of their possible uses, and will be suitable for hosting screenwriters and authors from all over the world.

It was on this very island, the extraordinary La Maddalena, that the Award for Best Original Screenplay was founded in 1985 to honour the memory of Franco Solinas - who penned The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo as well as films by masters such as Roberto Rossellini, Costa Gavras, Joseph Losey, Valerio Zurlini and Francesco Rosi - three years after his untimely death. Today, after 30 years of activity and 92 movies brought to fruition from awarded screenplays (Paolo Sorrentino’s career kicked off in 1999 thanks to the trophy given to One Man Up), the Solinas Award is promoting a new challenge with this “Story Construction Site” lab. The mayor of La Maddalena, Luca Montella, declared he was willing to support the project, while Gianluca Lioni, a spokesperson for Italian Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini, said in Sassari, “The ministry will undoubtedly find a way to guarantee a fair amount of support.” Nevertheless, it will be the responsibility of the Sardinia region to decide on the availability of the disused structures in this, one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places off the coast of Italy.

(Translated from Italian)

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