Friday, August 21

An Italian Film Festival: Italy in a nutshell

I was recently invited to attend the CinemadaMare Film Festival, supposedly an international festival which takes place in various towns across Italy’s southernmost Basilicata region. I guess it’s ‘international’, because they invite young filmmakers from across much of Europe – probably the most foreigners these towns have ever seen since Emperors moved masses over to the area from Greece [although one could argue since Mel Gibson restaged his Passion of Christ amidst the gorgeous rocks of Matera].

Like the omnipresent Jazz Festivals taking place in every nook and cranny across Europe, it would seem that EU, Province or City funding is now turning any guy with (and in the case of Cinemadamare, without) a laptop into a wannabee Robert Redford and Sundance Festival. But the similarities stop there. Whereby one might expect organizers to strive toward making their event the preeminent platform – in this case mixing young filmmakers with perhaps established film industry old timers -- it would appear here that mediocrity is the name of the game.
Even in the country of Bella Figura, it seems Cinemadamare, as best recited by Clark Gable, “Frankly, could give a damn.”

The Festival bespeaks of such unprofessionalism, it brings incompetence to new lows.
You’d think that after 7 years of EU funding, one would at least make a small investment in spellcheck or google translator.
But no, the organizers (and I use the term loosely), obviously prefer to maintain the image of a backwater Basilicata hopelessly ko’ed in the global arena.

Let’s start with their catalogue touting, “The biggest gathering of young filmmakers in the world” (please gloss over persons listed inside, many of whom are well into their 40s)…

[their copy follows - all typos are theirs]

it’s last 45 days it’s 1700 Km long itinerant for all south of Italy films are shoting on the road..

In the section headed, Do you want to come to shoot a film? You will be invited…
Moreover, if you take a camere and/or a computer for the ending, you’ll also have a contribution in money.

First, you must figure out if it’s beds they’re giving you, and by ending, do they mean 12/12/2012? (in the Italian it was editing)

In Italian, they used the catchy English phrase, 'Shot on the spot' which gets translated into English as “Shot the Spot”. Obviously, for the Festival da Mare, you need to track down the girl in a teenie weenie polka dot bikini -- and shoot her.

The entire catalogue is riddled with a dozen or more typos per page. To promote the intrepid filmmakers, the synopses are written by young people on his staff who have obviously never turned on MTV, with all its English, lyrics, and subtitles; let alone traveled outside Italy enough to say, “My name is”… correctly.

Just to choose a few random entries for your laugh of the day…

- Antonio Beccari has a miracle when he is sleeping from a goblin.
- Booby Fisher when was 9 years old had his memory really prodigious…He’ll become a future chess’ champions. (In Italian, it was correctly written, Bobby)
- In a strett on a hills…the arrival of an airplane pushes all mans hiding in the grass
- Some love stories are sweet like a fairytale; others are accidented, like a roller coaster (you mean the one that recently derailed, killing the occupants?)
- Three tottaly different people, sunk in problems, driven from hate and anger, gather from the destiny in a rageous night.

If this is the output of Southern Italy, young Italians, and “International Film Festivals” staged in Italy, perhaps the EU should consider investing in basic English lessons rather than lining politicians’ friends pockets with money that serves only to drive the image of Italy’s backward Mezzogiorno even further aground.

The Director signs off, "Good Cinema" (whatever that's supposed to mean -- it's like translating Buon Appetito...)
So, I'll sign off in turn, Break a Leg!
And, leave you with that to ponder while you enjoy your holidays in the Maldives with the monies you pocketed at the expense of professionalism.

p.s. Caro Direttore, my editing services are available for hire.  Until then, you might wish to change the name to CinemadaMale.


cuz liz said...

I think you should sell yourself as the next director of the festival. Then, of course, you would need to get them to pay you. Another adventure to blog about. :-)

Dave514 said...

Some translations work out well and are even funny ie in German, "est ist der hoechste eisenbahn, "it's of greatest importance," though literally translated, "it's the highest railway." I use the literal phrase in my home phone message. Nobody understands it but it has never been questioned. "If it is the highest railway that you reach me please call...."

What you describe is both ignorance and sloppiness.