Terre di Cinema in Sicily


“TERRE DI CINEMA” (Taormina, Sicily)

by Jacques Lipkau Goyard

As Federico Fellini once wrote, “In cinema, light is the idea, the feeling, the color, the depth, the atmosphere, the style, the narrative, the poetic expression. Motion Pictures are written by light.”

Light in Taormina, Sicily is extraordinary. As you look over the Ionian Sea from the city,  you can see far up and down the eastern coast of the island with its extraordinarily coloued landscape and nature.

Be sure to take your camera for you will want shots from several locations – the Greek open air theatre, Isolabella, Mount Etna’s volcano, and several side streets that lead to the edge of the bluff. The sun comes up on this side of Sicily, so early morning sunrises are just spectacular…and just the right time to enjoy a tempting almond-flavored “granita” with “brioche”, a semi-frozen dessert made from lemon and ice with a croissant that locals savor for breakfast.

This is what Vincenzo Condorelli sees and tastes every day when he visits “his” Sicily. Vincenzo, born in nearby Catania, has a Master of Arts in Filmaking from the London Film School. He is a member of A.I.C. – Associazione Italiana Autori Fotografia Cinematografica (the Italian Society of Cinematographers); recipient of the prestigious U.K. Kodak Student Commercial Award – Best in Brief; worked as a Cinematographer around the world, from Europe to Hong Kong, Africa, India to Brazil, the Middle East and South America, shooting motion pictures, commercials, television and documentaries.

He told FDTImes about his passion for Cinematography and his teaching experience that brought him, three years ago, to conceive “Terre di Cinema”, the International Festival and  Meeting on Cinematography. It takes place in Forza d’Agrò, a beautiful medieval hilltop town between the Peloritani Mountains and Mount Etna, at the monumental XVI century Monastery of Sant Agostino, a few minutes north of  Taormina, whose unique appeal and timeless beauty is described by Goethe in his Italian Journey.

2013 was Vincenzo’s third edition as Artistic Director of “Terre di Cinema”, held from September 1st to September 10th with the official support and cooperation of  of the Sicily Film Commission and MIBAC – Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the AIC, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Italy’s national film school), and others.

This year, the Festival and Meetings were sponsored by leading brands, including: ANGENIEUX, ARRI Italia, AVID, CARTONI, D-VISION, JVC, PANATRONICS-ZEISS, TECHNOVISION…

The Sicilian Festival quickly became an international celebration of art and craft of Cinematography, attended every year by famed DPs, actors and members of the European motion picture and television industry.

But what makes this event unique is the original CineCampus, a fully immersive campus dedicated to students from prestigious international film schools. This year’s visiting guests came from Narafi – Luca School of Arts (Belgium), Tel Aviv University Film & Television Department (Israel), Estudio de Cine – Barcelona (Spain) and from Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Scuola Nazionale di Cinema.

Against a background of training, lectures, artistic and technical workshops, public screenings and meetings with Festival attendees; 18 CineCampus students under professional guidance teamed up in internationally mixed crews and shot 8 short films in Taormina and its superb surroundings.

The 8 CineCampus short films were inspired by some of the famous films that were shot in Forza d’Agrò, such as Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy or in Taormina like Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura, Luc Besson’s Le Grand Bleu or in Savoca, The Godfather, or Joseph Losey’s Modesty Blaise in Castello S. Alessio, and the Natural Park of the Alcantara River where Paolo Cavara shot Virilità.

The student crews were able to have their hands on some of the best professional equipment available today, such as the ARRI Alexa XT and L Series LED Lighting, supplied by ARRI Italia’s General Manager Antonio Cazzaniga (Festival supporter since 2011); while the camera supports, Chroziel matte boxes, SHAPE rigs, Cineroid lights, Angénieux’s Optimo Zoom 45-120mm came from CARTONI along with the Maxima, Focus and HiDV Fluid Heads & tripods and the JIBo with a Smart Head. Alessandro Pacifici and Stefano Gradassi from CARTONI attended the Festival and assisted the students throughout the shoot and workshops.

Riccardo Mangiarotti, Panatronics’ chairman and ZEISS dealer for Italy supplied ZEISS Compact Primes series, a 70-200mm Zoom along with a Sony F3 and F5. JVC provided the students with DT-V9L5 and DTE15L4 series monitors for onboard and postproduction.

The shorts were edited and postproduced on two Avid Media Composer 7 suites supplied by AVID with the assistance of Giuseppe Angilello (Sales) and Paolo Pastore (Editor).

Each of the sponsors held dedicated technical workshops and product presentations for the students and Festival’s attendees.

Sant Agostino’s Monastery hosted the screenings and the Q&A with the audience, while lectures and master classes were held in the modern conference room on site.  Technical workshops and exercises were performed in other areas of the structure. Sant Agostino also hosted the world première exhibit “Franco & Tonino Delli Colli, Cinema di Famiglia”, a tribute through an unreleased set of pictures (Delli Colli family archive) to a generation of Cinematographers who made the history of Italian and international cinema. 

The Festival’s interesting “New Cinematographers” section was dedicated to promising Cinematographers who distinguished themselves in major international film festivals. The “Masters of Light” section was a tribute to great Cinematographers of the pas, who left their mark in the history of cinema.

This year, the “Focus On” section was a retrospect on Israel’s film industry, and a perspective of its emergent Cinematographers.  Finally, the “Italian New Wave” section hosted a selection of the most interesting debuts in the Italian industry.

The Cinematographers and films in competition for the 2013 TERRE DI CINEMA – New Cinematographers Award were:

  • Guy Raz, Epilogue (Hayuta and Berl) (Israel, 2012)
  • Krum Rodriguez, The Color of the Chameleon (Bulgaria, 2012)
  • Juraj Chlpik, Dom (Cech republic, 2011)
  • Francesca Amitrano, Là-Bas Educazione Criminale (Italy, 2011)
  • Florent Herry, Jin (Turkey, 2013)

The 2013 Terre di Cinema Jury, formed by the students attending the CineCampus, assigned the New Cinematographers Award to Krum Rodriguez (BAC) for his remarkable cinematography. His film, The Color of the Chameleon was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to represent Bulgaria for Best Foreign film in 2014.

“Masters of Light” this year was a tribute, beyond the exhibit, to legendary Cinematographer Tonino Delli Colli (AIC, ASC) and his cousin, Franco Delli Colli (AIC) who was Tonino’s trustworthy camera operator, before becoming a Cinematographer himself, with screenings and a seminar. Special guests were: Stefano Delli Colli, journalist and son of Tonino, Laura Delli Colli, Franco’s daughter and chairman of SNGCI, (Italy’s Union of Film Critic Journalists).

“Focus on” was held on the opening night of the Festival, focusing on the new Israeli Cinema screening (Italian premiere) of Ran Tal’s documentary Garden of Eden (Israel, 2012), with Daniel Kedem’s Cinematography. Lectures and debates on the new Israeli cinema were held by Dan Muggia, artistic director of the Pitigliani Kolno’a Festival, Italy’s Jewish Film Festival, official partner of TERRE DI CINEMA, with the patronage of the Israeli Embassy in Italy.

“Italian New Wave” proposed the most interesting Italian directing debuts of the season, with two screenings “Amiche da Morire” (Italy, 2013), directed by Giorgia Farina, Cinematography by Arnaldo Catinari (AIC), and “Itaker” (Italy, 2012) directed by Toni Trupia, Cinematography by Maurizio Calvesi (AIC). The screenings were followed by Q&As with the Directors and the Cinematographers, focusing on the relationship between the two on the set.

In 2014, TERRE DI CINEMA will take place from June 22 to July 6 and next year the Festival will be in partnership as a joint-venture with various events, highlighted by the “Nastro d’Argento” Ceremony (the Italian Oscars equivalent) to be held on June 28 at the Greek open air theater.

For more in-depth info on the Festival masterclasses, participants, videos, screenings and updates on TERRE DI CINEMA – FESTIVAL AND INTERNATIONAL MEETINGS ON CINEMATOGRAPHY please refer to:  www.terredicinema.com   and  www.vincenzocondorelli.com

Photos by Eva de Gols (NARAFI-LUCA School of Arts), Serena Capparelli and Vincenzo Consentino (University of Messina). Click on first image to see slideshow.








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