The first activities were organized near Ivrea, in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. The CinemAmbiente in Valchiusella festival, an offshoot of Turin’s acclaimed CinemAmbiente environmental film festival, was organized in summer 2020 and 2021 as a way of testing out the CINE format before replicating it in the three hubs.
After the first event in Valchiusella, a series of events was 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 was 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.
The two successful editions of the Cinemambiente in Valchiusella festival laid the groundwork for specific events to be held at the Cinema Boaro in Ivrea in the following months.
Here the programs for the 2020 and 2021 edition
6 film screenings (3 evening projections for the general public and 3 projections for school students) took place at Boaro theatre in Ivrea, for the environmentally themed movie project called Gaia…il tempo stringe! [Gaia…time is running out!]
Projections for school students
- Useless (directed by Rakel Garðarsdóttir, Augusta M. Olafsdottir) – 18th November 2021
This Icelandic movie sheds some light on food waste and “disposable” fashion, specifically “fast fashion”, finally suggesting some eco-friendly initiatives. Some students from the I.I.S. C. Olivetti (Technical High School) came to watch the movie and, after breaking the ice, asked questions and provided some interesting food for thought during the Q&A time after the movie was screened.
- The biggest little farm (directed by John Chester) – 2nd December 2021
Guest: Stefano Scavino, a farmer seeking rare and traditional seeds, owner of Dui Puvrun farm.
It took 8 years to make this documentariy feature, which is focusing on a couple who chose to build a farm from scratch, with the aim to grow crops and breed animals in a sustainable way. Some fifty students from the Cagliero Institute (middle school) came to watch the movie and finally had a conversation with the guest.
- Kamchatka bears. Life begins (directed by Vladislav Grishin, Irina Zhuravleva) – 3rd December 2021
Guest: Cristina Falchero, graduate in natural sciences
This movie retraces the first 7 months of life of some bear cubs, which are introduced by a short animation. Almost one hundred students from Ivrea’s primary schools (Don Milani, Nigra and Olivetti institutes) came to watch the movie. The kids were highly interested and asked a number of questions to the guest.
Projections for the general public
- The great green wall (directed by Jared P. Scott) – 14th December 2021
Guests: Luca Mercalli (meteorologist, climatologist and contributor to the public understanding of science) and Nevio Perna (member of the Legambiente Dora Baltea Club – Supervisory Body)
This documentary, set in Sub-Saharian Africa, looks at the realization of the Great Green Wall that, once complete, will be the largest living structure on the planet. Some one hundred people came to watch the movie, which was preceded by a conversation between Luca Mercalli and Nevio Pernai who discussed Climate Change and what anyone can do to lend a hand to the environment.
- BUGS (directed by Andreas Johnsen) – 21st October 2021
The first movie of this film showcase tells the story of a Danish NGO travelling the world to find out more about eatable insects. The purpose of this quest is to understand to what extent entomophagy is sustainable. The “Gaia… Il tempo stringe!” project will be presented before the movie is screened. Some teachers from Ivrea’s schools and Piffero magazine journalists were part of the audience.
- Océans, le mystère plastique (directed by Vincent Perazio) – 18th November 2021
Guest: Franco Borgogno, journalist, photographer and nature guide.
The purpose of this documentary-feature is to draw attention on plastic micro-particales that are not just infesting the planet but also living beings. Franco Borgogno gave a talk before the movie was screened where he discussed his research work and also showed some plastic waste, still perfectly preserved despite being many decades old.
Bra and Cherasco (Italy)
Bra – Cinema Vittoria Multisala
In collaboration with Slow Food and Cinemambiente, the Cinema Vittoria Multisala in the Piedmontese town of Bra organized the CINEFOOD festival, a series of screenings held over five evenings between November 16 and December 14, 2021. Accompanied by moderator Iacopo Zorniotti, the audience included students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo and from the “Velso Mucci” and “I.I.S. Ernesto Guala” high schools (the latter were also involved in the training project organized in collaboration with the school and the cinema) as well as local residents. They were invited to explore issues around food sustainability, looking first locally and then globally. The evenings proved highly popular, with an average attendance of 160 audience members.
Each event was structured around three main elements: screening, guests and tasting. The following format was used:
- Audience welcomed into the cinema and given headphones for the simultaneous translation.
- Program introduced by the moderator.
- Film screening (in the original language).
- Conversation with guests and the moderator on the theme of the evening, followed by questions from the audience, with simultaneous translation into English and Italian.
- Tasting in the cinema foyer with themed local products.
Below, more details on the individual evening events:
Antico Stil Novo – Tuesday November 16, 2021
The festival kicked off with a local perspective, first showing the documentary At-traction Animal (2016, 15 ‘, directed by R. Schellino and M. Gala), about the use of animals for agricultural work in inaccessible places, as a replacement for expensive machinery. The screening was followed by a conversation with the director, Remo Schellino, and Isa De Caria. The evening continues with the documentary Juice of Life (2019, 40′, directed by J. Sobremazas), a portrait of the nearby Valli Unite cooperative. In conversation with the moderator and the audience, Daniele Carmi, Valli Unite’s agricultural manager, and Elizabeth Paul, the livestock and slaughter manager, shared their direct experiences. The evening ended in the cinema foyer with a tasting of Valli Unite wines and cured meats.
Vino Ribelle – Tuesday November 23, 2021
The theme for this evening was “Vino Ribelle: Artisanal Agriculture in an Eco(il)logical World,” and it presented the issue of natural wines and market dynamics through the documentary Natural Resistance (2014, 85′, directed by J. Nossiter). After the screening, Maddalena Schiavone spoke on behalf of Slow Wine, while Ilaria Bellotti, owner of Cascina degli Ulivi (Novi Ligure) a winery and farm featured in the documentary, shared her experiences. The debate explored the theme of biodynamic agriculture as a bold response to a production system that does not protect the well-being of the soil and the links between the quality of the land, the quality of the product and the quality of our health. The evening concluded in the cinema foyer with a tasting of wines, cured meats and taralli produced by Cascina degli Ulivi.
Light in the Shadows – Tuesday November 30, 2021
The third evening, “Light in the Shadows: Sustainable Coffee for a Bright Future,” attracted a record turnout for the screening of the documentary Shade Grown Coffee (2020, 75′, directed by A. Kinnunen). The film deals with the ability to break the mold and imagine coffee plantations in the shade of forests, an effective system that prevents deforestation and protects biodiversity. It was followed by a debate with the moderator and two guests: Paolo Panero, owner of the renowned specialty coffee shop Bottega delle Delizie in Bra, and Emanuele Dughera, head of the Slow Food Coffee Coalition. After questions from the engaged and curious audience, the evening concluded with a tasting in the foyer of caffeine-free Bolivian coffee flower infusion (curated by Bottega delle Delizie) and accompanied by Ethiopian coffee cookies (made by Bra’s Battaglino restaurant). Many of the audience members followed the organizers’ suggestion and brought their own cups for the tasting in order to save the waste of disposable (albeit compostable) cups.
Agrimonìa – Monday December 6, 2021
The fourth evening also continued the international trajectory, with a screening of the California-shot film The Biggest Little Farm (2018, 91′, directed by J. Chester). The title of the evening, “Agrimonìa: The Conscious Balance Between Man and Nature” was inspired by the ten-year experience of biodynamic conversion of the farm that features in the documentary. After learning about new systems of production and consumption that allow us to get the most out of the earth without exhausting it, the audience got involved in the debate with the evening’s guests, Paola Migliorini, professor of agroecology at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, and Marco Bozzolo, Lawrence Garrone and Stefano Vegetabile, producers from the “Alveare che dice sì” circuit in Bra.
The evening concluded with a tasting of chestnut cake and chestnut spread (Azienda Agricola Marco Bozzolo) on corn and buckwheat biscuits (Azienda Agricola Nuove Rotte) accompanied by “Bré de poum e prus” pear and apple juice (Azienda Agricola Anna Arneodo), curated by the “Alveare che dice sì” producers.
Deep Immersion – Tuesday December 14, 2021
The CINEFOOD finale took a reflective slant. Through the screening of The Dusk Chorus (2017, 62′, directed by N. Šaravanja and A. D’Emilia), viewers were able to immerse themselves in a poetic and sensory journey, discovering fragile ecosystems and learning how our environment can be protected. The theme of the evening, “Deep Immersion, Grasping the Elusive,” was developed by the moderator in conversation with Nicola Perullo—philosopher, essayist and professor of esthetics at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo—who accompanied the audience in reflecting on the relationship between humanity and the nature on which it is dependent. The conversation took place against the backdrop of a forest-themed plant display, created in collaboration with Bra’s Gorna plant nursery, and the festive tasting brought the series to a sweet close with apple-brulè (Azienda Agricola ‘Le Drupe’, Piobesi d’Alba) and artisan panettone from Bra (Panegiro, Bra). Audience members received a complimentary postcard with four recipes using wild herbs from the woods, accompanied by watercolor illustrations by UNISG student Mallory Cerkleski.
Cherasco – Galateri Cinema
Held in the Piedmontese town of Cherasco, the festival “CINEFOOD – the cinema that feeds,” featured a calendar of five Sunday screenings, between November 21 and December 19, 2021, and also included meetings, nature walks and workshops for children with themes related to the environment. Every Sunday, the Galateri Cinema in Cherasco would open at 4pm for a welcome during which a Merenda del Riuso (a zero-waste “reuse snack”) was served, followed by activities and discussions at 5pm and screenings at 6pm.
Sunday November 21, 2021
The first event began in the morning, at 9.30am, with a meeting in front of the town hall for the nature walk “Looking for Traces of Animals along the River” by Dr. Tibaldi, along the path of Rio Crosio to the river Stura.
At 5pm, at the cinema, a debate was held with Dario Leone, director of the Cinema Office of the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, on the theme “Sustainability, Sensitivity and Care of the Environment.” The speakers talked about the changing role of viewers, consumers and social media users and the ability to follow new narratives of sustainability.
This was followed by a screening of the film Dark Waters by Todd Haynes (USA, 2019).
Sunday November 28, 2021
The second CINEFOOD event featured Vittorio Castellani, aka Chef Kumalé, a freelance journalist and food designer who is considered Italy’s top expert in world food and ethnic cuisine. During the meeting “Entomophagy: At the Table with Insects,” he talked about crickets, grasshoppers and bamboo caterpillars, just a few of the dozens of varieties of edible insects that are eaten all over the world.
The film BUGS by Andreas Johnsen (Denmark, 2016) was shown afterwards.
Sunday December 5, 2021
Meteorologist, climatologist, academic and science communicator Luca Mercalli held a meeting entitled “Climate and Ecological Crisis: There Is No More Time!” to talk about how we must deal with the climate and environment now if we don’t want to transform planet Earth, the only one we have, into a place hostile to the life of our young generations.
This was followed by a screening of the film The Human Element by Matthew Testa (USA, 2018).
Sunday December 12, 2021
“Soil Regeneration” was the theme of the fourth event, run by Stefano Vegetabile, anthropologist, farmer, baker and coordinator of the agricultural project Nuove Rotte. During the meeting he talked about alternative and innovative techniques for cultivation and using soil. During the afternoon there was also an activity for children to create and paint clay objects.
At 6pm, the film Kiss the Ground by Josh and Rebecca Tickell (USA/France/China/Uganda/Zimbabwe, 2020) was shown.
Sunday December 19, 2021
For the last CINEFOOD event, LaCasaRotta ran a creative workshop, “Color with Herbs” on painting with herbs, vegetables and spices for children aged 5 to 11. At 5pm, an online event was held with Mohammed Ba, actor, writer and cultural mediator, “The Anchorage of Coevolution and Interdependence in Crisis Time,” about how the new youth consciousness is pushing the world’s rulers to change political paradigms in the postmodern era and asking if it possible to change the world without learning to protect ethnic, cultural, religious and environmental diversity.
This was followed by a screening of the film The Great Green Wall by Jared P. Scott (UK, 2019).
A selection of films from the CINE catalog was screened during Cheese, Slow Food’s international celebration of all things dairy, held in the Piedmontese town of Bra from September 17 to 20, 2021, to launch the Bra-Cherasco hub.
The CINE program was hosted in the Biodiversity House, one of the event’s key venues. The theme of Cheese 2021, “Consider the Animals,” was explored with the help of herders, cheesemakers and experts, as the screenings investigated our relationship with the animal world from multiple points of view. Every day during the event, an “Aperitif at the Cinema” was held in the early evening, with a total of four screenings. Their objective was to broaden the public’s view and share with them the experiences of the many heroes who, in their own small way, are working for a better planet.
Also as part of Cheese, on September 18 Cinema Vittoria organized the screening of the film The Harvest, about the migrant workers, especially Indian Sikhs, who are exploited every day by the agrifood industry. This was followed by a debate during which activists and workers could share their stories of labor exploitation. In collaboration with Slow Food, a lunch of typical Indian dishes was served afterwards. Cinema Vittoria organized this event to try to raise awareness about the exploitation of migrant labor.