Festival del cinema nuovo - X Edizione - 19, 20, 21 e 22 Ottobre 2016



The 19, 20, 21, 22 October 2016 the 10th edition of the Festival of New Cinema, a competition for short films, will open.
This event is open exclusively to films produced by the disabled community (out-patient and residential centres) directed by ASL, municipal government, social cooperatives and voluntary associations.
Having fostered theatrical experiences for decades, we started, in the 90's, to cross over into cinema.
The 1st edition (1997) involved some Centres of the region of Lombardia. The 2nd (2000) was open to the entire area of northern Italy. With the 3rd edition (2002), our festival became a true national contest. From the 4th edition on, we opened ourself to the rest of the world, becaming international! An expansion in many directions, or better said, an expansion of amazement, of emotions, of enthusiasm.


We have been invaded (happily) by cinematographic festivals on the theme of handicap. We hold the belief, however, that the Festival of New Cinema is unique: new by reason of its protagonists, its goals and the results obtained.


Our young people want, as anyone would, to be protagonists.
Our experiences, as well as the viewpoints that we received from many other Centres, convince us that the use of cinema can favour the most important psycho-social intention of our work: the well-being of our young people (at least as much as possible!).
They thrive in the moment of the constructive responsibility of film making and, what's more, they delight in seeing themselves on the screen.
It's one more possibility that technology offers us to be together, and to enjoy ourselves.


We believe it's useful to restate the peculiarity of our proposal.
Others (including some illustrious directors!) have proposed movies about the problem of being handicapped, very deep and suggestive, creating wonderful works both in terms of sensibility and exploration.
Others have presented handicapped people as protagonists that represent themselves, in their real life roles, demonstrating their capabilities and highlighting the working possibilities for some of them.
Others offered us magnificent documentaries covering various expressive or theatrical activity.
We prefer not to take this route, even if we appreciate and share this point of view.
Returning with this festival, we want to place value on the cinematographic experiences that our young people realize in their little communities. Experiences in a variety of roles: in comedy, romance, police drama, adventure,... true fiction!


The camera permits us to catch in the moment on the face of our young people their expressiveness and their creativity. We need to be careful, to know how to catch, to interpret, to focus, to later assemble, reconstruct and put it all together: to make poetry. It's enough lo encourage all these actors with patience and each one of them will give his best in the great project of togetherness.


We hope that also at the 5th edition there will be the participation of many centres with their short films. Preferably not works of external professionals, but those that are born like a multicolour flower from continual experiences of each group, with roots that run deep in every community. Only social workers-educators know their young people well enough and have the know-how to choose, for each person, the appropriate characters and roles.
The presence, or at least the dominating one, of so called "normal people", is not desired in the short films of our festival.
The social workers and the other experts will make a contribution in the treatment of the plot, in the direction, in the film editing and in the creation of an intelligent relationship between imagery and music.
But the stars of the show must remain themselves.


Our young people have been catalogued as handicapped and disabled. Now, one uses even "differently abled". This is already a move in the right direction. But also this title leaves us perplexed.
The stress is always focused on "abilities". Unfortunately many of our young people are not even "differently abled" with regard to "skills", as they are usually referred to. They are rather people particularly alive, sensitive and authentic. Their emotions are spontaneous and real. Directors, actors, comedians... (and they would say it themselves) achieve through work, study and a deliberate freeing of the mind what our young people express with natural spontaneity.
Our film, if done well, demonstrate this vitality of "our players". They become ambassadors of themselves, and of their inner richness.


Also cinematographic activity, if well organized, can produce those beneficial processes of self-esteem and gratification that are stimulated by every creative enterprise. It's enough to channel the many positive attributes of these young people that often go unappreciated. We mustn't forget that they too have the quality of risk and vitality, the desire to take different roles and to dream. And especially the will to make cinema.
Today, too often and with presumption, one attribute to every proposed activity the value of therapy: water therapy, horse therapy, colour therapy, music therapy, game therapy, etc.
We don't want to let ourselves fall in the trap of making every experience become therapy.
But sometimes, when the pleasure of the creative-emotive expansion of the social worker aligns itself and integrates with that of a young disabled person, a warm feeling is created that can give a boost to underlying therapy. In our case, art therapy.
Naturally there is a truly therapeutic effect if positive force is encouraged in different environments and situations and if it is prolonged over time. But even if making cinema only helped us to feel better and to have a joy in living in the here and now, it wouldn't be such a small achievement.


Let's enjoy these creations, little works of art, keeping in mind that these films will most likely be appreciated only inside the group which created them.
We are conscious that inherent in a show made by disabled people there is the risk of the grotesque or, at the minimum, of ambivalence: a danger which is always around the corner, behind the scenes.
We don't want to make "exhibitions" nor to provoke "benevolent courtesy".
We wouldn't like this emotion to be born because one is already in a situation in which everything is moving: "because they are different". We don't want the one applauds because anyway "they are outstanding, for who they are". We would like that one is amazed not for what our young people don't have or don't know but for who they are and what they do.


We hope that in the evenings of the 6th edition of the Festival of New Cinema and in the many viewings of the Festival's films, the people will leave the theatre with smiles on their faces and a realization in their hearts that being disabled isn't something soley problematic.
In this way the Festival of New Cinema will exalt its true spirit and will demonstrate its cultural value.

Dott. Romeo Della Bella
Psycologist, Festival's Director

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