How cinema represented opera: this is the theme on which the Messina Film Festival will be resurrected

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By John

The Messina Film Festival, after a long suspension, returns from 1 to 8 December. The Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, the Sala Laudamo and other city spaces will host the event. From this year the Festival is entirely dedicated to the relationship between Cinema and Opera, with the analysis, through an intense and varied program, of the connections that have always been particularly important between these two art forms since the silent era. It benefits from the support of the EAR Teatro di Messina and the regional Tourism, Sport and Entertainment department led by Elvira Amata. The Artistic Direction is handled by Ninni Panzera.

The festival is divided into various non-competitive sections with a contemporary Panorama featuring films by great filmmakers whose works were set in the world of opera: Bernardo Bertolucci, Luchino Visconti, Woody Allen, just to name a few. And then a tribute to Marco Bellocchio, to his passion for opera and to Maria Callas, on the centenary of her birth, her impressive artistic activity seen through the mirror of cinema, with the prestigious collaborations with directors Franco Zeffirelli and Pier Paolo Pasolini. An exhibition and retrospective on the Catanian composer Vincenzo Bellini with six films which, starting from the mid-1930s and for the following twenty years, dominated the box office takings of the Italian and international film scene.
The selection of three silent films taken from as many operas is very evocative. The films will be accompanied by live music performed by various ensembles. And also a conference organized by representatives of the University of Messina for an in-depth analysis of the importance that opera has had in the world of cinema, a presentation of the books that have investigated this relationship over time and then guests, national and international, who will tell their personal experiences in these two important artistic sectors.
It is a unique Festival on the national and international scene which aims to become a point of reference for the many fans of opera and cinema. The event will make use of the collaboration of all the cultural associations that operate in the musical and cinematographic fields in Messina, the Film Studies Center of Rome and the Coordination of Film Festivals in Sicily. Finally, contemporary creativity will be measured in a short film competition in which the opera through its characters or arias will find life in the short story.
The Messina Film Festival will be a “plural, rigorous and green” event that will look very carefully at environmental sustainability with the adoption of measures in compliance with the guidelines adopted by the Ministry of Culture.