by Jacques Lipkau Goyard
Federico Fellini used various visual effects in his film Casanova, one of which was a gigantic overly graphic head of Medusa rising from the dark waters of Venice’s Canal Grande during the Carnival sequence.
Now, this gigantic Medusa head rests in the Cinecittà Studios of Rome, not far from Stage 10 – right across Federico Fellini’s famed Stage 5. This is where the 2019 Micro Salon Italia took place on March 22nd & 23rd.
Daniele Nannuzi, past president A.I.C. – Associazione Italiana Autori della Cinematografia- (the Italian Society of Cinematographers) was one of the original promoters of the Roman Micro Salon. Ever since the first edition seven years ago, he has placed at the show’s entrance a beautiful copy of Benvenuto Cellini’s bronze statue of Perseus (the demigod son of Zeus) holding the decapitated head of Medusa he rightfully considers his lucky charm.
Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon transformed from a hideus monster into a beautiful femme fatale, is commonly regarded as a monster and her head is often seen as a protective amulet that keeps evil and bad luck away. Today, the most well-known image of Medusa’s head is found as the logo of the Italian fashion maison Versace.
Medusa made this year’s edition again a success. With over 4,000 registered visitors (6% increase from last year) and the efficient organization of the revamped A.I.C. helmed by president Luciano Tovoli (aic & imago), vice-president Maurizio Gennaro (aic) and Simone Marra, head of Micro Salon Italia — there were 73 booths representing more than 200 brands in 2,000 square meters of space. Stage 1 provided additional space for conferences and gear presentations. An average of 350 guests attended every panel, totalling 3,600 attendees in the two days.
Focal point of the sessions was probably Giuseppe Pinori’s (aic) book presentation “La Luce come compagna” (“Light as my companion”) – introduced by Luciano Tovoli (aic & imago) – a retrospective of his long 65 year career as a director of photography. Maurizio Gennaro (aic) commemorated Mario Bernardo (aic ), who was Pasolini’s DP, with a screening of “Uccellacci e Uccellini”. Mr. Bernardo passed away February 10th, twelve days before his 100th birthday.
Young Cinematographerswere there: Federico Annichiarico (aic), Davide Manca, Timoti Aliprandi, Luca Vecchi and the director Ivan Silvestrini with “Monolitth”, Alfredo Betrò with “Copperman” and many others.
A special mention was given for the DP graduates from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (the Roman film school) presented by Maurizio Gennaro (aic) and Davide Manca (aic) who talked about their future prospects. The second day was dedicated to sound designers with the five David di Donatello (Italian Oscars) candidates introduced by Giulio Latini, Giuseppe D’Amato e Valentino Gianni.
Highlights on the technical part were the ARRI Stellar & Skylink and Alexas, Kinefinity Terra 4K, Z-Cam E2, Panalight’s new Vintage Anamorphic lenses, Angénieux zooms, Red cameras, TAV, Steadicam Volt, Panavision optics and cameras, Cartoni Lambdas and S200 HDT, the Bolt robotic arm presented by Brian Emo, Cooke lenses, plus all the product lines from Sony, P-S Technik, Canon, D-Vision, Movie People, Cinetech Italiana, Cartoni, Fujifilm, EasyRig, Leica, Transvideo, Zeiss, K 5600, Tiffen, just to name a few. More than 60 cameras were seen on display.
This year’s Micro Salon, held on a Friday and Saturday, was packed with DPs, line producers, camera operators, a few directors, assistants, grip and film students, especially the ones graduating this year. Rome really felt as professional as the Paris edition, with a positive feeling and people were not just looking around but their visit also generated sales. Exhibitors, both local and foreign, were satisfied and have signed for next year, asking for more indoor and outdoor space.
In fact Simone Marra and the organizers are thinking of possibly having the show extended to a third day as many visitors were working and could not make it Saturday but could have made it Sunday. Also there is a possibility that the show might be pushed to May, so that Rome can take advantage of the new products presented at NAB in April.
Several Italian Cinematographers, Steadicam operators and executives came to the Cinecittà Studios to visit: Nino Celeste (aic) Ivan Silvestrini, Paolo Carnera, Ivan Casalgrandi. Alex Brambilla, Valerio Azzali, Roberto Girometti (aic), Tani Canevari (aic) Marco Meloni, Dante Della Torre, Fabien Pisano (Sony Director of sales, Southern Europe) and Florence Quintin (Sony Europe Campaigns Manager).
This year more numbers: More than 200 guest attended the AIC/Fujifilm party, thousands of espressos were brewed in the 250 sq mt bar, 150 bottles of Prosecco were uncorked, 20 beautiful hostesses pampered the guests, 2 roast baby porks were sliced at the Panalight booth while T.A.V. offered 200 large Buffala Mozzarella….after all, why not enjoy the “Dolce Vita”…
So, “arriverderci” from the 8th edition of Micro Salon Italia at Cinecittà Studios.
Jacques Lipkau Goyard/Rome April 2/19