“Captain’s Log”, Final Evening

In every film on adventures at sea there is always a scene when one of the protagonists says the fateful phrase: “Land ho!” It happens in all of the best movies from “Mutiny on the Bounty” to “Treasure Island”.

This exclamation is perfectly fitting even when it comes from the voice of Maremetraggio, Trieste’s International Film Shorts Festival, which has concluded an edition which can definitely be considered a triumph.

On the evening of Saturday, July 10th, the Festival’s organizers, Maddalena Mayneri and Chiara Valenti Omero, visibly excited yet happy, presented a brief overview of their fifth adventure in the sign of short films.

Then came the long award ceremony attended also by the Regional Councillor for Culture, Roberto Antonaz, and the famous film critics, Roberto Nipoti, Paolo Lughi and Sergio Grmek Germani.

After the inevitable moments of suspense which are the spice of events like this, the host of the evening, Andro Merkù, announced the names of the winners of the 2004 edition.The Best Film Prize to “La destinazione” – The Destination – by Piero Sanna, an amateur director who with a cast of unknown actors was able to create a moral fable of Neorealist inspiration, was well-deserved. The Best Actor Prize was awarded by the jury to Elio Germano, the protagonist of the film “Liberi” – Free – by Gianluca Maria Tavarelli “for having succeeded in interpreting a complex and multi-faceted character with great artistic maturity”.

Gianmarco Tognazzi, much appreciated for his performance in Ricky Tognazzi and Simona Izzo’s film “Io no” – Not Me – tied up for the prize.A radiant Sabrina Impacciatore received the Ippocampo Best Actress Prize for Giovanni Morricone’s film “Al cuore si comanda” – You Can’t Command Your Heart. A victory marked Great Britain for the film short “Def” by Ian Clark, a thought-provoking social fable on diversity. It tied up for the nomination to Best Film Short with “Vacances” by Nicolas Dufranne, which was also highly appreciated for the intense metaphysical trait.A special mention went to an extremely ingenious and entertaining Italian work: “L’uomo più buono del mondo” – The Best Man in the World – by Edo Tagliavini, which was also one of the public’s favourites.The dedication for the Kodak Prize to the Best Italian Film Short (to “Racconto di guerra” – War Tale – by Mario Amura) showed great foresight: “because war kills the present and the future”.

The prestigious Ciak Critics Prize to the Best Film Short was also awarded to “War Tale” by Mario Amura; a second special mention went to “Vacances” by Nicolas Dufranne, a work that met with the enthusiastic approval of the most sensitive members of the audience.The Maremetraggio staff has been able to rely on the tangible contribution to works by young film-makers provided by Sky Lab, which purchases film shorts and publishes a monthly magazine.

Sky TV also awarded its Prize, which went to two Italian works: “il regalo di Natale ” – The Christmas Present – by Daniele de Plano and “The Best Man in the World” by Edo Tagliavini.The Anec Audience Award consisting in the distribution of the film short in movie theatres went to two films: “Baldosas” by Marc Andres and “The Best Man in the World” by Edo Tagliavini.The Corallino section has always been one of Maremetraggio’s highlights thanks to the keen eye it has always had on young people and children; the Trieste Nord Rotary Club Prize to the best film short in this category went to the film “Una giornata” – A Day – by the “Eva Mameli Calvino” Vocational High School for Accountants of Cagliari. It takes its inspiration from works by Luigi Pirandello.Two special mentions were awarded to the film shorts “Le scarpe nuove” – The New Shoes – by the “Tommaso D’Oria” Vocational Technical High School of Ciriè (Turin) and “Bulli, bulloni e merletti” – “Bullies, Bolts and Laces” by the School Board no. 3 of Benevento.The Turin students were awarded for their “capacity to provide a visual picture of a serious social issue with intelligence and without rhetoric while offering at the same picture of real life.” The Benevento students were awarded instead for the “great quality of the direction, editing, score and originality as well as for the social importance of the issue dealt with”.

A host of prizes were awarded also in the INCE category to foreign productions. The first prize went to the film “The Wheel” by Victor Asliuk from Belarus for the poetic consistency of form in which the author finds the right energy in a context of isolation. The second plaque went to the film “Bucaresti-Wien 8:15” by the Rumanian director Catalin Mitulescu. It was praiseworthy for the skill shown in rendering the emotional tension of the characters in a cinema creation, in which technique becomes the author’s means of expression.

The third prize was awarded to the Croatian film short “Life is like a dream” by Jadranko Lopatic with the following dedication: “because in the wake of the great tradition of Croatian cartoon films it shows a striking sensitivity in its making”.

The other foreign film productions that were appreciated at the Festival included “Bezi-zeko-bezi” by the Serb Pavle Vuckovich; “Dream work” by the Austrian Peter Tscherhassky and “Bruxsel – Sofia – Bruxsel” by Victoria Marinov, a Bulgarian director. The three films received a special mention for the skill of their authors in blending their local cinema tradition with elegant visual solutions and topical issues.Finally, the Key Tre Viaggi Prize for the audience’s favourite full-length film went to two movies: “Liberi” – Free – by Gianluca Maria Tavarelli and “Al cuore si comanda” – You Can Command Your Heart – by Giovanni Morricone. The evening’s rich program was closed by the preview of the non-competing film short “Puoi chiamarmi Virgilio” – You Can Call Me Virgil – by Marco Carlucci.

A special event was the projection of the film “Sei come sei” – You Are What You Are – by various authors for yet another truly all-encompassing program.In conclusion, all we can do is highlight once again the prestige and cultural value of Maremetraggio, which has now become an essential showcase for a whole generation of young authors and film lovers. In our modest opinion, when you watch a Belgian, German or Russian film – be it short or full-length, you are taken into a microcosm, which makes you become a Belgian, German or Russian for the length of the film.

That’s the magic of the cinema; it goes straight to the heart of those who watch it without any sort of preliminary filter.Maremetraggio will always be a memorable event – it’s actually the king of events when it comes to the direct and extremely close contact with actors and directors. We were very pleased to see Gianmarco Tognazzi, Francesco Maselli, Ricky Tognazzi, Simona Izzo and the other guests at this year’s edition spend their time with an audience that was incredibly warm: this is another significant and unforgettable aspect.

The appointment is set for Maremetraggio 2005 and once again we hope that we can count on the same warm feelings.

Riccardo Visintin

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