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Italy / France

Marta Savina • Director of The Girl From Tomorrow

“It’s a story about female emancipation for audiences of all different geographical and cultural backgrounds”


- We met with the Italian director who was taking part in the EFP’s “Europe! Voices of Women in Film” event at the Sydney Film Festival

Marta Savina • Director of The Girl From Tomorrow

Taking a favourable stance towards gender diversity in cinema, the European Film Promotion EFP successfully launched Europe! Voices of Women in Film at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) back in 2016. This year saw the Australian festival (running 7 - 18 June) welcoming the selected directors and their films within this line-up for the eighth time. Cineuropa met with Marta Savina, who made her debut with her feature film The Girl from Tomorrow [+see also:
interview: Marta Savina
film profile
within Rome Film Fest’s Alice nella Città section in October 2022.

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Cineuropa: How did you enjoy your experience in Sydney? Was it interesting to compare, contrast and chat with colleagues and the audience?
Marta Savina: It was a wonderful experience. It was an opportunity to totally immerse myself in the context of an international film festival, with incredibly receptive and passionate audiences. But what I found most stimulating was meeting my European colleagues. We got the opportunity to share and compare our experiences, visions and perspectives on the world of cinema and artistic creation. Specifically, I got the opportunity to compare and contrast, and exchange ideas with several European women directors whose films were included in the "Europe! Voices of Women in Film" programme. This exchange of ideas and experiences was a great opportunity for personal and professional enrichment.

As stated by the director of the Sydney Festival, Nashen Moodley, the programme looks to "amplify the voices of women directors in an industry held back by gender inequality”. Do you think initiatives of this kind – which we’re seeing increasing numbers of – are actually helping women in film to step more into the spotlight?
I think that initiatives like this are fundamental to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the film industry. Cinema, like every other kind of art, should reflect the plurality of the stories, experiences and perspectives that exist in this world. And this plurality can only be achieved if everyone has a chance to get their own voice heard and to tell their own story.

Your film The Girl From Tomorrow is an emblematic story of female independence and emancipation. Does film, which has been dominated for decades by chauvinism and misogyny, have the potential to help secure women’s rights?
Film, for me, is an incredibly powerful tool for communication and artistic expression which has the capacity to move, inspire and provoke profound reactions. It can give us a fresh outlook on important issues, it can challenge our convictions and incite us to look at the world in new ways. In this respect, it can definitely help raise the public’s awareness of social issues. But I don’t think film should be reduced to a tool for securing rights. This role should be fulfilled by judicial, political and social means. Film is, and should remain, art, and, as such, never subject to rules or conventions which should actually be specific to law, politics and other spheres. Film should remain free, without taking on the unfair burden of having to bring about urgent, profound and radical social change.

Your film is a co-production between Italy and France. Did you write it as a film for an international audience?
When I wrote The Girl from Tomorrow, I was living in Los Angeles, and I think this gave the film an intrinsically international flavour. It’s probably an identity I carry within myself: I was born and raised in Italy, but I lived in different foreign countries for ten years. I believe cultural cross-pollination and international experience are a huge resource, from both an artistic and a cultural viewpoint. I didn’t write The Girl from Tomorrow with a specific audience in mind, but with the aim of telling a universal story about female emancipation and independence, a story with the potential to touch people regardless of their geographical or cultural background.

Do you believe that European co-productions are more likely to cross national borders, be selected for international festivals, and enjoy wider distribution and greater appeal in markets?
Co-production between Italy and France has definitely facilitated the circulation of films beyond national borders. European co-productions are often characterised by a broader international appeal, thanks to the particular combination of resources, talent and sensitivity they boast from different contexts. But over and above practical and commercial factors, I believe the most important thing is the cultural and creative enrichment which comes from meeting and interacting with different contexts and perspectives. I see incredible power in diversity and internationality, which not only have the potential to enrich film, but also art and culture more generally.

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(Translated from Italian)

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