Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival, Florence

Luca Trevisani, Sudan, 2016, 1.97.1
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Mehdi Chouakri


In Florence, Lo Schermo dell’Arte, Cinema d’Artista, documentaries, talks and a show of videos by artists under 35. Opening Night with a film by Pierre Bismuth, the French artist and Oscar-winning screenwriter. Among this year’s guests: Pierre Bismuth, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, Omer Fast, Luca Trevisani.

LO SCHERMO DELL’ARTE FILM FESTIVAL returns to Florence from November 2016, an international project which investigates and promotes the relations between contemporary art and cinema,and has reached its 9th edition, directed by Silvia Lucchesi. The rich program opens Weds. Nov. 16 at Cinema La Compagnia, a new Florentine theater restored after years of inactivity, with the inauguration of the exhibition VISIO. Outside The Black Box by Leonardo Bigazzi, which will collect the works of 12 artists who participated in the fifth edition of VISIO European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images (6pm). Afterwards, at 9 pm, Opening Night with the Italian premiere of Where is Rocky II? Pierre Bismuth’s docu-drama of the search for a mysterious work by Californian artist Ed Ruscha.

Among the guest artists: Gianikian Yervant and Angela Ricci Lucchi protagonists of Focus On, 2016 which brings together seven of their famous films; Omer Fast will present the Italian premiere of his psycho-thriller Remainder (2015), and Continuity (2016), Luca Trevisani with the European premiere of his latest work Sudan (2016) co-produced by LO SCHERMO DELL’ARTE, and then Joana Hadjithomas co-author, with Khalil Joreige, of the poetic Ismyrne (2016) and Assaf Gruber with the short The Right (2015).
In Film d’Artista, previews of Nightlife (2015), the first film in 3D by Cyprien Gaillard; Faux Départ (2015) by Yto Barrada, candidate for the Prix Duchamp 2016, and “The Challenge” (2016) Yuri Ancarani, which won a prize at the latest Locarno Festival, presented in collaboration with the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement (BIM) in Geneva.

The Sguardi (Looks) section of the program includes documentaries on contemporary art, including the Italian premieres of portraits of American photographer Robert Frank and artists Eva Hesse and David Hockney. In collaboration with the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, on the occasion of the exhibition “Ai Weiwei. Libero”, in the presence of director Michael Schindhelm,”The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg”dedicated to the most famous collector of contemporary Chinese art, the Swiss businessman Uli Sigg.

Opening Night Weds. Nov. 16: the long-awaited premiere of Where is Rocky II? (2016) the author, French artist Pierre Bismuth, will be present; in 2005 he won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Michel Gondry. Famous writers such as D.V. De Vincentis (High Fidelity, 2000; Blank, 1997) and Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes, 2009; Invictus, 2009) also worked on the film.
Co-produced and distributed in Italy by In Between Art Film and Vivo Film, Where Is Rocky II? is the chronicle of an obsession, in which Bismuth hopes to find Rocky II, a fake boulder in resin by American artist Ed Ruscha, hidden by its author among real rocks in the Mojave Desert in California in 1979. An art project, a documentary, a fiction film and mockumentary, the French artist’s first film work finds meaning in the conflict between genres by constantly moving between them, the meaning of Rocky II is to live the conflict between its existence and its paradoxical nonexistence. Bismuth will give a lecture as part of the program of Talks Festival Thursday, November 17 (La Compagnia, 15.45, in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence).

Pierre Bismuth, Where Is Rocky II?, Pierre Bismuth, 2016, Stills_1.1.15


Focus On 2016 is dedicated to the artist couple Gianikian Yervant and Angela Ricci Lucchi, the experimental cinema masters who started working together in the 1970s, reworking material taken from the forgotten film archives of filmmakers of the past, or unearthed in their travels around the world, transforming memory into a tool for reading the present. On Thursday, November 17 a screening in the presence of the authors of 7 short films made between 1994 and 2011. Among them, Contacts: Mario Giacomelli (1994), a portrait of the Italian photographer; Ti regalerò il mio ultimorespiro (2009) where they film their friend, actor Walter Chiari; Notes sur nos voyages en Russie (2010/2011) recorded in the years immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union, with Angela Ricci Lucchi’s portrait-drawings of the last survivors of Russian avant-garde intellectuals.

For the section Cinema d’artista, Omer Fast, who returns to Lo Schermo dell’Arte after his participation in 2011 (with the video installation Talk Show), will introduce the Italian premiere of Remainder (2015), his first feature film, starring the young English actor Tom Sturridge, acclaimed at the Berlin Film Festival and London. Based on the eponymous novel by Tom McCarthy, the film tells the story of a man, struck by amnesia after being hit on the head by a falling object, who tries to regain his memory through the reconstruction of episodes of his past with actors and sets, in reenactments that become more and more complicated and risky. The Israeli artist will also present a preview of Continuity (2016), a new cut, enriched with a previously unreleased scene, created in 2012 for Documenta 13, which depicts a young German soldier just returned home from Afghanistan, disturbed by apparitions of the “ghosts” of the war.

Omer Fast, Remainder, 2015


The European premiere of Sudan, by Luca Trevisani, produced by Screen Art Film Festival in association with Marsèll and 999 Films, which recently premiered at the World Expo Week in Chicago. Sudan is the last living specimen of a male White Rhino; he represents the memory of a species already extinct, as a living work of art, protected 24 hours a day by armed guards. The film, a chronicle of an extinction experienced live, Trevisani says it is “a work on man and his idea of nature, on the design of the world, the idea of memory and sculpture as a living thing, ephemeral, destined to be lost in the folds of time.”

Among this year’s guests, Joana Hadjithomas, co-author, with Khalil Joreige, of Ismyrne (2016), a film that explores the concepts of identity and belonging, starting with Hadjithomas’ friendship with the poet and artist Etel Adnan, both originally from the Turkish city of Izmir, which their families abandoned after the devastating fire of 1922; Assaf Gruber, who will present The Right (2015), a poetic film about an elderly security guard of the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, who asks to be transferred to the Museum Sztuki Lodz to get closer to the left-leaning Polish group AR (Volker Sattel with his The Dome (2016), the story of the house built for Michelangelo Antonioni and Monica Vitti in Sardinia in 1969 by architect Dante Bini, a fascinating structure that today is headed towards an inexorable decline.

Our partnership with Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana continues, enriched this year by a collaboration with the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement (BIM) in Geneva: The Challenge, the latest work by Yuri Ancarani, supported by the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève for the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, which portrays a weekend in the desert of Qatar, including falconry tournaments and car races, will be presented at Lo Schermo dell’Arte Sunday, November 20. The three-way partnership with Venice and Geneva will continue in March 2017, when a selection of the films of the ninth program of Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival will be screened at Teatrino di Grassi Palace and then at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva.

Yuri Ancarani, The Challenge, 2016, still 02


In collaboration with Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, for the exhibition La fine del mondo, the Italian premiere of Faux Départ, by Yto Barrada (2015), in which the French artist of Moroccan origin conducts an investigation on the trade in, and counterfeiting of fossils and minerals, by which more than 50,000 Moroccans make a living, with an emphasis on how an unpredictable artistic aspect can be hidden behind forgery. Among the film premieres on contemporary art protagonists of the section, Sguardi (Looks), Don’t Blink Robert Frank (2016), distributed by Feltrinelli Real Cinema and Wanted, about the life and the creative process of the famous American photographer and documentary filmmaker, who agreed to be interviewed for the first time by his collaborator and editor of his films Laura Israel, who will be present. With his shots and his films he portrayed the true essence of the United States, documenting, among others, the Beat Generation and the Rolling Stones’ career, as well as exploring family ties and friendship, memory and loss.

In addition, the Italian premiere of Eva Hesse (2016), by Marcie Begleiter: thanks to private documents such as diaries and correspondence, a look at the strong personality of the artist who contributed to the birth of minimalism in the 1960s and -70s, with sculptures in latex, plastic and fiberglass; and #ARTOFFLINE by Manuel Correa (2015), a reflection on the ways in which technology and on-line sharing of artworks are changing the methods of approach to art and the behavior of visitors to exhibition spaces.

Our collaboration with Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi has been reconfirmed this year. During the exhibition Ai Weiwei. Libero, a presentation of the film, The Chinese Lives of Uli Sigg, by Michael Schindhelm (2016), in the presence of the director. A portrait of the great Swiss collector, who was among the first to buy the works of the new Chinese generation, anticipating their affirmation on the international art market. At Palazzo Strozzi, we will organize meetings with important international guests of the Festival’s training project: Feature Expanded. European Art Film Strategies 2nd Edition, during which, on Friday, November 18 (3:45 pm), on the roof-deck, there will be a round-table discussion: Museum and Artists’ Feature Films Distribution and Exhibition, which will explore the new possibilities offered for distribution outside cinematic context and the role of museums in the development of exhibitions of artists working with moving images; VISIO European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images, now in its fifth edition, edited by Leonardo Bigazzi, which will involve 12 international artists under 35 who work with moving images, who will present their work to the public in the Sala Ferri Tuesday, November 15 (11.00 -13.00 / 14:30 to 16:30).

The 12 participants of VISIO European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images will display their video work in the exhibition VISIO. Outside The Black Box, curated by Leonardo Bigazzi. Organized in collaboration with FST-Regional Media Tuscany, the exhibition will open at Cinema La Compagnia on Wednesday, November 16 at 18.00 and will be on display until November 20. The selected works are redefining the limits of the traditional film format, and will be planned in the spaces of what was once a theater, not usually accessible to the public. In addition, the VISIO Young Talent Acquisition Prize will be awarded to Elena Mazzi for the film The financial singing (2014). The prize was created to encourage the collecting of video installations by film and video artists, through the acquisition of a work by one of the participating artists by the Seven Gravity Collection. Sunday, November 20, at the awards ceremony, the premiere of Sel, a short film made by Rebecca Digne, winner of the 2015 prize, inspired by salt, long used as currency, intended as a metaphor for the exchange of ideas and knowledge between artists, which is the basis of the VISIO project.

As part of Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival 2016 the final part of the second edition of Feature Expanded will take place, a unique training program, the only one of its kind in Europe, was born with the desire to expand the skills and promote the work of artists who want to make their first feature film, conceived and promoted by The Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival and HOME, directed by Leonardo Bigazzi and Sarah Perks and supported by Creative Europe / MEDIA.
Feature Expanded Development Award will award one of the participants with the opportunity to work on the screenplay of his film during three days of intensive residency in Stockholm thanks to the collaboration with the expert Marietta von Baumgarten von Hausswolf. In addition, Rebecca De Pas, co-director of the presentation platform and co-production of films FIDLab FID Marseille, will be in Florence in order to select one or more projects submitted by artists Feature Expanded’s floor space 2017 of the French Festival.

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Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival – IX edizione  – Florence, Cinema La Compagnia, Palazzo Strozzi
16 – 20 Novembe, 2016Inauguration – Cinema Theater La Compagnia
16 November 2016, 6pm