Wednesday, 14 December 2022 11:39

Over 4,000 students attended the School Experience 3 stage in Cittanova (Reggio Calabria). The making of the short “Io sono link” proved to be a great success

More than four thousand students from schools in Cittanova (Reggio Calabria) and surrounding areas (I.C. Chitti, I.C. Monasterace- Riace-Stilo-Bivongi, I.C. Rizzigoni, I.C. Jerace Polistena, I.I.S. Gerace, Cittanova art high school, I.I.S. Piria, Guerrisi scientific high school, I.C. Cassiodoro- Don Bosco, Falcone and Borsellino nursery school, Scoppeliti nursey school and Milicia nursery school); 6 feature films33 shorts made by professionals and 28 made by other schools; two labs, MovieLab and DigitalProf; ParentalExperience, a space entirely designed for families and, finally, the making of a short film, Io sono Link. School Experience 3, which took place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, exceeded all expectations in terms of enthusiasm and attendance, and culminated in the presentation of a highly original mockumentary, titled Io sono link, which was realized by the Giffoni productions department together with the young people who took part in the project.

The event is part of the “Cinema and Images for Schools” National Plan, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Culture - Directorate-General for Cinema and Audiovisuals and the Ministry of Education. "It has made Cittanova known throughout the world," explained mayor Francesco Cosentino. "Thanks to Giffoni and the Acting School of Calabria directed by Walter Cordopatri, we have brought to this territory culture, beauty and art. There are two moments that are particularly close to my heart. The first is when Cordopatri was able to involve me in this with his enthusiasm, pushing me to start this path that is so important for young people. The second moment is related to the time when he introduced me to a determined and visionary man, Claudio Gubitosi, the founder of Giffoni, thanks to whom all this was possible today. I was struck by his empathy and leadership, and I am thrilled to have embarked on this journey because the future still holds a number of wonderful things".

"It was an exciting and fruitful experience", said Giffoni founder Claudio Gubitosi, who was in Cittanova to meet with Calabria Region President Roberto Occhiuto, Deputy President Giuseppina Princi, the mayor of Cittanova and high school students. He added, "We will soon be back in Calabria for new projects involving children, teachers, families and institutions".

Moderated by Orazio Cerino from the Giffoni productions department, the closing night of the project that was implemented under the scientific direction of Antonia Grimaldi opened with the screening of two videos, one about School Experience 3 and the other about the universe of Giffoni. "We feel at home here," said Marco Cesaro, head of the Giffoni special projects department. "We have always met wonderful kids, fantastic teachers and enlightened managers who have supported us since the first edition, making us feel part of a big family".

"It is always exciting to work with an international institution like Giffoni. We are proud to have been chosen and to have had the opportunity to experiment together," said Walter Cordopatri, director of the Acting School of Calabria. Giffoni presented the mayor of Cittanova with the postal stamp that Poste Italiane issued on the occasion of the European Year of Youth, dedicating it to the 52nd edition of the festival. In addition, the mayor of Cittanova wished to gift some pennants to the tutors from the other regions involved in School Experience 3: Antonia Bottiglieri for Campania, Cinzia Labanca for Basilicata, Lucia Moretti for Calabria and Agostino D'Antonio for Sardinia.

After Cittanova, other stages of School Experience 3 will follow: Ceccano (Frosinone) from Feb. 5 to 11; Terranova di Pollino (Potenza) and Montescaglioso (Matera) from Feb. 26 to March 4; Nuoro and Tonara (Sardinia) from March 19 to 25; and Giffoni Valle Piana (Salerno) from March 17 to 21, where the project will wrap up with an event to be hosted in the Multimedia Valley.

For all stages, the program includes a competition dedicated to feature films (Feature Experience) and short films (Short Experience) made by Italian and foreign professionals, as well as a competition reserved for works produced by schools or cultural associations divided by age group: Your Experience +3 (national productions targeting students aged 3 to 10 submitted by preschools, elementary schools or cultural associations), Your Experience +11 (short films targeting young people aged 11 to 13, made by secondary schools, cultural associations or individual video makers) and Your Experience +14 (works targeting students aged 14 to 20, submitted by secondary schools, cultural associations or individual video makers).

Moreover, two important and innovative labs will give students and teachers a chance to enter the world of filmmaking. The first, DIGITAL PROF, is part of the activities that School Experience offers to teachers for training. The goal is to strengthen the digital skills of teachers, professors and managers, as well as the students. The second, MOVIE LAB, is an interactive film class aimed at guiding students to an understanding of audiovisual language, giving them the opportunity to create a film scene. Last but not least, there will be PARENTAL EXPERIENCE, an initiative dedicated to families, who attended in Cittanova the free screening of Yohan Manca's "La Traviata, My Brothers and I", which won the Gryphon Award for best film in the Generator +13 section during the last edition of the Giffoni Film Festival.

The closing night was rounded off with a preview screening of the short film made by School Experience 3 participants and directed by Giuseppe Novellino, with the assistance of Andrea Contaldo and Francesco Petrone, along with the entire Giffoni productions department team.

Io sono Link -that's the title of the short- is an experimental journey into the lives of some teenagers who mysteriously find themselves in unplanned places or circumstances, having to deal with challenges and difficulties that lead them to grow and become more self-confident. The story revolves around a hero-antihero, a girl who has no superpowers except to open doors and push her peers to come out of their shells and engage with others, because real dialog is the only way to grow and become better men and women. "It was experimental work for us as well," Novellino explained, "We tried to dare but we knew that the talent of these young people would make the project a success".

During its first edition - from October to December 2019 - School Experience involved more than 20 thousand students and 2,000 teachers from four Italian regions (Veneto, Calabria, Sardinia and Sicily). The initiative did not stop even during the pandemic, as it took place in a digital version, involving 32 Italian hubs and focusing on Campania, Basilicata and Sicily.

Giffoni's commitment to schools is stronger than ever today: School Experience will be taking place in 43 towns in 5 regions (Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Lazio, Sardinia), involving 2,780 teachers (509 in preschools, 1,000 in primary schools, 572 in lower secondary schools, 699 in upper secondary schools) and 27,423 students (5,090 in preschools, 9,762 in primary schools, 5,679 in lower secondary schools, 6,892 in upper secondary schools), with a total of 241 school districts and 274 beneficiary schools.