The eighth edition of the Kino Guarimba international training program was held in Amantea (Calabria, Southern Italy) from September 10 to 22, 2023. The project was held with the financial support of the European Commission – Representation in Italy.

50 participants from all over the world formed a community of artists, who in 12 days created 30 short films conceived, shot and edited in a small town in Calabria, involving the local inhabitants and generating a significant impact on the territory.

After the June edition, we created a new event of meeting, training and personal and collective growth, which is a virtuous example for territorial promotion, non-formal film education and community development.

For the second year in a row, we dedicated the residency to the Ukrainian people, offering a scholarship to five participants to support them during the Russian invasion and raise awareness in our community of the situation their country is experiencing.

The September edition represented a very important year of growth for this project, in which we became even more aware of our process and experimented with new monitoring tools to measure the impact of the project on three different levels: educational (on the participants), social (on the community) and economic (on the territory).

With this report, we will tell how we built this process and show you the results of the Kino Guarimba project in 2023, trying to convey to you the efforts and happiness that our whole team experienced in putting together a community and participatory path together with all the people of Amantea.


For this edition of Kino Guarimba, we assembled a group of 50 creative people including actors, directors, technicians, students and audiovisual professionals, 31 women and 19 men from 23 different countries: Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, England, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, the United States, and Ukraine.

As every year, we built a multicultural and heterogeneous community in terms of experiences, profiles and personalities.

The average age was 27, and the most represented age group was 25-30 (29 people). Very young students and professionals were also very present: 13 people were between 18 and 24 years old.

Among the more unique professional profiles, we hosted a makeup artist and set designer from Mexico, a dancer and performer from Veneto, and a theater and opera assistant director from Germany.

This multiculturalism was also present in the organizing team, made up of professionals from Calabria, Venezuela, Spain, and Belgium.


This year, thanks to funding from the European Commission, we were able to offer five scholarships to five artists from Ukraine. We started with this practice last year, in the 6th edition of the residency, to give support to the Ukrainian people and affirm our position against any ideology and action taken by Russia.

The scholarship included the reimbursement of the participation fee, the accommodation and a contribution of €300 to cover the travel and food expenses. The objective of this action is to be able to create a meeting ground and a safe place for Ukrainian artists, in which they can express themselves and interact with artists from all over the world.

All the scholarship recipients were working or studying in Ukraine when the war began, and their professional careers were heavily influenced by events in their country. Some of them had to emigrate to other countries, and those who remained in Ukraine had little opportunity to work in international contexts and interact with other cultures.

Lolita Zhus (born 1994) is a Ukrainian director and screenwriter currently based in Kyiv. She’s graduated in scriptwriting at the Ukrainian Film School. In 2020, she directed her first professional short film “100% Happiness”.
Lolita directed, in this residency, the film “Lido Azzurro,” a romantic comedy about linguistic incommunicability filmed at a lido in Amantea, directing an Italian actor, and a Finnish one, and working with a crew composed of Finns, Israelis and US Americans.

Olga Safronova (born 1981) is a Ukrainian actress currently based in London, where she has been involved as a linguist at the training of Ukrainian soldiers in UK for the past year. She has performed on stage (Masterskaya, AKTERSTVO) and on-screen including feature film (Good Morning Films, Mainstream Pictures), lead in TV series (Kyivtelefilm, 1+1 Production) and short films (FILM.UA). Olga has participated as an actress in several projects shot by international directors, including a music video inspired by John Lennon’s Imagine, as the lead.

Kateryna Volynets (born 1995) is a Ukrainian director, producer and editor from Kyiv, who moved to Norway after the beginning of the war. She graduated at Ukrainian Film School as a director in 2021. She got experience in directing, producing, and editing short films, working as video editor for YouTube channels, trailers, and educational video courses. For this year’s Kino, he filmed the mockumentary “Caught on Camera,” about an Italian filmmaker who is photographed during his work, a collaborative effort that involved as actors many participants from all over the world (Romania, Canada, UK, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Ukraine), a very young local actress, and a crew composed of Spanish, Ukrainian, and Romanian participants.

Anna Yutchenko (1996) is a Ukrainian director based in L’viv, with experience in video poetry, video art, and music videos. More recently, she started producing ethnographic and anthropological documentaries, about the interaction of traditional and modern cultures. Anna worked on an interesting collaborative documentary together with Dutch director Bas De Zwart and Sicilian filmmaker Sergio Calì, “Dialogue about the sea,” exploring the lost tradition of Amarean fishermen and interviewing the last witnesses of this practice.

Olha Symonenko (1987) is a Ukrainian director, historian, and producer based in L’viv. Since 2012, she works on genealogical research of families from Eastern Europe. In 2021, as part of Indie Lab Film Laboratory, she finished her first documentary short film My Petro, which was shown at the American Independence Film Festival (AIFF).
Olha has been working on a documentary project of her own that is still in the works and was not presented during the final evening, but involved Ukrainian and international participants.


This edition of Kino Guarimba was the result of a journey that began in 2018. Our process has evolved over the years and has grown with the experience of the organizational team, which has structured a program aimed at creating the ideal terrain to foster the achievement of the residency’s goals.

Goals that are not about creating masterpieces, but generating the opportunity for a community experience where one can grow, learn, connect with new cultures and expand one’s network of professional connections.

To achieve these goals, we conceived a series of activities that accompanied participants through the Kino Guarimba training process.

During the first four days, socialization and training activities were organized and managed by our team to foster personal connections, idea generation, and team building. In this phase, we encouraged participants to explore and learn about our culture and territory through guided tours, lunches and dinners with typical products.

The second part of the program was dedicated to the making of the short films: the working teams formed independently and organized to decide on the structure and production schedule freely.

Finally, we screened all the works made during the residency at a community event open to all of Amantea.

On the 10th of September, the participants arrived in Amantea: 50 young women and men from all over the world showed up at La Guarimba office to pick up their welcome bags, and are guided to apartments throughout the city, where they stayed for 12 days.

In the evening, we met for our first social event: a homemade Calabrian dinner at Terrenito, our cultural space, cooked by Beatrice De Vita, the mother of our production assistant Maria Francesca. As Southerners, we believe in the power of food as a tool for gathering, breaking down social barriers and creating new bonds. We offered baked pasta, zucchini fritters, pipi e patati, homemade peasant wine and gave everyone ceramic anchovies by Pizzo Calabro artist Antonio Montesanti, to introduce participants to the spirit of conviviality and sharing of the residency and to our culture.

The following morning, the residency activities began. We were hosted by Lido Azzurro in Amantea, with whom we have been collaborating since the first editions, which offered an Italian breakfast to all participants.

We then moved to the veranda, where we presented the project and introduced the rules and philosophy of the process. We then began the speed dating exercise, where participants positioned themselves in front of each other and had a minute to talk to each other before moving to the next meeting. This exercise allowed everyone to break the ice and challenge the time limitation to start a conversation to carry on over the next few days.

Once this activity was over, we had a break to enjoy the Calabrian sea and spend time together on the beach, and then moved on to Cantina Amarcord, a gastronomic excellence in the town that welcomed the participants with a lunch of traditional local cuisine, with local products and wine.

The second day of the residency ended with a guided tour of the historic center of Amantea, where we took participants through the alleys of the old town, passing by the most picturesque spots with important historical value, such as the old fishing district, the houses of the painters Pedrito and Salvatore Tonnara, the Mother Church of S. Biagio, the ruins of the Byzantine church of S. Francesco and the Angevin mastia tower.

With this experience, we told our story and showed possible locations and sources of inspiration for shooting films.

The third day was mainly dedicated to training, but with a great moment of meeting with our community.

Also at the Lido Azzurro, a masterclass was held by residency tutor Oscar Peña González, a Spanish cinematographer whose role in this project is to help crews shape their ideas in the best possible way. Oscar explained the basics of how to organize a Kino production, giving practical advice related to the Amantea context and our experiences in past residencies, and then explained the technical equipment we provide and gave guidance on lighting and photography.

In the afternoon, La Guarimba office hosted the other two master classes of the day.

The first on editing and use of the Davinci Resolve program, given by Vibonese videomaker Fortunato Valente. This meeting served to show newcomers the basics of video editing techniques for short films and give everyone a chance to edit their own projects.

The second focused on sound filming and editing, and was led by Francisco Rousset Osio, a Venezuelan sound technician who came directly from Argentina to fill the role of sound tutor. His lecture gave participants an overview of the three main aspects of sound production for film: pre-production, on-set recording, and post-production.

Between these training events, the Popular Casting of the residency was held at Lido Azzurro, an important moment of connection between the project and the local area, where the international and the local communities meet and get to know each other, to work and create together.

In this edition, 25 aspiring actors aged 3 to 69 presented themselves to the filmmakers, offering to participate in filming. We saw familiar faces again, who have already taken part in previous editions, while young people from Vibo Valentia and Lamezia Terme showed up for the first time. Popular casting has always been on the rise in the last Kino, and this year saw a record number of participants.

On the morning of the fourth day, we hosted a project pitching session at Il Terrenito: filmmakers were able to present their ideas in turn and “selling” them to other participants for help in other roles such as sound, cinematography, and production.

In addition to its explicit function, this event was also an exercise in simulating an important aspect of the film creative process: pitching one’s ideas to producers and financiers and convincing other professionals to join one’s team.


After participants independently formed work teams, the residency entered its second phase: the filming of projects.

Amantea was thus transformed into a large outdoor set, and was explored for a week by crews to host scenes from different films. As every year, the beach and the hills above the historic center were the most popular locations. Some filmmakers went further and shot in places that had never been touched by the Kino, such as the Amantea Cemetery, and indoor scenes were shot inside apartments, bars, lidos, the homes of painters Pedrito and Salvatore Tonnara.

For the editing phase, we set up three stations in our offices, hosting people who wanted to practice what they learned in the masterclass. Others preferred to be inspired by the sea, and independently created an editing team at the Lido Azzurro.

The delivery of the projects took place on September 21, and was followed by a distribution masterclass held by Giulio Vita, who explained to the members all the possibilities of how to keep their shorts’ lives going between festivals and platforms, how to submit materials and invest wisely in their film without necessarily turning to outside distributors. On the same day, we invited the Amantean tattoo artist Emanuele Granza to our offices to leave a memory of Kino on the skin of the participants and the team.


On the 21st of September, 2023, at 9 p.m., we opened the Terrenito to the public to screen all the films shot by the participants during their experience.

It was a night of recollection to close La Guarimba year, reunite with our public and present the results of the process we have built this year. Professionals and audiovisual students from all over the world shared the audience with local actors who put themselves on the line, with the people of Amantea and Calabria who wanted to see their land again through new eyes.

We screened 30 short films, with a total running time of 148 minutes. It was very touching to see how young international artists managed to tell so many different sides of our small community, revealing even more hidden and less told sides. Comedies, documentaries, horror, music videos, fantastic stories, visual poems and family dramas were the genres with which Amantea was told.

The evening had more than 200 admissions and represented a very important moment of cultural and community gathering, the ideal closing of the Residency and the celebration of the rite of viewing in the movie theater of which we had been deprived, but which we reconstructed together.


Kino Guarimba aims to generate a positive impact on three levels: the international artists involved, the Amantea community that actively participants in filming, and the local economy.

To assess the importance of an initiative like Kino Guarimba in a context like Amantea, a small Calabrian town lacking cinemas and cultural spaces, we adopted a monitoring system consisting of structured observations, questionnaires, qualitative interviews and data collection.


Kino Guarimba’s educational approach is based on nonformal pedagogical principles such as Cooperative Learning and Montessori Education. This approach encourages sharing, independence, and finding creative solutions to problems. During the residency, we created sharing spaces where participants were confronted with the challenges that are part of the learning process: cultural differences, cognitive and language barriers, time and resource constraints. From the time they were assigned the apartments in which they slept during the residency, participants handled issues such as cleaning common spaces and waste disposal on their own. During filming, they shared sets, actors, equipment and resources offered by the organization.

The workshops held this year provided participants with practical knowledge about the basics of filmmaking in a short period of time. We created the conditions for participants to quickly learn how to perform specific and useful production tasks, such as live sound recording. The residency mentors guided the participants through this process, allowing them to learn through experience and mistakes.

Our residency is based on the Kino method, which promotes the non-competitive development of different projects, with the different teams working together to achieve common goals. This method invests more in the process than the results, to move away from the anxiety of delivering a finished product and to make people understand the importance of teamwork and learning. The role of our entire team was limited to coordination and logistics, and we did not take over the production and filming organization, empowering and making the participants more independent.

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

For 11 of those who shot their own project, it was their directorial debut, while 27 (more than half) covered a film production role they had never tried before. The residency thus incentivized participants to discover their own voice and put themselves out there without the fear of failure, pushing them to experiment and step out of their comfort zone.

The working groups were very diverse, bringing together students, amateurs and experienced professionals, who exchanged roles and participated in many ways. 32 participants out of the 48 respondents said they took part in 4 or more different projects.

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

Many responses were about the importance of cooperation, communication and listening within working groups. The Kino Guarimba method focuses a lot on bringing this out, right from the first structured exercises (such as speed dating), but also in the informal moments we organize (such as lunches).

Another aspect mentioned by several participants was the realization that they can relax and trust the process, making the experience of filmmaking a creative act that can bring happiness, not just stress or pressure.

Finally, it appeared, to our great satisfaction, that some participants understood the philosophy of Kino: no great financial or technical means are needed to make a film. Each of them can find or remember in this experience what is really essential for them.


Amantea becomes a big film set for 12 days, engaging the community in a participatory and empowering way. The Residency does not take place as an elitist event where participants live isolated from the host context, but pushes them to explore people, places and stories of our community. This leads to the creation of deep relationships between young international artists and the residents of Amantea, who become actively involved in the creation of the short films. In 18 of the 30 projects we have done (60%), we have involved local actors in the cast, who have become protagonists in the film productions and have worked side by side with people from different countries with whom they would hardly come into contact. They did not just passively act out a script, but actively contributed to the creation of the stories and dialogues, providing their homes, restaurants, bars, and stores.

These processes, which are difficult to quantify, have a significant impact on the social and cultural capital of the area, re-establishing a connection between culture and people and creating a sense of belonging and pride in the local community. Amantea residents have the opportunity to see their city and their stories represented on the big screen, giving visibility and value to their cultural heritage.

The growth in terms of audience at the final screening and casting participation shows how this path is developing within the lives of Amanteans: there are actors participating every year since the first edition, varying between more and more different roles and improving in so many aspects. The city is learning about the project and understanding its importance, actively participating and supporting it.

This year we showed the audience very intimate and profound stories related to the history of our community and its uniqueness: from the tale of Fortunato Pagliaro, the last fisherman of Amantea, to the stories of Salvatore Tonnara, the elderly professor who left school to become a painter, to the interviews made in the street of local elders to be told about their places of the heart.

Every year, the Kino Guarimba succeeds in telling through art the genius loci of Amantea and Calabria, a tale that stems from a collective gaze and unites local and global dimensions.


Kino Guarimba promotes sustainable tourism practices in Amantea, bringing fifty filmmakers and film operators to the locality in September and activating a cycle of consumption of food, drinks, souvenirs and typical products, bringing employment to bars, restaurants, stores and clubs, which ended their active season at the end of August.

We organize tours, lunches of typical products, and meetings on Calabrian culture with the citizenry 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 back to the city, in addition to the economic expense: a new vision, cultural background and artistic work that tells and promotes the beauty and uniqueness of the area. Films produced during the residency had to include at least one outdoor scene, incentivizing filmmakers to include natural landscapes, coastlines, glimpses of the historic center, and moments of Calabrian tradition. These works will circulate among international festivals and platforms, promoting Amantea’s beauty around the world and transforming the city’s image as a center of creativity and audiovisual production.

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

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 organization, we directly invested €32,000 in the area, including purchasing locally produced gadgets, organizing dinner and lunch for participants, renting apartments for 50 people and 12 nights, compensation for Calabrian project collaborators from Reggio Calabria, Amantea and Vibo Valentia, and, all meals for the team, materials used in the execution of the events, and general office expenses.


In 2023, for the second year, we organized two editions of the residency: in June and September.

The two editions have the same program and basic structure. Therefore, we decided to conduct a unique data analysis to achieve the following goals:

  • collect data to improve our promotion strategies and increase the number of applicants;
  • increase diversity in terms of geographic origin, languages spoken and cultures;
  • compare the various editions to identify trends and variations.

There were 100 participants in the two editions. The selection process went through 218 applicants and 172 personal interviews on Zoom.

During the selection process, we asked participants how they learned about the residency. This year, word of mouth was our most effective communication tool, especially for the June residency. This is a very important data point that certifies the level of satisfaction of participants from previous years, who talk about the experience to friends and colleagues and sponsor it. In addition, 14 people who had already participated in a Kino returned to repeat the experience.

The chart below shows how social media promotions played a more prominent role in 2022. For the coming year, we will undertake strategies aimed at increasing other promotional tools such as sending invitations to universities and film schools, improving visibility in search engines, and partnering with embassies, festivals, and other residencies.

How did you know about Kino Guarimba?

Change compared to 2022

In 2023, participants came from 31 different countries. The most represented nations are the United States (15 people), Italy (11), Ireland (10) and the United Kingdom (6). This year we had 7 participants from Latin America, 5 from the Middle East, 2 from Asia, and 2 from Oceania.

Europe and North America were the most represented continents, as shown in the graph below. Compared to 2022, we found more cultural diversity, with 10 more participants from Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, geographic areas we want to involve more in 2024.

Number of participants per continent in 2023

Change compared to 2022

At the age level, the average age was just under 27, with a median of 26. The most represented age groups are shown in the graph below. Compared to the previous year, the participant group was younger, with a median age one year lower.

The next graph shows that in 2023 the 25-30 age group was much more represented than in 2022, where the 31-35 group was larger.

Participants divided into age groups in 2023

Change compared to 2022

In 2023, Kino Guarimba had many more female (64) than male (36) participants. This trend follows the previous year, which had even more female incidence.

This is an interesting finding when contextualized in the world of the film industry, where technical professionals are often men.

Participants per gender in 2023

Change compared to 2022

In 2023, two-thirds of Kino Guarimba participants are filmmakers/video operators. Less than a third are actors. The remaining 7 percent are other roles such as producers, sound engineers, and editors. This means that within the residency so many participants cover roles other than their main profession. So many directors and operators gain experience in sound recording, production, and editing. At the same time, so many are actors trying their hand at directing for the first time.

Participants per role in 2023

From this data, we will start as early as tomorrow to build the new Kino Guarimba. We aim to create an even more diverse and multicultural residency that can learn from its mistakes and involve diverse professional profiles, continuing the community journey we started in 2018.


Artistic Director

Brand Identity

Production Coordinator

Production Assistant

Camera Tutor

Sound Tutor

Videomaker and Editing Tutor