TREVIGNANOFILMFEST, September 14-18, 2012
In September, on the shores of Lake Bracciano, near Rome, the city of Trevignano will host a new film festival, the TrevignanoFilmFest, 5 days of celebration of film, music and art. The first edition of Trevignano’s new film festival will start on September 14 and will see its last events the night of the 18th, in the beautiful and historic Cinema Palma. This year’s edition will be dedicated to school as a place for dreams, hope, emancipation and conflict and its relationship with cinema. Actors, writers, artists, musicians and many patrons of the arts will gather near the famous Castello Odescalchi where Tom Cruise has his fabulous wedding in late 2006. Opening night film will be “The First Grader” by Justin Chadwick, the true story of an 84 year-old Kenyan who defended his right to learn to read and write after the burdens of an horrific colonial past.
All this is the result of the dream of a simple man, “Nonno (Grandpa) Fabio” – a carpenter with a strong passion for film. In 1939, Trevignano was a village inhabited by 2000 people (a quarter of today’s population) along with some donkeys, sheep and chickens. One day Nonno Fabio said, “These people deserve cinematography”. He went to Rome, bought a projector made by Balilla and put it in his carpenter’s studio, thus saving it from it’s destiny of being used in a brothel for the passing troops.
The place was a success: everybody went to see the movies, even those who didn’t have money for a ticket paid with fruit and eggs. Unfortunately in 1944, whilst driving down the Cassia on his three-wheeled van, Nonno Fabio was shot and killed by an American reconnaissance plane.
His son, Fernando, continued his endeavor. In a buried container Fernando found the Balilla projector that his father had hidden in order to protect it from the war. He rebuilt the cinema and restarted the family activity. However, the competition brought by rising TV popularity forced him to close down his activities by May of 1985.
This is when young Fabio launched his great challenge: a few months later he managed to reopen the cinema as classy and sophisticated, and what seemed folly became triumph. The ‘Sala dei Palma’ (Cinema Palma) became the niche for quality films for the whole lakeside area. Not long after the Aiace Trevignano Award was founded for the best young Italian directors, recognizing talents like Gabriele Salvatores, Francesca Archibugi, Gianni Amelio and Michele Placido. In 2002 Michelangelo Antonioni decided to celebrate his 90th birthday there. The latest addition is the Trevignano FilmFest Cultural Association – of which Corrado Giustiniani is president – and the Festival itself: a presentation of the best films centered around a common theme (this year school), under the artistic direction of Silvia Bizio.