Waiting to unveil the winners of the 2021 edition of Cinema e Ambiente Avezzano we are pleased to present the interviews made during the festival to the directors and collaborators who have been our guests. Let’s start these appointments with Alessandro Ivaldi and Roberto Ferraris, social workers of the Educativa Territoriale CISA Asti Sud and of the Centro Diurno Socio-Terapeutico Riabilitativo for disabled people, who came to visit us on the occasion of the projection of “Il Bosco Incantato”, made by Antonio Palese and Fabio Siri. The short film tells the story of a young girl who, while walking in the woods of Monferrato, once revered for the stories of partisans, comes across an open-air dump. The film work was shot with disabled actors as part of an equal opportunities project, in collaboration with the above-mentioned associations.
How did you think of realizing such a project?
The project was conceived and thought up by our colleague and operator Fabio Siri with the support of director Antonio Palese on the basis of the experience we already had with the previous film, as part of a project in our area between Nizza Monferrato and Vinchio. There is a beautiful natural park there, and in that place we thought of doing a project on the environment, and so the kids from the Day Care Center, who were and are very sensitive to this type of theme, responded very well and so this project began, and we hope you enjoy it.
So, this is your second film project.
On a short film level, yes. We made a feature film two or three years ago entitled “Ama la mia terra” (Love My Land), where the main protagonist is always the environment, the land and the values we have in our area. Our territory is a Unesco heritage site, so we wanted to make a product that would live up to our landscapes.
Have you noticed a greater interest from the kids in nature and reconnecting with it?
The interest was great because the kids are very supportive of the natural environment so they responded well. They were enthusiastic about the whole process that was done, starting with the location and then acting out there the scenes that we will see in the short film.
Do you think they had fun?
Fun for us is an essential thing so the boy must have fun absolutely, it shouldn’t be a job but an additional thing than what you do in the daily, this is one more thing that you do having fun, and I can say that when they came home they were very happy. Even after some time, when the project was over, seeing them on the screen again was a wonderful thing for them, both in the first film but also in this short film, it was fantastic.
Are the kids we see in the short film the same as in the first film?
They are the same kidss plus others because in the first project there were kids from the territory and the guys from the Day Care Center participated. In this short film there are both the kids from the Day Care Center and the ones from the Educativa Territoriale. Obviously we could not take all of them because otherwise there would have been too many. But there is a good number.
As professional educators, doing projects with the kids you deal with, have you noticed that film actually has an extra oomph in bringing people, kids or any kind of individual closer to social and forward-looking issues?
Yes, it was a way of touching a reality that young people, like everyone else, feel as particularly important, and we wanted to use this film and the young people to send a message and say that the environment is a problem that concerns everyone at the moment. If those who already have many problems in their lives can take care of it, so can others, it is everyone’s duty. The kids perceived this message and the idea of transmitting it got them particularly involved. There was a lot of enthusiasm when we proposed the subject that, as we said, was conceived by Fabio Siri and Antonio Palese and they were very involved, very touched. They felt that there was something more than, for example, making a film without a social background.
We imagine that you have met young people of various ages. As time goes by, in these new generations with whom you are in contact, have you noticed that there is a greater sensitivity to the environment and to issues related to it?
Definietly yes, there is an increased sensitivity and a new way of approaching it. There is an awareness that the environmental problem is no longer just a distant problem mentioned in the newspapers and on television, but one that affects us all. We come from a beautiful rural area, a Unesco heritage site, and the fact of seeing it in some cases abandoned or left to neglect is very painful. You can see the desire of the kids to take care of their own territory, perhaps it becomes a therapeutic form of taking care of themselves through the care of the territory.
We thank Alessandro and Roberto for being with us and we congratulate them for their willingness to pursue such noble projects that manage to combine important issues such as the social and environmental one.