Friday, 19 October 2018 16:28


The first edition took place between Giffoni Valle Piana and Skopje, in Macedonia, thanks to the collaboration between Giffoni Experience and Planet M, in co-financing with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

"On the way back we found ourselves thinking about the recently concluded youth exchange project. After discussing about our experience we came to the conclusion that in order to sum up our journey as faithfully as possible we could not omit the small details that made our experience exactly as it was ... "

This is how the report penned by Giulia Citro, Aya Ftissi, Sofia Galderisi, Giusy Lambiasi, Piera Procida, Pietro Rapuano and Miriam Valentino starts. The masterclassers attended the 6th edition of the Giffoni Macedonia Youth Festival”, from 6 to 11 October within the youth exchange cultural project “Destination Balkans”, a collaboration between Giffoni Experience and Planet M, in co-financing with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. A detailed report of the youth’s experience which they described as “an opportunity that– in Director Claudio Gubitosi’s words – you must do, you can do and why not?"

Chaperoned by tutors, Claudio Gubitosi, Marco Cesaro, Darko Bashesky and Dea Krstevska, the last week of the project “Destination Balkans” begins.

"Friday 5 October 2018 - Boomerang made about 20 (still few)
We find ourselves on the bus still unaware of what our schedule would look like. We leave Ciampino and arrive earlier than expected in Skopje. The first thing we notice at the airport is the poster of the typical local fries, which will be a constant throughout the journey. Even before entering the hotel, a young man with a strong Florentine - Macedonian accent comes to mind: Luca Cortina, who reveals the real reason why we were there: making a short film with the theme of Giffoni 2018: Aqua. The dinner of the first evening is the first of many others that will follow one another at Gino, during which we got to know many people of the city.

Saturday 6 October 2018 - From 100 to 1000 photos taken on the bridge
Wake up call is early and we spend the morning on set. Among the people met on the night before we meet Lazo, Macedonian and great connoisseur of the area. He with Luca offers us the first Macedonian dish of our journey: Börek and Boza. With this protein breakfast we start to create the project, moving along the river Treska to the dam that creates the Kozjak lake to shoot the scenes. On the way we stop at one of the oldest monasteries in the Markov Manastir area. There, welcomed by the nuns we visit the church and assist in the preparation of the Ajvar, one of our favorite typical dishes. Back at the hotel and after dinner we meet again in room 606: We did not know that this would have been a tradition.

Sunday 7 October 2018 - 5 large meals made
Early wake up call again and new shots on the set. Before starting mid-morning, the good Lazo introduces us to a new Macedonian morning ritual: the chorba (a second breakfast based on soup). We Arrived on set almost rolling, because we were so full and we finish shooting. Having brought the chips left over from the previous night, we have lunch with the latter, but Luca is not satisfied, to celebrate the end of filming, he also offers us a Mekitsa with Feta and Yogurt. Back at the hotel we run to get ready to attend the opening ceremony of the sixth edition of Giffoni Macedonia. The tradition of room 606 concludes our day.

Monday 8 October 2018 - 11 hours of assembly
Busy with the editing of the video we spend the whole day at MKC, one of the two offices of Giffoni Macedonia. Where a discordance arises at the end of the video. The discussion continues until the creation of a surreal choreography in a moment of pause. However in the end we find a solution and after having completed the work even if tired we visit the Turkish district having dinner in a well-known pub in the area. The tradition of room 606 concludes our day.

Tuesday 9 October 2018 - about 11 hours at the bazaar (maybe)
Given the many commitments, although tired, we decide to wake up early to visit the city. And in particular the old bazaar in the Turkish quarter. In the morning we finish the editing of the short by making the latest changes. In the afternoon we give ourselves an out of program by going to a mosque in the area and to the ancient fortress of Kale that surrounds the city. We continue, as scheduled, with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art with the Director Claudio Gubitosi, Ambassador Carlo Romeo and the Undersecretary of Culture Lucia Borgonzoni and follow that with a visit to the Turkish quarter where we go shopping. In a very familiar atmosphere we spend the evening at Gino between some delicious meat and good laughs. The tradition of room 606 concludes our day

Wednesday 10 October 2018
The morning flows frenetically to the MKC as they are busy preparing for the "The Ocean CleanUp" project that we are showing in the afternoon. While waiting for the DJ-set we walk around the center, then return to the MKC where we participate in the party and a long "Macedonian" dinner with Luca, who introduces us his other very nice friends. Because it’s late and out of tiredness the evening ends like this.

Thursday 11 October - risk of gastric lavage at most (given the many meals)
First and last free day where we visit the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Clement of Ochrid and then go to the City Mall, the largest shopping center in Skopje, where we complete our expenses. After a shared lunch, some of us go to see the municipal park. We meet again at the hotel and after a short rest we participate in the final evening of the festival, where between looks accomplices but full of anxiety, finally we present the result of our work to the public, and after the success of the video, we spend the evening with our Macedonian friends , saying goodbye to Macedonia with a dinner by Gino.

Friday, October 12, 2018 - The Return
Happy, Tired and with so much melancholy we leave Skopje and soon we find ourselves back in Ciampino and here on the way back we found ourselves thinking about the week that just ended. We come to the conclusion that this experience must not be reduced to a simple experience, but rather an opportunity that "we must do, we can do and why not?"