Today, Wednesday April 3rd 2019, press conference presenting Fantastic Visions took place – the new film festival dedicated to schools of Ravenna. In the intimate and cosy location of Chiostri Francescani, speakers and journalists reunited to talk about the news characterising this peculiar event.
Speakers who intervened during the press conference were: Maria Martinelli (Head of Communication at Start Cinema), Franco Calandrini (Artistic Director of Fantastic Visions), Agostina Melucci (Director Office X – Ravenna Territorial Scope), Paola Di Natale (Head of Fantastic Visions Laboratories) and Maria Grazia Bartolini (Educational Coordinator Municipality of Ravenna ). In the end Elsa Signorino from Culture Assesorship brought greeting from Ravenna City Council).

Fantastic Visions represents an absolute news within the artistic and educational city offer. The Festival will be infact dedicated to school education, being an initiative realised within the National Plan Cinema for School promoted by MIUR and MIBAC. So schools of all types and levels of the Municipality of Ravenna will be the privileged target of the Festival programme and contents. But what type of films will be screened?
The Festival will explore fantastic cinema and all its declinations. “An aware, guided, fruition concerns various aspects – cognitive, aestethic , but also emotional; it expands the range of emotions, both those that are good and those that are not so good.” – as MIUR Director Agostina Melucci said – “Cinema and its best projections educate to formulate interpretations, favouring critical thinking – because the Lumières used to transmit culture through their films – so that appreciate an art piece is a very emotive offer“.

How is the event going to be structured? Visioni Fantastiche conceives an International Competition for Short and Feature Films, divided into five sections corresponding to different age groups which young Festival viewers belong to. We don’t talk anymore about primary, middle and high schools, but about wider growing phases allowing to better catch both physycal and psychological change that is taking place. Therefore the competing sections, and their corresponding juries called Visionaries, will be: 6+, 9+, 12+, 16+ and 18+. So here lies the real news and beating heart of the Festival: the juries! Young viewers will hold the role of jurors and assign awards to Best Films – an approach that will let them gain a greater independence in film critique and fruition.
For this reason the educational project represented by Visioni Fantastiche is considerably innovative, because it aims to grow viewers that are more and more aware of modern audiovisual language, equipping them with necessary tools to understand the current digital revolution. The hope is to facilitate participation also thanks to the public fund that Education Assessorship of Ravenna Municipality made available to school institutions.

Besides the International Competition, the Festival programme is rich in many other proposals such as laboratoriesMaster Classes and the interactive space. This wide range of activities will allow students not only to learn the theory of cinema, but also to acquire practical skills to actually make movies. Another fundamental contribution will be brought by the meetings with filmmakers and exprerts from film and education industries, that will enrich Visioni Fantastiche offer with their personal artistic experience.
But it doesn’t end here: Fantastic Premieres is a section dedicated to the programming of national premieres; Tribute to the Masters proposes a retrospective on animation genious Hayao Myiazaki and finally Special Selection consists of a very valuable film choice coming from Oberhausen Kurtzfimtage Film Festival.

But who’s behind all this? Co-op society Start Cinema has the merit of having conceived and realised this new film festival. Already organiser of the famous Ravenna Nightmare Film Fest, Start Cinema decided to extend its educational activity – initially promoted through Nightmare School initiatives within Ravenna Nightmare – in a stand-alone event. Nightmare School used to be articulated in a series of formative projects, realised with the objective of stimulating knowledfe and love for film language among youngsters. So the birth of Visioni Fantastiche consistutes the culmination of a long path in school education, becoming one of the few festivals entirely dedicated to students in the national scene. Anyway, Ravenna Nightmare must not be forgotten: the historic Ravenna film festival dedicated to the dark side of movies will come back this year with its 17th edition, right after the conclusion of Visioni Fantastiche, to which it will be inextricably linked.

What’s left to say? The initiative of Start Cinema is extremely original: it intrigues for the novelty of the proposal and the courage of the idea. Planning a first edition is not easy, but it leaves great areas of freedom. Visioni Fantastiche aims infact to become a unique event, not only for the city where is going to be held, but also for the entire Emilia-Romagna region and the national scene of film festivals. Such an event does not exist in the territory, but it’s the very originality of the educational offer the real Festival strength.