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FESTIVALS Italy

Cinema meets the environment in Calabria

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The first Festival Internazionale Cinema Ambiente & Paesaggio, to be held in Cosenza from October 9-13, is challenge: the event unites cinema and the environment in Calabria, a region full of contradictions, speculative construction and unauthorised building along its coastline yet rich with still-intact environmental treasures and marine reserves.

Promoted by the Fondazione Calabria Film Commission, in collaboration with the Region and Province of Calabria, the City of Cosenza and the Ministry of the Environment and Territory, the festival comes at a time of growing ecological sensibility. “The films that deal with these themes are more popular than ever, also thanks to Hollywood, which is paying increasing attention to global warming”, said Minister Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, referring to a lengthy meeting held with Leonardo Di Caprio on this issue.

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Directed by filmmaker-writer Andrea Frezza, the festival is presenting seven features in competition, 20 short films and 12 documentaries, as well as tributes (to Werner Herzog and Vittorio De Seta), discussions (between masters of Italian cinema and their younger counterparts), a focus on the Calabrese landscape (with rare films by Pietro Germi, Luigi Di Gianni and Gian Maria Volontè), and numerous other initiatives, some in collaboration with the University of Cosenza.

The competition section, programmed by a selection committee headed by critic Bruno Roberti, includes a number of European titles: UK docu-fiction Ghosts by Nick Broomfield, Varo Venturi’s ultra-independent Nazareno, French mixed animation film Un beau matin by Charlotte and David Lowe (which screened at Rotterdam) and You Am I by Lithuania’s Kristijonas Vildziunas (at Cannes in 2006 in Un certain regard), which along with Dreamlands, the nearly silent documentary by Latvian director Laila Palkanina, demonstrates the festival’s focus on marginal, rarely seen film industries.

(Translated from Italian)

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