Promoting film in communities where cinemas don’t exist or are disappearing, focusing on their ability to serve as venues for cultural and social aggregation, while sowing the seeds of environmental and food culture among younger generations. That’s the objective of Cinema communities for Innovation, Networks and Environment (CINE).

With this project, Slow Food and its Italian and international partners want to support cinema, revitalizing the role of film within local communities.

The first activities were near Ivrea, in the northern Italian Piedmontese province of Turin. The Cinemambiente in Valchiusella festival, an offshoot of Turin’s acclaimed Cinemambiente environmental film festival, was held here between July and August.

Then a series of events will be organized in the city of Turin in collaboration with Cinemambiente and other festivals from the city’s film scene as part of Terra Madre 2020 in the fall. This will be an opportunity to breathe new life into Turin’s cinemas after months of lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and to celebrate the city’s role as “Città del Cinema 2020,” the 2020 City of Cinema.

In the following months, the CINE format will be replicated in the area between the towns of Bra and Cherasco in southern Piedmont and in Croatia.

Slow Food strongly believes in the capacity of cinema to forge a bond between viewers. Even in our current era of individual cultural consumption, as we sit in our living rooms with our screens connected to a boundless universe of online content, cinemas continue to play an important role as cultural aggregators, particularly in smaller communities.

It is this awareness that has led to the launch of the CINE project, which focuses on supporting the function of cinemas as cultural reference points where common values and themes revolving around environmental protection, gastronomic heritage and the people working in the food industry can be discussed at both a local and a global level.

In order to do this, Slow Food will be testing out a new kind of cinematic experience. The program of screenings will be drawn up in collaboration with Cinemambiente and local cinemas, selecting primarily European films. But the project isn’t just about showing movies and documentaries; a series of complementary events—like tastings and debates involving local people working to promote environmental and gastronomic sustainability—will be organized alongside the screenings.

What makes CINE innovative is its desire to bring together film and activism, entertainment, and civic engagement. As well as supporting the smallest cinemas and involving local communities, Slow Food also wants to introduce younger generations to issues around the environment and food, getting them to participate directly in activities.

To this end, one of the project partners is the Mobile Film Festival, a competition founded in 2005 that challenges aspiring directors to produce a one-minute film on their phone. The Mobile Film Festival will be providing tips to young people aged between 14 and 25 on how to use easily accessible devices, like smartphones, to make short films of high quality.

The Cinema communities for Innovation, Networks and Environment (CINE) project is funded by the European Union, with the contribution of CRC Foundation, and coordinated by Slow Food. The project partners are: French Mobile Film Festival, the Croatian association Kinookus, Associazione Cinemambiente, the Cinema Boaro in Ivrea (province of Turin), the Cinema Vittoria in Bra (province of Cuneo) and the City of Cherasco (province of Cuneo) in Italy.

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