As cameras flashed in the Sala Scorsese, Sergio Cofferati, the mayor of Bologna welcomed to the stage Gianluca Farinelli, director of the Cineteca di Bologna, Carlo Petrini, president of Slow Food International, Luciana Littizzetto, the famous Italian comedienne, Alice Waters, vice president of Slow Food International and Stefano Sardo, artistic director of Slow Food on Film, to inaugurate this five-day international festival of cinema and food.
Farinelli gave a brief introduction, stressing his satisfaction with the preparations for the festival and his hope of an ongoing collaboration between the Cineteca di Bologna and Slow Food. He praised Carlo Petrini’s success in bringing food to the forefront of society and politics and added ‘The journey from Via Mendicità to Terra Madre has been a long one, but it hasn’t ended yet. The relationship between Slow Food, the Comune of Bologna and the Cineteca is something we are proud of and a great motivation and basis to work on. I hope this collaboration will continue over time.’
Next to take the microphone was Carlo Petrini, who expressed his pleasure that the festival had finally become a reality and added ‘Our relationship with the Cineteca has now been established, thanks to the collaboration of Ermanno Olmi, who filmed the second edition of Terra Madre two years ago, a documentary which we are all anxiously waiting for because it will provide us with a memento of a greatly important event.’ He further stressed the importance of documentation in order to oppose the disappearance of food traditions, culture and knowledge, quoting the African proverb ‘When an African dies, a library goes with her’ to highlight the urgency to act now against such a loss.
Luciana Littizzetto ended the ceremony with a touch of irony of the standardization of food, but also expressed her concern for children today with regard to how they eat. She spoke of their ‘limited approach to food’ and that ‘they always eat the same thing’, suggesting how food education is a key factor in changing the negative impact of the inductrial food system.