CinemAmbulante – 2016 edition

“Cinema ambulante: an integration story” is a project based on culture as a means of integration, which took place from 23 to 29 May 2016 in Amantea (CS), organized by the Cultural Association La Guarimba, winner of the “MigrArti – Cinema” prize at the initiative of the Ministry of Cultural Property and Activities and Tourism.

After all the emotions we felt and all the energy we spent, it seems difficult for us to write a report which can accurately transcribe the joy of the moments we experienced. But we will try to make you live the adventure of “Cinema ambulante” by first telling the story of its beginning. We were sure that we could not win the MiBACT prize because in Italy it is often rumored that the institutions are all corrupt and that you must be recommended, especially when you are confronted with the public domain.

But facts showed us the opposite: The Ministry validated the content of our proposal and the presentation of the association. We immediately got to work to build something even bigger than was expected of us.

With the funds made available to us, we organized a new #ScuolaGuarimba (Guarimba School), based on integration and participatory democracy, in Calabria, a region which has had many difficulties in terms of opportunities. We gave the opportunity to 19 young people from 10 different countries: Italians, foreigners and some political refugees, to learn how to make a documentary and to meet, discuss, like human beings and equals. This methodology was designed and facilitated by Thomas Sheridan.

We also organized a drawing class in the reception center of Amantea, because we defend the right to joy and happiness for everyone. The young people who participated, boys and girls, were able to give free rein to their imagination by making stamps, masks, and drawings which they then hang on the walls, making the place in which they lived a little more colored.

The animator of this project was the fantastic Sara Fratini who, in the meantime, made on one of the walls of the building a gigantic fresco, with the help of young people from the center, depicting more than 150 faces that represent different cultures, ethnic traits and religions.

Furthermore, we organized a film retrospective with short films and feature films on the theme of integration. The purpose of the screening was to seek public involvement and to spread knowledge on the phenomenon of immigration, a phenomenon whose image is often hijacked by the media, and encouraged by the numerous prejudices emanating from our society. For the first time in our city’s history, the young refugees entered the Community Theatre and for many of them, it was their first time in a theatre or a cinema. This experience was definitely impressive, for them as well as for us.

We also organized screenings for the middle schools of Amantea and Campora San Giovanni, followed by an explanation of what immigration is nowadays and how the Italian immigration process took place after the war, given by our cultural mediator Carmen Iallorenzi. The association insisted on involving the middle school students in the “Cinema ambulante” project, aware of the need to create culture and share on this theme, with the objective of using cinema as a means of connecting knowledge, reflection and the discovery of others.

Beyond the screenings and debates, meetings were organized with a few other associations to exchange on the good practices implemented across the whole extent of our territory.

In addition to that, we organized a meeting between Emergency Italia, with the presence of Pietro Protasi, secretary of EMERGENCY and the incredible experiences of Roberto Aloe, AUSER Amantea, who gave us the opportunity to, for the first time, enter the reception center, Giovanni Manoccio, former mayor of Acquaformosa, a town in which integration has strengthened human and economic growth, and Enza Bruno Bossio (Chamber of Deputies) and Monica Sabatino (Mayor of Amantea). Their presence gave us the unique opportunity to be able to make direct requests to representatives of institutions, whether at local or national level, from people of color (asylum seekers or refugees), who often suffer poorly weighted political decisions. The young people really appreciated it. The debate was moderated by the journalist Floriana Bulfon from L’Espresso.

We organized a meeting with the great Don Giacomo Panizza from Comunità Progetto Sud who made us dream with his stories about life, rebellion, and success, telling us his battles against injustice commited against the littlest ones, his fight for solidarity and welcoming the most disadvantaged.

We were able to produce a documentary of this whole adventure.

The film class was fruitful as it resulted in 7 fabulous documentaries that tell about integration through the eyes of the participants. Even though these young people had only a limited amount of time to get to know each other, design, produce and subtitle, we were so impressed that we decided to include them in the program of La Guarimba Film Festival 2016 to be held this summer in Amantea.

We ate Gambian rice, danced on Latin-American, African music and of course our tarantella. We also sang the songs of Rino Gaetano and Battisti very loudly. Laughing, crying, loving and hoping that these moments would never end, that is how we could simply sum up this first edition. When the party was over, our hearts were filled with magnificent memories and our spirits grateful for having had the chance to be a part of this incredible adventure that was the #CinemAmbulante made with love and talent.

We thank all our participants, the journalists who contributed to spreading the Guarimba name, the spectators, the institutions and the private sponsors who believed in us, all the collaborators, and all those who understood the importance of wanting to be good and teamwork to see success knocking on our door.

Thanks to the rebels! Grazie, guarimberos!


Il Sangue Verde by Andrea Segre

Una Scuola Italiana by Angelo Loy et Giulio Cederna

Là-bas – Educazione criminale by Guido Lombardi

Terraferma by Emanuele Crialese

Articolo 32 by Antonio di Peppo

Mediterranea by Jonas Carpignano