For the fourth consecutive year, we have organized Kino Guarimba, our international film training program, structured in the form of an artistic residency.
We hosted professionals, students, and emerging personalities of the audio-visual sector from all over the world for 12 days: directors, cinematographers, screenwriters, editors, actors and technicians who gathered in Amantea to conceive, shoot and edit short films, publicly screened for the community during the final evening.
Kino Guarimba’s goal is to offer a concrete training program on field, allowing participants to gain experience in a context as new to them as Southern Italy, to learn how to work as a team in an international environment and enter the depths of Calabrian culture.
For this reason, we have worked to build a community of artists interested in telling the authentic face of Calabria, freeing it from stereotypes and making it a centre of film production, where unspoiled natural beauties, ancient villages, traditions, linguistic complexities and history they have been exalted and enhanced by works that will then be distributed all over the world.
An international community
During the year, we undertook a promotion campaign in collaboration with film schools and universities from around the world. 125 people from all continents registered and applied to participate in the project. We met all the aspiring guarimberos in video call, finally selecting 37 people (25 women and 12 men) from 22 different countries: Afghanistan, Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, The Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela.
We witnessed an incredible cultural richness: an Afghan director wanted to tell a story that concerned him closely, drawing inspiration from the tragic events of the country from which he had to leave. A Taiwanese actress and a Chinese actress worked side by side, showing that the limits imposed by politics can be overcome through collective artistic creation. A Californian operator, tired of the stressful life of the Los Angeles sets, wanted to challenge herself in a new experience in a completely different context.
Thanks to our partnership with the Kortfilmfestival Leuven (Belgium), we invited the Flemish director Lukas Gaert to participate in the residency with a scholarship, as the winner of the Audience Award for the Best Documentary.
This edition has fully achieved the goal of bringing together personalities with different experiences, languages and life paths. In the sets we heard English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Dutch spoken, in different accents and levels of knowledge, but always with the awareness that language should never be a barrier.
In addition to geographical and cultural diversity, the group proved to be very heterogeneous in terms of professional profiles, ages, interests and experiences.
The youngest participant was 19 years old, the oldest 66. Novice cinema students, full of ideas and enthusiasm, worked side by side with professionals with many experiences behind them, who wanted to reinvent themselves in an exercise of “guerrilla cinema”.
Furthermore, the competences of the participants were not limited only to professions related to the world of cinema, but explored different artistic and professional forms: actresses and theatre actors, performers and dancers, writers, a musical singer, an anthropologist, a visual artist, a theoretical physicist, a singer-songwriter and electro-pop producer and a linguist. All together, they created an eclectic community, where different forms of art came into contact to enrich the films made.
We were very pleased to see how the groups did not work in competition with each other, despite having to work with limitations in terms of time, budget, crew members and work tools, but they chose to help and cooperate to bring finish their works in the best possible way, also making their equipment available and sharing their knowledge.
We appreciated the choice of the most experienced professionals not to close themselves in their bubble, but to support the youngest, helping them in the most delicate roles such as photography, sound and editing.
Kino Guarimba wanted to convey a different idea of film production, making it a learning experience that places the need to find innovative solutions to solve problems before the importance of the result. The Kino philosophy aims to create a lot with little, to encourage the creative flow to find expedients and adapt without the use of sophisticated equipment.
Added to this is the Guarimba philosophy, which aims to promote mutual understanding, personal and collective growth and social integration through the language of cinema. The Kino method has allowed us to work on these aspects in an ideal way, placing in front of the participants the idea of working together and helping each other, sharing the equipment we make available and their knowledge, without creating a spirit of competition.
The idea of the residency has always been to leave full creative freedom to the participants, without imposing schedules or restrictions on the type of film to be made. We decided not to assign roles or form teams, but to ensure that everyone could meet, get to know and spontaneously decide how and with whom to work.
For this reason, we have organized several moments of socialization, where guests were able to have time to exchange ideas, make friends and live the experience more fully.
On the evening of arrival, 10th of September, we organized the first dinner at Jolly Pizzeria, which prepared a rich buffet of typical Calabrian cuisine. Our experience teaches us that good food is an effective way to bring people together, and we took the opportunity to support a beautiful Amantean entrepreneurial reality.
The next day we inaugurated the works with a breakfast at the Lido Azzurro, followed by the presentation of the project and a first exercise in speed dating, where all the participants had a minute to introduce themselves and start establishing the first collaborations.
The day continued with the guided tour of the historic centre of Amantea, where we told some of the most interesting stories and showed some evocative places of the oldest part of the town. For many of the participants this was a moment of inspiration for the ideas and locations of their works, as well as a further moment of mutual understanding.
The tour ended with the lunch at the Tipiko restaurant, another excellence of local hospitality, which has always been committed to enhancing local products.
On 12 September, at the Lido Azzurro, we organized a casting open to all those wishing to participate as actors in films, to give the locals the opportunity to live the unique experience of the set. People of all ages showed up, both professionals and amateurs, as well as people who had never made a film before. It was a wonderful opportunity to bring the community of participants from all over the world closer to the community of Amantea, creating the conditions for a mutual exchange beyond linguistic and cultural barriers.
On the last day, we organized a masterclass on the distribution of short films, held by Giulio Vita, where we talked concretely about the dynamics of getting independent short films to international festivals. The participants therefore had the opportunity to find ideas to circulate the works they have made during these days.
The final screening
The short films made during the days of the residency have been presented to the whole city of Amantea during the final screening at Lido Azzurro, on 21st of September.
27 short films were screened, creating a beautiful community moment in which the authors of the films and the amanteans shared the emotions of seeing each other again on the big screen.
The evening was inaugurated with the screening of a Video Mapping project by Francheska Rodríguez, a Hispano-Venezuelan visual artist who lives between the Canary Islands and Berlin. Francheska had first arrived in Italy in 2019 to do an internship at Guarimba. After two years of experience around Europe, she returned to work as a media and graphics manager, making a huge contribution to the success of the residency also as a photographer and directing her first music video.
During her second stay in Amantea, she prepared an experimental three-dimensional projection on a geometric structure made up of five 160cm x 100cm white polystyrene panels, using programs such as After Effects, Cinema 4D and Resolume Arena.
The project was structured to generate impact in different dimensions. From one side, supporting a form of territorial revitalization different from unsustainable tourism which is creating various conflicts in our country. On the other hand, to create a unique and unforgettable training experience from a personal and professional point of view for established and emerging filmmakers, creating learning dynamics and developing networking processes.ì
Bringing forty people to Amantea means activating a cycle of consumption of food products, drinks, souvenirs and typical products, bringing work to bars, restaurants, shops and clubs, which usually live their best season only until the end of August, not to mention the purchase of computer equipment, cables, equipment and props for the making of the films.
The model we want to promote is simple: the tourist brings wealth to the place where he travels, also leaving in return an important and significant cultural heritage, as well as the film he gives to the city.
The learning process therefore did not concern only the residents of the residence, but the entire city of Amantea. The project is trying to involve the locals more and more in the making of films as actors and extras, to allow active participation and the establishment of an authentic dialogue with the artists. It was a novelty for many, not used to traveling and interacting with foreigners beyond the tourists who arrive in the town without really living it to the full, due to a lack of facilities and the ability to develop an idea of sustainable and proactive tourism.
For many it was the first experience in front of the camera, for others an opportunity to rediscover a hidden talent, for still others the opportunity to enrich their curriculum.
The idea that Kino Guarimba is trying to show the local community is that another relationship with “the foreigner” is possible and desirable: a relationship of mutual exchange, which can enrich both parties without anyone taking advantage of the other or changing it. the original nature, stimulating the curiosity towards what is new.
And so we were very pleased to see how the participants tried to absorb the most fascinating and profound aspects of Amantean life, trying to get closer with the inhabitants and learning from each other, as always happens when two different cultural spheres enter into each other. contact.
An example above all: the Amantean painters, Pedrito and Salvatore Tonnara, have opened their ateliers to the guarimberos, to show their works, offer Calabrian food and wine, and share their creative processes and their experiences, also becoming protagonists of some movies shot.
Once again, we were able to present, during the final evening, an exceptional testimony of the life of Amantea, with the nuances that most impressed the directors, as well as having given the local inhabitants the satisfaction of seeing each other again on the big screen in a public screening.
The fourth edition of Kino Guarimba ended with the awareness of having given unforgettable moments to many people, having formed a beautiful group of creatives and having brought beauty and innovation to a small town on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria.
Always faithful to our mission: to bring cinema back to the people and people to the cinema.