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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Cinema EN (new)


Biennale College-Cinema – The International Horizon

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09 | 08 | 2015

A panel discussion, chaired by Peter Cowie, is to be held during the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. The subject will be the making of the three new feature films commissioned by the Biennale College Cinema program, and having their world premiere during the Venice Film Festival.

The panel will take place at 3 pm on Tuesday September 8th, in the Press Conference hall on the 3rd floor of the Casino building.

“The six feature films produced during the first two years of the Biennale College Cinema program have been met with acclaim throughout the world. Produced on an ultra-modest budget, each of them showed an unusual talent and an innate gift for filmmaking,” notes moderator Peter Cowie (film historian and former Int'l Publishing Director of Variety).  “The Biennale College Cinema scheme is exciting chiefly because it is in essence a workshop – a workshop and laboratory that places the focus squarely on two essential themes: the making of low-budget films in a period of global recession, and the need to find youthful auteurs if the cinema is to be reinvigorated.” The laboratory was created by the Biennale di Venezia in 2012 and is open to young filmmakers from all over the world.
Panelists will include the producers of the three films, and also:

Peter Cowie
In 1963, Peter Cowie launched the annual International Film Guide, which appeared under his editorship for 40 years.  He has written more than 30 books about film, including biographies of Orson Welles, Ingmar Bergman and Francis Ford Coppola, studies of Scandinavian film and, more recently, John Ford and Akira Kurosawa.  Among the publications he has written articles for are The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, theLondon Sunday Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Expressen, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, The Nation, and Sight and Sound.  He was International Publishing Director of Variety from 1993 to 2000, and Regents’ Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara.  Cowie has contributed more than a dozen commentaries for Criterion DVD’s.

Glenn Kenny
Glenn Kenny writes about film for, Vanity Fair online, the Criterion Collection blog;  his work on film, music and other topics has appeared in the New York Times, The Village Voice, the Los Angeles Times, Film Comment, Black Clock, and other publications. He was a senior editor at the U.S. edition of Premiere magazine, and its chief film critic from 1999 to 2007. He is the editor of 2002's “A Galaxy Not So Far Away: Writers And Artists On 25 Years of Star Wars” and the author of  2014's “Anatomy of an Actor: Robert De Niro.”  He has appeared as an actor in Steven Soderbergh's 2009 The Girlfriend Experience and Preston Miller's 2011 Godland.

Derek Malcolm
One of the finest critics to emerge from Britain, Derek Malcolm has served as chief reviewer for The Guardian newspaper, and, more recently, for the London Evening Standard. He is Honorary President of FIPRESCI, the international film critics' federation. For many years he hosted a TV show on BBC 2 covering art-house films, and he was also Director of the London Film Festival, as well as a Governor of the British Film Institute. Malcolm has been a doughty defender of the cause of independent cinema in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Savina Neirotti 
Director of the TorinoFilmLab and the Head of Program for the Biennale College Cinema. Born in Genova, she graduated in Philosophy and completed the first year of Master in Aesthetics at the University of Pennsylvania. After returning to Italy, she became Head of the Press and Communication Office of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, where she was also in charge of the Educational Department. In the same years she founded Scuola Holden in Torino together with Alessandro Baricco. She is Director of Scuola Holden’s Master in Narration Techniques, and she supervises all the school activities, focusing on the international contacts. In the last ten years Savina has written articles and interviews on narration and classical music, book reviews and film reviews for Italian and international newspapers. She has been in charge of Script&Pitch Workshops since 2005, and TorinoFilmLab since 2008.

Chris Vognar
He is currently Culture Critic for the Dallas Morning News, where he has worked since 1996. He is also a contributor to Transition, the quarterly journal of African and African-American studies at Harvard.  Chris co-hosts “The Big Screen” show on KERA, Dallas’ National Public Radio affiliate. He has taught journalism at Harvard Summer School, film history at the University of Texas at Arlington and arts journalism at Southern Methodist University. Chris Vognar was the 2009 Nieman Arts and Culture Fellow at Harvard University.

Stephanie Zacharek
Principal film writer at The Village Voice in New York. An American film and music critic, her writing on books and pop culture has also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Sight and Sound, among others. She is a member of the National Society of Film Critics. Her work was featured in the anthology, American Movie Critics, edited by Philip Lopate in 2006. Prior to her appointment at the Voice, she served as chief film critic at, and for several years contributed all manner of pieces to

The 3 films commissioned this year by Biennale College - Cinema:

THE FITS, directed by Anna Rose Holmer. Produced by Lisa Kjerulff
Toni, a tomboyish boxer, lands a spot on an after-school drill team in the West End community of Cincinnati. Thrilled by the power and confidence of the team, Toni eagerly absorbs the routines, masters the drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. We witness the joy of her first friendships and her discovery of dance. Yet, she grapples with her individual identity amid her newly defined social sphere. Shortly after Toni joins the team, the captain faints during practice. By the end of the week, most of the girls on the team suffer from episodes of fainting, swooning, and shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable catharsis. The adults in their community cannot explain the mysterious outbreak. Tension mounts. Soon, these fits transform into a rite of passage as the trauma draws the other girls closer together. Caught between her need for control and her desire for acceptance, Toni must decide how far she will go to embody her new ideals.

BABY BUMP, directed by Kuba Czekaj. Produced by Magdalena Kaminska
Eleven-year-old Mickey Houseis no longer a child. But who is he? He doesn’t know. He’s friendless. He doesn’t understand his mother. He hates what’s happening to his body. Reality and imagination come together in a toxic mix. Events escalate to extremes, at home and at school. Mickey must find the strength within him to put a stop to what’s begun. Where will his encounter with his own maturing body take him? Growing up is not for kids.

BLANKA, directed by Kohki Hasei. Produced by Flaminio Zadra
Eleven-year-old Blanka survives alone in Manila begging and stealing from tourists. One day, an absurd idea pops up: if she could buy a mother, she could have a good life. But she has to make countless efforts in order to collect enough money. An opportunity arises when she meets Peter, a 55-year-old blind street musician, who teaches Blanka how to sing, a skill out of which she can make money. However, concerned about Blanka’s future, Peter decides to take Blanka to an orphanage. When she finds out, she runs away and the nightmare starts again.