Thursday, 04 February 2021 13:14

Building Italy in the post Covid aftermath: Giffoni launches a call to action to Italian Film Festivals and events. Over 140 answered the call

 

Building post-Covid Italy together, starting from culture: from Giffoni a call to action addressed to Italian film events and festivals, starting from an interesting study carried out on the numerous local, regional, national and international realities that move around cinema. The analysis, conducted by Giffoni, surveyed the existence of about 1300 festivals. This is an approximate number by default because, if we also consider the Awards or the less articulated initiatives, we arrive at a total of over 1700 events present on the national territory. A panorama, therefore, of great value and of great interest that involves and affects metropolitan areas and medium-sized cities, villages and suburbs, weaving a cultural network that must be enhanced, also and above all in the light of the current health emergency context. In fact, the data on distribution is interesting, which is homogeneous throughout the country and which returns the image of a country that has always focused on cinema as a cultural and educational activity of great importance. The 1300 festivals and other events are divide per region: Abruzzo 20; Basilicata 23; Calabria 23; Campania 92; Emilia-Romagna 90; Friuli-Venezia Giulia 29; Lazio 243; Liguria 27; Lombardia 123; Marche 29; Molise 4; Piemonte 126; Puglia 54; Sardegna 46; Sicilia 67; Toscana 103; Trentino-Alto Adige 19; Umbria 27; Valle d’Aosta 10; Veneto 87.

The initiative stems from this analysis which was strongly supported by Claudio Gubitosi, founder and director of Giffoni Opportunity, aimed at building a collective thought and reflection on the cultural policy directions that Italy will have to take in the post Covid-19, that is, when things will be back to normal but the effects that the pandemic will have determined on the Italian cultural system will be present and persistent, in particular from an economic and social point of view. A balance that has been settled for decades has been subverted by the virus. It is right, therefore, to start a reflection, which starts first of all from a mutual knowledge to define, in a path that is imagined to be constructive and participatory, a platform of proposals and ideas. In recent months, Claudio Gubitosi has identified 250 Italian film events and festivals, which have been contacted in this initial phase. He wrote to the directors of these events to ask for their availability for a discussion to explore ways to collaborate, to cooperate and to find a common line of intervention, in an extraordinary time like the one we are experiencing all around the world. Over 140 events responded to the call. The discussion will start in streaming on Friday 5 February, starting at 10.30, to continue with the General States which will take place in presence from 7 to 9 May in Giffoni Valle Piana.

The answer - Claudio Gubitosi comments - is absolutely gratifying. The enthusiasm that the initiative has registered since the beginning has further convinced me of the need to undertake this common path to identify a collective strategy with the aim of rendering a service to our country of excellence and talents. When Covid-19 will have been eradicated, we absolutely cannot be caught unprepared. We must be ready to build a new system and to give new forms to our festivals because, it is evident, the world as we knew it before this health emergency is now prehistoric. And only together can we face the challenges that the future holds for us ». The meeting on Friday 5 February will be attended by, among others, the sociologist Domenico De Masi, who just recently published his latest essay entitled "Smart working. The revolution of intelligent work ", Barbara Maussier, PhD in Communication Sciences and professor of Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, professor Roberto Parente of the Department of Business Sciences - Management & Innovation Systems of the 'University of Salerno, which with Professor Ayman El Tarabishy carried out an extensive study on the experience of Giffoni at the George Washington University - School of Business. Dr. Nicola Borrelli, Director General for Cinema and Audiovisual of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism will speak.

The main objective - explains Claudio Gubitosi - is to get to know each other and, if possible, face together, in cooperation, the meaning and the path of Italian cinema in the aftermath of the pandemic in the world of Culture, and therefore also in ours. The virus, with its unfortunate consequences, is still raging and social divisions and economic and financial concerns emerge with greater force. In Italy even more. It is right to ask some questions together and arrive, collectively, to some answers. So what are the priorities that the State, Regions and Local Authorities will have to face? How will companies, sponsors and patrons respond to the appeal and what support will they continue to provide for Culture? What will be the primary needs of citizens and our respective audiences? What prospects and what world will we find in the Italian and world cinema system? What actions must we also take to restore confidence, beauty, well-being? In a word, we must be good at accepting the challenges of a new world which, without rhetoric or trivial and superficial concepts, calls everywhere for a Re (E) volution of ideas and innovation. Understanding all this, facing together in union, a common line of action and commitment, I believe that it can be a strong signal to the whole system and also an important first step in Italian cultural policy which I believe, today more than ever, is useful and necessary ".

The starting point is precisely the liveliness and variety of the world of film events and festivals that can represent the antidote to defeating the negative effects of the system crisis that will inevitably involve Italy: "The quantity and diversity of initiatives - adds Gubitosi - is a heritage of the panorama of Italian film projects and programs, it is a wealth that starts from large, small and medium-sized cities in our country up to the suburbs and small suburbs. Together we return an industrious and creative image of a country that has always been great in the world precisely because of its history, its roots, its culture. This network of initiatives, ideas, insights, beautiful Italian stories cannot fail to make its own contribution in terms of proposals, solicitations and stimuli. Fragility is what the virus has given us, in addition to its terrible consequences. Imagining therefore to retrace the same roads stopped in 2019 is a further cause for concern. The work we do is not just producing culture but enriching the territories through tourism. Our country has lost 200 million tourists, with about 55% of the flow missing compared to last year. But in places that are not specifically touristic, such as villages and small towns, the negative sign oscillates only between 10/15%, confirming the many sociological readings that tell of an escape from large centers, precisely following Covid, with the landing actually smaller and less alienating. Data that should make us reflect a lot because as cultural operators we are protagonists in the Italian economic system which with culture produces 17% of the national GDP ».
 
The meeting on Friday 5 February represents an important step in a journey that will run until next May, when the directors and representatives of the Italian film festivals will meet in Giffoni Valle Piana - over the course of three days that will take place from 7 to 9 May 2021 - with the aim of giving life to a platform of proposals that will represent a very useful tool for the Italian institutional system, starting from the Mibact up to the Regions and local autonomies, the first programmatic manifesto of the sector that will collect the experiences and needs of those who are involved in the field, promote and work for the dissemination of film culture. 

"Right from GIffoni - concludes Claudio Gubitosi - a small town in the southern hinterland, the heart of such a beautiful Italian story, a voice will be raised that may arrive in every city, in every village, in every suburb of our country, but also in the buildings of the institutions, in the headquarters of large companies that have always supported culture in Italy. A voice of hope, but also a call to work. To that work of reconstruction and transformation, of rebuilding that awaits us. If we really want to experience this phase as an opportunity, we can only do it through cohesion, collaboration, cooperation. Culture, in all its expressions and forms, is an irreplaceable element for that recovery of values and energies to which we all aspire, to write a new manual for the construction of happiness ».

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