The theremin is a very particular electronic musical instrument where there is no physical contact with the player as it translates the vibrations that are in the air into music.
A theremin concert has been announced at the next Bolzano Film Festival Bozen (BFFB), scheduled to be held in the capital of the Alto Adige in South Tyrol region from 10th to 15th April under the direction of Helene Christanell.
This is not an eccentric gimmick by the organizers but rather an original way to mark the entrance of music to this 32nd edition of the Festival.
In fact the concert on the afternoon of the 13th will precede the screening of five shorts whose soundtracks were composed by students at the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, and will be followed by a dialogue with the audience in which the Swedish musician Johan Ramström will talk, together with the students, about how the process of scoring a film works and what it means to compose music for cinema
Like the music of the theremin, the BFFB’s collaboration with the Conservatory was in the air and made its debut last year when a pupil at the Conservatory composed the theme tune for the Festival’s presentation trailer.
“That was the first step”, remembers Edi Demetz, who teaches composition at the Conservatory and is one of the originators of the project in which the IDM Film Fund & Commission is also participating, the audiovisual “arm” of the public company for regional development.
The second was when Ramström held a workshop in Bolzano which ended in February and created the music for 5 shorts selected by the Festival.
The experience was a success and a third step is already being planned: to set up a three year film music composition course at the Conservatory.
Demetz announces this news, convinced by the idea of his own teaching experiences outside the Conservatory: “when I ask ‘what do you want to do when you grow up?’ many kids answer: compose music for films”.
So it was inevitable that the Festival would cross paths with the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory, confirming once again its natural propensity for hybridization: this is an approach that it has developed over time, putting itself forward as a place of encounter between different languages and cultures ever since it made its debut around thirty years ago.
All this is visible by scanning through the various sections that make up the program, starting with “Focus Europe: the festival’s European guest Country”, dedicated this year to Lithuania.
“An important window”, underlines Helene Christanell, “that we are repeating for the third year running. After Slovenia and Luxembourg, in this 32nd edition of the festival we will increase our knowledge of the Lithuanian film industry with 6 films, a debate and various guests”.
At the same time the Festival is strengthening its roots in the region in which it is favored by the alliance with the IDM Film Fund & Commission that is present in some fringe initiatives.
This is the case of “Film Made in Alto Adige”, a window onto the cinema filmed in the region.
And while “Local Artists” is the section dedicated to the most recent productions by local filmmakers, “Racconti Local Plus”, in its first edition, will present three shorts to the public made by talents from Alto Adige in South Tyrol at the end of an educational program. Then there is the exhibition “Cinema ritrovato” on 1970s German cinema and a special program of shorts, “Corti in trasferta”, realized with the international shorts festival of Landshut in Germany.
Plus there is “Final Touch”, the initiative for filmmakers who wish to perfect their lm in the post-production phase with the support of a team of experts.
There is a lot of interest in this initiative, now in its third edition, on the part of the audiovisual industry which participates with two awards: the ARRI Media Post-Production Prize and, this year, the True Colors Distribution Prize.
The two sections of the competition are instead directed towards the audience at Bolzano where, among the most recent Italian and European productions, the documentaries (8) formally have the same visibility as the dramas (8), but they are basically the product that characterizes the event.
Among these we should mention “La botta grossa” by Sandro Baldoni about the effects of the recent earthquake in Norcia, “Willkommen in der schweiz” by Sabine Gisiger, about the odyssey of the refugees in Europe from the southern part of the world, “The Poetess” by Stefanie Brockhaus and Andi Wolf, a biography of the Arab poet Hissa Hilal, a film “perfected” at “Final touch” 2017.
Without forgetting “Pagine nascoste”, a reflection on the internalized Fascism in Italy today by Sabrina Varani, the exhibition on Lucio Rosa, the documentary-maker from South Tyrol by adoption but who is originally from Venice, four of whose documentaries will be presented, and the tribute to the glorious ZeLIG Bolzano documentary school which is thirty years old in April.