Sole Luna Doc film festival’s 17th edition was held at Steri palace
PALERMO - The 17th edition of Sole Luna Doc film festival took place from July 4-10 at the Chiaramonte- Steri palace and online on the platform Openddb.
During the event, there were 50 screenings between competing and non-competing films seeking to understand and narrate the times we live in.
The festival then turned into Doc for Future and started with a focus on ice-melting by the photographer Fabiano Ventura.
Special tributes were paid to Letizia Battaglia, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Vittorio De Seta.
One of the scheduled events was the presentation of the Navire Avenir Project, with the collaboration of the Institut francais and the Goethe Insitute in which a team of architects and artists between Palermo and Marseille organised a ship to rescue migrants.
The quote, “the Earth doesn’t need new continents, but new men,” by Jules Verne in 1869 in his masterpiece “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” is placed on the first page of the 17th edition of Sole Luna Doc Film Festival catalogue.
The international festival came back to the Steri historical site this time with a brand-new name: Doc for Future. The Name attempted to bring together Vernes’ pledge to his readers, and Greta Thunberg and the Friday for Future movement’s demand to World leaders to fight climate change.
The 50 documentaries were screened in the three halls – Abatelli, Steri, Sala delle Verifiche – all of which within the Steri architectural ensemble. The site houses the Rectorate of Palermo University, which is one of the festival’s partners.
The screenings took place every night from 9p.m., but the films were also streamed at OpenDdb and were available for 48 hours after.
The title, Doc for Future, was chosen by the festival board – the artistic directors Chiara Andrich and Andrea Mura, the president Lucia Gotti Venturato and the scientific director Gabriella D’Agostino - and it is the theme of many of the scheduled documentaries, both competing and non-competing ones. In fact, the opening event of this year’s edition was the presentation of “Sulle tracce dei ghiacciai” (On the traces of ice), a photographic and scientific project which took 13 years to make and was thought and created by the world-famous photographer Fabiano Ventura to illustrate the devastating effects of climate change.
A few days before the opening of the exhibition, EARTH’S MEMORY showed the results at the Bard Fort, in Val d’Aosta and the photographer will be in Palermo to speak about what he has documented for many years. It will also be possible to take a look at some of the exhibition pictures that will be screened every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Sala delle verifiche Sala delle verifiche at the Steri. This is an exclusive event, organised with Enel Green Power who are the main sponsor of the festival that will be available until the July 15, as an extra event alongside the Sant Rosalia feast. The gripping images show the seriousness of our glaciers’ condition. The documentary “Sulle tracce dei ghiacciai. Missione in Caucaso” (on the traces of ice: mission in Caucasus) by Marco Preti (Italy, 2012) showed Ventura’s journey that took place from 2009 to 2021, as, together with a team of directors and researchers, he explored the main mountain glaciers in the world: Karakorum (2009), Caucasus (2011), Alaska (2013), Andes (2016), Himalaya (2018) e Alpis (2019-2020-2021). The documentary was shown during the festival’s first evening.
The 18 competing movies told of stories, projects and visions with a focus on the relationship between humans and nature, as in “Arica” by Lars Edman and William Johansson Kalén (Sweden-Chile-Belgium-Norway-United Kingdom 2020) that was named after the homonymous Chilean city in which the suburbs’ toxic wastes was buried and led to diseases and death in the population. “The last generation” by Mikołaj Borowy (Poland 2021) told Lanka’s story: a teenager that decides to leave everything behind and fight for the environment. Nature sacked by humans as well as journeys through nature, to win back lost human rights as in “Alpes” by Nael Khleifi (Belgium-Palestine 2021) a story that tells about solidarity and humanity of migrants, or in The Phantom Liberty by Gastón Andrade (Mexico 2021) about feminicides in Mexico. What’s more, the issue of the research for a balance between globalisation and deglobalisation, growth and degrowth, to reduce inequalities and find unity within diversity. Those issues were also addressed by the other competing feature length movies: Night Nursery by Moumouni Sanou (Burkina Faso-Frane-Germany 2021); Radiograph of a family by Firouzeh Khosrovani (Norway-Iran-Swizzerland 2020); The Bubble di Valerie Blankenbyl (Swizzerland-Austria 2021); and The Spark by Valeria Mazzucchi and Antoine Harari (Swizzerland-France-Italy 2021).
The ten short films, among which 7 are national previews, were significantly different in terms of technique, for example, there were animation films, fiction, and archive films. The themes also range from life in refugee camps and ancient rituals, to maternity and working conditions. “Black wagon” by Adilet Karzhoev (Kyrgyzstan 2021); “Crotch stories” by Myleine Guiard-Schmid (France-Belgium 2021); “Cindyrella” by Felipe Betancur Villegas and Christian Rios (Colombia 2020); “Mamme volanti” by Giulio Tonincelli and Paolo Fossati (Italy 2022); “Mama” by Pablo de la Chica (Spain 2020); “Of Memory and Debris” by Rodrigo Michelangeli (Venezuela-France 2020); “Reduced to ashes” by Nikos Papangelis (Greece 2020); “Timkat” by Ico Costa (Portugal 2021); “The wall” by Mira Sidawi (Lebanon 2020); “Un robot à soi” by Anne Gabrielle Lebrun Harpin (Canada 2021).
Among the special events of this edition, were three homages to men and women that left a great mark in culture: Letizia Battaglia’s photography, the centenary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, and the director Vittorio De Seta. To pay homage to Letizia Battaglia the documentary “La Mia Battaglia” by Franco Maresco was shown. In the documentary, which was filmed in 2006, Letizia Battaglia recounted difficult stages of her life without mincing her words.
“Lo sciopero dei netturbini” (the dustmen’s strike) is an unpublished documentary by Pier Paolo Pasolini which was founded in 2005. It reports the first dustmen’s strike in the 1970s and it was meant to be part of a wider work. However, the movie had not been edited and was found on the shelves of the Movimento Operaio Democratico’s archives (Democratic worker’s moment). A new interpretation of the strike was given on the 7th of July at 10:30 p.m. in the Abatelli Courtyard. It is an audio-visual project by Cosimo Terlizzi and Luca Maria Baldini and is a new interpretation of Pasolini’s documentary. Pasolini’s words and Moravia’s speech at his funeral gave voice to the dustmen.
All of Vittorio De Seta’s short films produced between 1954 and 1959 in Sicily, Calabria and Sardinia was screened at the festival thanks to the collaboration with Filmoteca Regionale Siciliana. Among the movies, “Isole di fuoco” (Fire Islands) that won Cannes Festival in 1955. Moreover, thanks to the participation of Teche Rai, De Seta’s masterpiece “Diario di un maestro” was also screened. Two workshops were dedicated to Battaglia and De Seta’s innovative viewpoints.
The non-competing films were divided into three categories: Sguardi Doc Italia, Ambiente Doc, Sicilia Doc.
Sguardi Doc Italia was dedicated to Italian documentaries, and this year, it focused on women directors with four movies of an artistic and historical significance: Stefania Muresu (Princesa, Italy 2021), Flavia Montini (“Los Zuluagas”, Italy-Colombia 2021), Federica Di Giacomo (“Il Palazzo”, Italy 2021), Gaia Ceriana Franchetti (“The wheel of Khadi”, Italy 2019).
Ambiente Doc, in collaboration with the partner association Marevivo, 4 documentaries about the sea’s condition were presented: “Nobilis Golden Moon” by the artist Mariagrazia Pontorno (Italy 2021) that told the story of the “Mediterranean sentinel”, an over one metre tall mussel on the brink of extinction; “Voice above water” by Dana Frankoff (USA 2021) told Wayan’s story, a 90 year old fishermen and his daily challenges to go fishing; in “Habiter le seuil” by Vincent Bruno (France, 2021), the choreographer Marine Chesnais staged her performances underwater. The last film selected was “Missione Euridice” by Marco and Andrea Spinelli, a video-reportage about an archaeological excavation to recover some remains under Cefalù waters.
Sicilia Doc, the section in collaboration with the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, is a reflection on time by new graduates of the course. Some of the works had already caught the eye of some national and international juries: “Sotto lo stesso tempo,” collective work (Italy, 2021); “Il tempo della tartaruga” by Costanza La Bruna (Italy, 2021); “Via dell'Ombra” by Anton Frankovich (Italy, 2021); “Tardo Agosto” by Federico Cammarata and Filippo Foscarini (Italy, 2021); “Isole” by Desirée Alagna (Italy 2021).
To “create bonds” was one of the festival’s mottos, as it aimed to be a place to meet people and make connections. One of the most important events of this 17th edition was the presentation of the Navire Avenir project in collaboration with the Institut Français and Goethe Institute. The project was presented by Sébastien Thiéry and other members of Collettivo Perou that reside in Palermo. ‘Avenir,’ a 67 metre long and 22.5-metre-wide ship that a group of artists and architects founded to help migrants in the Mediterranean will be able to host as many as 372 survivors and 40 staff. It was also equipped with an emergency kitchen and multicultural living spaces. “En Nous” by Régis Sauder and “No U Turn” by Ike Nnaebue will also be presented with the Institut Français and Goethe-Institut. The Prima Onda fest and Teatri Alchemici DaDaDaùn projects are dedicated to theatre and its inclusive power with the screening of the documentary “Dadalove” by Chiara Agello, which were shown for the first time in Sicily. What’s more, La macchina dei sogni, the renown festival of the Figli d’arte Cuticchio Association, created in 1984, will present animated short movies. On the 2022 Palermo Pride Day, “Limiar” by Coraci Ruiz (Brazil, 2020) was screened. The film, which was chosen in collaboration with the pride organisers committee, is a documentary about FtM transition.
Among this year’s new projects was the Itineranze project. The project aimed to create a networking opportunity among 6 of the biggest documentary festivals in Italy, and to support directors with the process of making their first or second feature length film on a creative and productive level. The participating festivals included Bellaria Film Festival, IsReal, Sole Luna Doc Festival, PerSo Film Festival, FrontDoc, Festival dei Popoli. Two are the films were in Sicily: “Caretta, Caretta” by Miriam Gili about Filicudi turtles; and “Gradiva” by Doriana Monaco that followed the path of ancient nymphs in “I Mercoledì del piacere” (the Wednesdays of pleasure). Itineranze will be hosted by the International Puppet Museum “Antonio Pasqualino”.
The 2022 international jury was comprised of Michele Pennetta, winner of the previous edition of SLDFF; Christilla Huillard-Kann, producer and co-founder of the French ELDA° Productions; Hella Wenders, director and co-managing director of Wim Wenders Foundation; Francesco Bellina, photographer and documentarist from Palermo, author of many reportages on migration; and Graziella Bildesheim, producer and member of David di Donatello Prize of the Italian Movies Academy since 2015, and who is also the Italian representative in the EFA (European Film Academy) Board.
There were special mentions for best director, best cinematography, and best editing; the Soundrivemotion Award for the best sound design and soundtrack; the High School Students Award given to one of the competing feature length films; the New Italians Jury Award and Film for our Future Award for the competing short films; the Sole Luna – Un ponte tra le culture Award awarded by the Association that promotes the festival; and the Audience Award.
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