Have you heard about the David di Donatello?

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As kids we’ve all been waiting for the Oscars. 

We all, at some point, pointed our eyes to the sky and searched for our place among the stars. Oscars night transforms the pursuit into reality, by giving talent its highest and rightful achievement.

When I was little I’d wait for that night almost as if it were Christmas’ Eve. I had to browse the whole web to find a legit streaming service that would let me see the ceremony. We’re talking early 2000, searching the web for illicit streaming services wasn’t as easy as it is today, but I was a master in it. I would always end up on some Youtube account that’d start streaming the Oscars all the way from the red carpet and I loved every loading… minute of it. After moving to the States I realized Hollywood night wasn’t only for actors or inspiring wannabes, it was a special night for pretty much everyone, a little sparkling version of the Super Bowl and in full-blown football-weekend style we’d have viewing parties, lots of chips and many drinks.

I was obsessed, still am, with celebrating talent. Every country has its own version of the Oscars, Italy, for example, has the David di Donatello. It’s conceptually the same exact thing and has been going on since 1956. You might want to ask yourself why haven’t you heard about it as much as the Oscars, are they known worldwide as the infamous los angelinos ceremony?

The answer is no, and for that there’s a simple reason behind the curtain: the Italian film industry is just different.

Quoting Pierfrancesco Favino in one of his latest interviews at the “Berlinale”:  “There’s a lot of international productions that are shooting in Italy right now, but still an Italian character will not be played by an Italian actor in any of  those productions” This sums up the whole problem really, the industry is different, it doesn’t bet on its people, doesn’t spend as much (actually rumor has it that a while back somebody wanted to withdraw funding for culture, one of the proposals of the new government), all of the above reasons make it really hard for the David di Donatello to be an equivalent to the Oscars. 

Losing the sparkling light that surrounds a magical night, the event becomes only for an elite group of people, and by elite I just mean those that care for it, which leads the ceremony to be less interesting for mundane individuals. Also the publicity is non-existent. 

But since we’re  pushing through a new rise in the movie industry, a new tide, a new chapter, let’s dive into the Italian promises that are awaiting to be discovered by the public and are running high to secure a spot in the 5 breakout movies of the year. 

La santa piccola, directed by Silvia Brunelli, Space Monkeys by Aldo Iuliano and Amanda, directed by Carolina Cavalli are competing for the one golden spot. They all have been breakout artists of the past year and brought to the public their version of the cinema that looks new, daring, promising and challenging. 

Space Monkeys, which I had the pleasure of seeing at the movie theater where it’s supposed to be experienced, offers a generational dysfunctional portrait, an attempt to frame the fluid and elusive Generation Z. Aldo Iuliano, with incredible technique, tests the limits of the digital image, accompanied by master cinematographer Daniele Ciprì.

Iuliano is a daring figure, does not back down and in the long part of the party packs spectacular sequences that opens the film to a metaphysical dimension. 

A novelty, a brand-new vision, a free expression of one’s mind, loyal to initial values and ideas that make the work incomparable to none. This is what, this year, the David di Donatello will see in all these incredible works. 

With Amanda, Carolina Cavalli brings forth her own specific vision, returning a work that, although it has many foreign references, is in its own way unprecedented in our cinema today.

There is finally an air of revolution at the movies and in the Festivals. The presence of films such as these, scandalous, courageous , halfway between authorship and "genre," has shown this. And we find only a new confirmation in “La santa piccola”, a film that perhaps a few years ago would have been unthinkable to bring to the Lagoon.

As I said at the beginning, the air is changing. A new era is about to begin for artists to speak their minds, free their inner freaks and finally do what they were put on this planet to do, create. No boundaries, just pure art. And we’re all here to make art in our special, unique way.

By Miriam Gagino

Digital - category
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