The seventh edition of the Kino Guarimba film training programme took place in Amantea (Calabria, Southern Italy) from the 10th to the 21st of June 2023.

Directors, scriptwriters, actors, cameramen, technicians and audiovisual editors from all over the world gathered in the small town on the Tyrrhenian coast of Calabria to experience a training program with the aim of conceiving, shooting and editing short films to be publicly screened on the last evening, in a new and stimulating environment for them.

People of different ethnicities, genders, ages and cultures formed a heterogeneous and eclectic community, which met for twelve days to work and create together, discovering and sharing spaces, equipment and ideas.

Amantea, the town without a cinema, became an open-air set, where the inhabitants participated as spectators and actors, opening their doors, welcoming the young people and forming an active, empowered and multicultural community.

The result has been an entirely self-financed project, able to generate a positive impact on the area in economic, social and tourstic terms.


From the selection process that took place between February and May, we composed a group of 50 creatives (33 women and 17 men) from 22 different countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey, and Venezuela.

It was our most American edition yet: as many as 21 participants came from the new continent and made the journey to Europe, as did 2 Australians.

The average age of the participants was around 26, representing our youngest edition: the most represented age groups were 18-24 and 25-30.

With this project, 14 of them travelled to Italy for the first time, while 37 had never been to Calabria before.

Like every year, we hosted different profiles, who offered their skills and enthusiasm: theatre and film actors, directors, cinematographers, editors and producers, students and professionals. A cauldron of cultures, experiences and stories that came together in Amantea to create unique works.


The educational programme of the seventh edition was structured in an initial part dedicated to socialising, gathering and training events, where participants got to know each other, presented their ideas and independently formed working groups. We organised recreational and educational activities, guided tours and moments of knowledge and contact with the history and culture of Amantea.

The second part of the programme was dedicated to the production of the short films: the work teams organised themselves to decide on the structure and production schedule freely.

On the last evening, we organised a public screening with all the short films made during the residency, which brought the participants and locals together.

On the evening of the 10th of June, we welcomed the artists with a greeting dinner at Il Terrenito, the space that hosts cultural events every summer in collaboration with local associations.

We set up two large tables to recreate the atmosphere of the typical restaurants of our land. In this way, we gave a taste of Amantea’s culinary tradition, proposing typical local dishes such as aubergine meatballs and “pasta e mollica”, prepared for us by a local cook, accompanied by our peasant wine.

We immediately wanted to create an intimate and familiar atmosphere, conveying the importance of food for our culture and for bringing people together, to break the ice and feel more comfortable.

The following morning we offered breakfast to the participants, thanks to the support of Bar Caruso. Immediately afterwards, we met at Il Terrenito, where the team presented the project, explaining its philosophies and objectives.

Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to confront each other through a speed dating exercise, where each of them has one minute to introduce themselves in turn in front of another participant.

Once the activities were over, the day continued with the social lunch at La Cantina Amarcord, a gastronomic excellence in the town that welcomed the participants with a lunch of traditional Calabrian cuisine, with ingredients produced at km0.

Late afternoon we had the traditional tour of Amantea’s historic centre. We walked through the ancient city, visiting the most picturesque spots, and told its history. This activity had the dual function of making the participants better understand the context in which they would be working and of showing them possible locations where they could shoot their films.

During the third day, the residency tutor Oscar Peña González gave three masterclasses in which he explained to participants the general organisation of a Kino production, live sound recording and lighting. The masterclasses were aimed both at the more experienced participants, to give them advice on how best to approach a guerrilla production and make the most of the material and time available, but especially at those who wanted to try their hand at a role that was new to them for the first time.

In the afternoon, there was a masterclass on editing and the use of the basic functions of the Davinci Resolve programme, held by the videomaker Fortunato Valente. This meeting also served to give newcomers the opportunity to learn the basics of video editing techniques for short films.

After the masterclasses, to consolidate the connection between the project and the local area, the casting of local actors took place. This year we recorded the highest level of participation we have ever had: 18 people, aged 6 to 73, got involved, bringing their desire to actively participate in the project to the Terrenito stage and introducing themselves to the participants.

We met old and new faces: 17-year-old Niccolò, after last September’s experience, in which he demonstrated great skill and talent, returned for the second year at Kino Guarimba; the same for his sisters Anna and Viola, who wanted to repeat the experience they had last year. Always present were Floriano and Andrea, well-known figures within the residence. Among the new participants: the youngsters Chiara, Giorgia, Eugenio and Elisa, little Serena, Giuliana who arrived directly from Lamezia Terme, Evie, Maria and Sara, whom they met thanks to the Erasmus programme they are carrying out here in Amantea, and little sisters Georgia and Giulia, accompanied by their mother Lilly.

The next day, the Terrenito hosted the pitching of the projects. One by one, directors and authors presented their ideas, then listed the roles and figures needed for their realisation. In this way, the rest of the participants were able to work out which project was right for them, spontaneously forming working groups.

Like every year, we did not assign roles or form teams, but let the participants join freely to bring their ideas to life.

From that meeting, the second phase of the residency began, the freest and most unstructured: the filming of the projects. Every year, we witness the materialisation of new ideas, born from a new look at what struck people from faraway countries in our land the most.

For the editing phase of the projects, we turned our office into an editing session room, to assist participants with technical challenges and problems that usually arise at this stage. In the two days leading up to the screening, we saw the editors working on tables in the bars and lidos of Amantea, from their flats, from the poufs of the Terrenito and from our desks.

The delivery of the projects, as always very hectic, preceded the masterclass on distribution held by Giulio Vita, who gave members a series of practical tips on how to keep their shorts alive between festivals and platforms, how to present their material and invest wisely in their film without necessarily dealing with external distributors.


The works made during the 12-day residency were presented to the public on the last evening, on the 21st of June. The participants shared the Terrenito audience with the people of Amantea, the actors involved and all those who had flocked from different parts of Calabria to experience the magic of cinema under the stars: a home-made cinema, in the homes and squares of Amantea, which brought children, young people and the elderly together in front of the video camera and then brought them together in front of the big screen to watch together.

As many as 40 films were shown, for a total screening that lasted 4 hours and 11 minutes. Genres as diverse as horror films, historical war films, social dramas, documentaries on Amantea traditions, children’s fantasy films and irreverent comedies alternated and showed different visions and perspectives on our town.

The audience response was very positive: the 180 seats made available were filled, and the flow of admissions was continuous throughout the evening.


Kino Guarimba is based on a series of actions aimed at generating a positive impact on three levels: the selected international artists, the Amantea community directly involved in the filming, and the economic fabric of the area.

For this edition, we have built a monitoring system consisting of observation grids, questionnaires, qualitative interviews and data collection, to illustrate the importance that a project such as Kino Guarimba can have on a context such as a small Calabrian village without cinema and cultural spaces.


Kino Guarimba’s educational approach is inspired in the non-formal pedagogical theories of Cooperative Learning and Montessori Education, based on sharing, independence and finding creative solutions to problems. The Kino philosophy promotes the non-competitive development of different projects, with different teams working together to achieve common goals. Our method invests more in the process than in the results, to overcome the anxiety of delivering a finished product and to make people understand the importance of teamwork and learning.

The entire residency is built on creating spaces of sharing in which participants moved and faced obstacles, the overcoming of which is a fundamental part of the learning process: cultural differences, cognitive and language barriers, time and resource constraints. We created the conditions for the participants to learn in just a few days how to perform precise and useful tasks in productions, how to record live sound, all in the field. The residency tutor took on the task of guiding the participants along this path, without interfering in the personal process of learning and making mistakes.

The role of our entire team was limited to coordination and logistics and we did not take over the production and organisation of the filming, making the participants more responsible and independent.

From the final questionnaire submitted to the participants, we found some interesting data on their educational growth.

For 12 of them, it was their first time directing, while 40 out of 49 respondents stated that they had been involved in a new film production role for the first time in their career, such as sound recording, acting, photography direction and directing assistance. The residency thus encouraged these young people to discover their own voice and get involved without the fear of failure, pushing them to experiment and step out of their comfort zone.

Also worth mentioning is the variety of crews formed during the days of the residency, which brought together students, amateurs and professionals, and interchanged very actively: 40 participants stated that they took part in 4 or more different projects.

Among the responses to the open survey that we sent out at the end of the residency, we received very interesting answers on the educational impact that the participants recognised, especially on the aspect of creativity and the freedom to be able to make a film in a more unstructured and enjoyable way.


“It was the first time I was videomaking in fiction,
as I’ve more experience in documentary.
And it was great. I feel I’m more confident and creative while filming now”.


“Making films is more accessible than I believed,
it has inspired me to create more and explore film further.”


“I learned so much about myself.
How to take it easy and not let anxiety or thoughts take over.
It’s a personal and creative challenge that I needed.”

For others, the collaborative aspect, the core principle of the Kino, was very important.


“I learned how powerful collaboration is,
and how willing people are to support people they don’t even know.
Most of us would’ve never crossed paths, but it felt so supportive so soon.
I’ve learned a lot through the masterclasses too, and from just ‘having’ to do it.
The time pressure means you have to just grab the opportunity
and go for it and I think that breeds really good creativity.”


“I learned that filmmaking people can be kind and curious-minded.
I had only met pretty serious and cold people
before in the filmmaking scene.
This makes me believe in collaborating more.”


“I learned how to collaborate creatively. I’ve always tried to create alone
and during my time here I realised it’s just not possible!”


Amantea became a large film set for 12 days, involving its community in a participatory and emancipating way. The Residency does not take place as an elitist event, where participants live closed in a bubble separated from their host reality, but encourages them to explore people, places and stories of our community. This leads to the creation of very deep relationships between young international artists and the people of Amantea, who become active participants in the creation of the short films.

Of the 40 projects realised, 21 featured local actors in the cast, who became protagonists of film productions and worked together with people from different countries, with whom they can hardly come into contact. Not only by passively acting out a script, but also by giving their input in the creation of the stories and dialogues, providing their homes and their restaurants, bars and shops.

Some of the most obvious examples of this process include the film ‘Histoires En Carton’, in which French-Canadian director Toscane had two little sisters from Amantea, aged 6 and 8, invent fantasy stories and then film them and have them tell them themselves. Thanks to the documentary ‘Balconies’, which tells the story of the importance of the balcony for the social life of Lovers, Dutch filmmakers Wilke and Jara were welcomed into many homes and filmed their stories. Seventeen-year-old Andrea, having participated in each edition of Kino Guarimba as an actor, told of his passion for the sneakers collection in a documentary interview he conceived and co-written.

These processes, which are difficult to measure in quantitative terms, have a profound impact on the social and cultural capital of the territory, and bring culture back into relationship with people, making them part of a great process of co-planning and mutual listening.

The growth in terms of audiences at the final screening and participation in casting shows how this path is developing within the lives of the people of Amantea: there are actors who participate every year, since the first edition, varying between increasingly different roles and improving in many aspects. The town is getting to know the project and understand its importance, actively participating and supporting it.


Kino Guarimba promotes sustainable tourism practices in Amantea, bringing 50 filmmakers and artists to the town in June and activating a cycle of consumption of food, drinks, souvenirs and typical products, bringing work to bars, restaurants, shops and clubs, which usually experience their best season from July. We organise guided tours, lunches of typical products and meetings on Calabrian culture with citizens, to create awareness, interest and mutual exchange between the international and local communities.

These practices are potentially replicable in other similar contexts and are sustainable because the ‘tourist’ brings something in return to the city, in addition to the economic expense: a new vision, a cultural background and an artistic work that narrates and promotes the beauty and uniqueness of the area. The films produced during the residency had to include at least one outdoor scene, encouraging directors to include natural landscapes, coastlines, glimpses of the historic centre, and moments of Calabrian traditions such as processions and patronal festivals. These works will circulate among international festivals and platforms, promoting the beauty of Amantea worldwide and transforming the city’s image as a centre of creativity and audiovisual production.

The survey we sent to participants allowed us to estimate the impact of the project on Amantea’s economic fabric.

Excluding travel expenses, we estimated an average of €350 per participant invested in the purchase of food, drinks and other expenses such as souvenirs and props.

As an organisation, we directly invested €30,000 in the territory, including the purchase of locally produced gadgets, the organisation of dinner and lunch for participants, the rental of flats for 50 people and 12 nights, the salary for the Calabrian project collaborators from Reggio Calabria, Amantea, Vibo Valentia, and Falconara Albanese, the meals for the team, the materials used for the execution of the events, and general office expenses.

The total impact on the territory brought about by the project was thus estimated at 47,500 euro.

Some local businesses understood the importance of our work, sponsoring the event by donating products or services: Lido Azzurro, Cantina Amarcord, Bar Caruso, Calabria Da Gustare, Caffè Guglielmo.

We have thus arrived at the seventh edition of a project that is now mature and headed down a clear path, one that wants to continue to grow realistically and involve the people of Amantea and their enthusiasm more and more. A community project that will continue to propose a model based on concrete results that improve people’s quality of life and promote our territory in a virtuous way.


Artistic Director

Graphic Design

Production Coordinator

Production Assistant

Residency Tutor



Media Coordinator

Press Office