It was quite an honor to take part in the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. The exclusive New York Film Academy Showcase at the VIFF began with a Q&A between NYFA Florence Program Director, Diana Santi, and NYFA alumnus, Giorgio Pasotti, who attended a Filmmaking Workshop in 2003. Pasotti has acted in numerous well-known Italian films, including Paolo Sorrentino’s Academy Award-winning film “The Great Beauty.”
Held at the Venice Production Bridge platform at the Spazio Incontri of Venice’s Excelsior Hotel, Pasotti discussed his overall education at NYFA, which he described as an amazing learning experience.
“It was more useful to study 8 weeks at NYFA in NY than the years I’ve spent studying and watching movies,” said the Italian actor. Pasotti used the skills he learned from NYFA to direct his debut film, “Io, Arlecchino.”
Following the Q&A, the festival screened five NYFA student and alumni films that included two live-action shorts, two animated shorts, and one documentary short.
The five films that screened were:
“The Life Of Janka,” by Luis Henriquez Viloria (fiction)
After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, thousands of kids went to the streets and became targets for organizations of child traffickers. These kids were traded like livestock. “The Life of Janka” is a fictional story of two brothers who go through such an experience.
“Fumo,” by Sean Miyakawa (fiction)
Set in the mid-1920s, a frustrated sound composer works as one of the first sound engineers in the history of cinema, and happens to be madly in love with the main actress of the production. On the day he decides to finally declare his love to her, he finds out about an affair going on between her and the director. The discovery drives him crazy.
“Alive & Kicking: The Soccer Grannies of South Africa,” by Lara-Ann de Wet (documentary)
In Limpopo, South Africa, the village grannies lace up their soccer boots and start kicking their way down the field — and through centuries of oppressive taboos. They play serious soccer and then break into the laughter and traditional song that help fuel their singular struggle for decent lives and a league of their own.
“The Perfumist,” by Yukari Akaba, Shannon Lee, Daniela Lobo Dias, Sandra Rivero Ortiz (animation)
“The Perfumist” is a dramatic story highlighting the battle of Machine-Equipped Man against Cosmic Nature. Seeking the perfect scent for his perfume, Benedict Malville runs into the consequences of trampling on sacred, natural ground.
“The Right Way,” by Elena Zobak Alekperov & Flavia Groba Bandeira (animation)
A short animated story of the day in a mom’s life of raising her young child. While the child tests the mother’s patience, there is a final moment of relief after the mom reveals her secret oasis within the confines of the home.
Following the screenings, director Sean Miyakawa spoke in-depth about the making of his original film, “Fumo.”
Additionally, “The Life of Janka” director of photography Leandro Mouro spoke about his cinematography on Luis Henriquez Viloria’s film, shot in Haiti.
The prestigious Venice International Film Festival will continue to run until September 10, 2016.