FINAL TOUCH/The Experts’ ‘Axe’ is good for films

Developing creativity also means “taking one’s own creature to slaughter”, when your project is “cruelly torn to pieces” albeit with skill and sincerity. This is the spirit of Final Touch #1 Intense Feedback from Experts, the initiative set up by the Bolzano Film Festival Bozen with the IDM Film Fund & Commission to support filmmakers who want to perfect their film or documentary in the final stage of development.

During the festival the authors/producers of the three projects selected – Nunzio Gringero with “38°//Nord”, Mike Ramsauer with “Quellmalz”, and Laura Cini with “Punishment Island” – met with five experts: Nikolaj Nikitin (festival expert), Evi Romen (editing), Catia Rossi (distribution), Josef Reidinger (post-production) and Gabriele Röthemeyer (production financing). “We viewed a rough cut of each project before even talking to the filmmakers”, says juror and international distributor Catia Rossi (True Colours), “and we each gave our feedback based on our own expertise: very frank, at times tough, but definitely useful”

The projects were in post-production, at a stage in which it was still possible to intervene. One common problem (all three projects are documentaries) was the length, between 55 and 60 minutes – too short for cinema, too long for television: “you should know that if you want to get into movie theaters or if you want to get in with broadcasters, you have to make up your mind, because they are two different types of dramatic art”, says Nikolaj Nikitin, the Berlinale delegate.
“We talked to each filmmaker for around two hours, a very intense discussion, we told them to carry on working for another couple of months and that we were available to meet up again for the second version”.

The three projects are different, but all have many “very strong points”: the topic, the visual aspect, or the bond between the topic and the territory.
The latter is the case for “Quellmalz”, named after the musicologist Alfred Quellmalz who, between 1940 and 1942, was appointed by the Nazi regime to collect and catalogue the folk songs of the residents of Tyrol on the eve of the great emigration to Germany that took place following the “options”.
A current topic which evokes the same borderline, the Brenner, where the opposite is happening today, with people fleeing from the south of the world.
Mike Ramsauer’s documentary uses archive material and “rediscovers” some of the characters who are still alive and are given a chance to listen again to the songs they recorded themselves over seventy years before.

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