OUR FIFTH YEAR
The theme of this year’s festival (dedicated as always to the revival of the documentary genre and to recounting the realities of our countries) is “Borders and Horizons”: a shared horizon of common values that joins together the people of the Mediterranean from north to south, people who share cultural tastes and ideals, against the crisis we call “globalization”, currently assailing the occidental world.
This horizon becomes a space for identifying new methods of communication between diverse worlds and cultures, separated at present by borders that will define themselves as such until, by way of this reciprocal confrontation, we realize that defining ourselves as part of the “human race” is the only viable and sustainable path.
This year’s goal is to cultivate a sense of belonging, despite the detachment of our present day: a belonging that makes the individual feel part of a greater context, in which the “I” becomes connected to “We” and to the realm of the social being that is the groundwork of modernity.
Now more than ever is it crucial for us to maintain an open dialogue regarding the current events unfolding daily in the Mediterranean region.
The eyes of the Occident seem excessively careless and inattentive to important indicators that reveal how much those to our southeastern border are clamoring for and laying claim to a new and better standard of democracy – sometimes through dramatic actions.
The revolts occurring across the Middle East and Maghreb demonstrate much more than what the news headlines tell us; they demonstrate a need for an analytical and introspective instrument, able to trace the contours of a phenomenon which very likely holds the same historical weight as the “Spring of Nations” that took place in Europe in 1948.
This instrument, able to stand out beyond the glittering glow of the star system, is without a doubt the documentary. The narrative documentary in particular succeeds in matching the urgencies of documentation (at times raw and glamor-less) and the expectations of an audience that recoils from introspection and wishes to experience profound reflection through an emotional involvement that only narration can provide.
Gathering writers and directors from the Mediterranean region and sharing thoughts based on the content of their works, means listening to the reality, and identifying – instead of hiding – rifts in the reality of “others”, with the awareness that such rifts might also alter “our” stability. All with the renewed awareness that between “the others” and “ourselves” this supposed distance and separation is limited to a merely geographical concept, which history, and the facts of the modern world are progressively eroding, in favor of an advantageous contamination that could only benefit an increasingly global world.
THE SECTIONS OF THE FESTIVAL
International Competition for Documentary Fictions “Borders and Horizons”
Films whose origins or contents are linked to the Mediterranean and to the realities of contemporary society. The call for interest is available by clicking here.
Window on the “Italia Doc”
A new section dedicated to the best Italian documentaries of the season. The five films presented will compete for the distribution award arranged for by [CINEMA.DOC], alongside the other Italian works in the international competition. Category guest Giovanni Piperno, one of the best Italian documentarists of the moment, will address a master class to the schools and youth of Salina on “The Viewpoint of the Documentary”.
Window on the Mediterranean: THE ARAB SPRINGTIME
A new category sponsored by the Moroccan and Tunisian consulates. SalinaDocFest would like to serve as an open window on the Mediterranean by dedicating a space to the Arab Spring. From this year forward, the Festival will also collaborate with the Fondazione Orestiadi of Gibellina and with Casa Sicilia Tunisi, a group committed to the promotion of cultural activities and knowledge of the territory in which it operates. Within this category, a tribute is planned to honor poet and director Hichem Ben Ammar, who will be present at Salina along with some of his documentaries. There will also be a workshop featuring images by the young Tunisian protagonists of the revolution.
“Eyes” of the Cinema
A category dedicated to fictional cinema that borders the documentary genre. Screenings for this category will include Son of Babylon by Festival guest Mohamed Al Daradji (2010 winner at the Berlin International Film Festival-Berlinale and the Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo), a film about the war in Iraq in the post-Saddam era.
Window on Argentina
Thanks to its partnership with DocBsAs of Buenos Aires and the shared history that links our emigrants to those faraway relatives in the Americas, SalinaDocFest has chosen a reference point in A.N.F.E., which since 2008 has shown documentaries in both video and Super 8mm, shot by Sicilian emigrants overseas. Last year’s guest was Gianfranco Norelli with Pane amaro, a film dedicated to Italian emigration to Australia. In 2009, several unedited Super 8 films were screened at the Chiesetta di Pollara (above the mythical beach from Il Postino), with accompanying music by pianist Carmelo Travia. This year, the Festival will open a window on Argentina, another land of “escapes and shores” linked to Italy by a shared history of emigration and immigration.
From Text to Screen
A prize will be awarded to an international writer that is committed to using his/her work to narrate and promote integration among the people of the Mediterranean. Award winners of past years are Roberto Saviano, Vincenzo Consolo, Moshin Hamid and Giorgio Vasta. This year’s award recipient will be Tahar Ben Jelloun for Marocco (novel, Einaudi, 2010), and La rivoluzione dei gelsomini, il risveglio della primavera araba (Bompiani, 2011). The writer, originally from Fez and now a resident of Paris, has always focused on giving voice to the Arab world and to the conflict between identity and otherness. Ben Jelloun will meet the public of Salina, moderated by Romano Luperini, Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of Siena. As every year, the prize will be awarded by an Honor Committee composed of Romano Luperini, by directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, and by president of the SNCC (National Union of Cinematic Critics) and director of “Critic’s Week” at the Venice Film Festival, Bruno Torri. Every year, the presence of these distinguished guests enriches the Festival with cultural and media attention. In past years, SalinaDocFest has welcomed personalities such as Daniele Luchetti, Valerio Mastandrea, Lello Arena, Renzo Rossellini, Bebo Storti, Pippo Delbono, Renato Sarti, Vincenzo Consolo, Filippo Luna, Mimmo Cuticchio, and Nicola Piovani. Among the bands that performed during the final awards festivities are Radiodervish, Daniele Silvestri, De Novo, Niccolò Fabi, and Sun. 2011 is the year of Hichem Ben Ammar, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Maria Kodama, widow of Jorge Luis Borges. Beppe Fiorello will be the guest of honor at the final awards ceremony. SalinaDocFest 2011 will close with a performance by an internationally renowned musical artist.