“The nuns’ olive grove” a film produced and created by the Leonardo Da Vinci Institute of Milazzo


By John

Cinema: the first film in Sicily produced and created entirely by the Leonardo Da Vinci school institute in Milazzo will be screened at the Trifiletti Theater next Friday 1st December. The feature film, L’Oliveto delle nuns’, shot between Milazzo and Capo Peloro with staff and students of the School guided by some professionals, made use of the contributions of the Ministries of Culture, Education and Merit, and will be presented in Rome on 5 December at the Farnese Cinema for the national premiere. A film produced and created entirely by the “Itet “Leonardo Da Vinci” educational institute of Milazzo, winner of the Cinema for School 2022 call, with contributions from the Ministry of Education and Thanks to the Ministry for Culture, it will be screened for the cinema premiere next Friday 1 December at the Cine Teatro Trifiletti in Milazzo. The Mamertine School was chosen in the ‘Visioni Fuori Luogo’ section, as part of the national cinema and images plan for schools. The feature film, with the screenplay and direction of the talented Luciangela Gatto, will then be presented in Rome at the Cinema Farnese, for the national launch. Its creation made use of the activity of professionals from the audiovisual world supported by students and teachers, and school staff included in every sector of the production chain. The production made use of valuable collaborations such as: the IPSAA Partner School “F. Leonti” of Barcellona, ​​the Municipality of Milazzo, the Foundation of Baron Lucifero of San Nicolò, the Capo Milazzo Marine Protected Area, the Milazzese Society of Homeland History, O2 Italia, Slow Food – Condotta Peloritani Tirrenici APS and the Conservatory of Music ” Cherubini” in Florence. Next Friday at the Trifiletti at 7.00 pm there will be the inauguration of the exhibition with props and immediately after the institutional greetings with the speeches of prof. Stefania Scolaro, Headmaster of the “Itet Leonardo Da Vinci” of Milazzo, and prof. ssa Luciangela Gatto director and screenwriter of the feature film. There will be a screening of the film at 8pm. In addition to civil, military and religious authorities, the event will be attended by the writer Nunzio Primavera, author of the novel of the same name published by Pendragon on which the film is based. The feature film will be shown again on Saturday 2 December at 7.00 pm in a meeting intended for fit citizens free up to the permitted capacity of the room; on Monday 4th the free screening will be dedicated to the third classes of the secondary schools of Milazzo starting from 8.30 and will end around 11.00.

The film, which lasts 90 minutes, saw the participation as actors of Giada Giordano, Francesco Iarrera, Giovanni Giuffrè, Aurora Grasso, Salvo Cappellano, Chiara Barbagallo, Domenico Barba, Giuseppe Pollicina, Mariadele Martinez, Giada Vadalà. Director of photography was Nunzio Gringeri, editing by Flavio Ricci, production: ITET “Leonardo da Vinci” of Milazzo, general organization: Rosa Gagliani, Antonio Patti, Production Manager: Stefania Scolaro. The film tells of a group of students who prepare to make their career choices and that they will have to make important decisions. It is the end of May, the pupils of the fifth class are thinking about their final exams. Tindara La Torre known as Susy who attends a private school in Rome in boarding school with the Ursulines, has returned to home in Sicily, in the villa on the outskirts of Messina, to study for the exam; her best friend Francesca joins her from Rome. Their days are intertwined with those of her Multari cousins, Ciccio and Carmelo, who are also high school graduates. The four young people for various reasons will find themselves entangled in the dispute over a large olive grove belonging to the Madonnella del Monte monastery where there is Superior Arcangela who has been trying for some time to keep at bay the claims of a local entrepreneur, Don Pasqualino La Torre, who would like to transform the monastery and olive grove into a large luxury resort for foreign guests. For its survival, the monastery is supported by the sale of oil which is also sent to the Pope and by the proceeds of the jobs done by the nuns; but now there is the new Superior Angela Maria, who has arrived in the convent from the outside world and from a life of prestige who, making use of her experience, will give a new course to events, determining a different awareness in Tindara (Susy). Superior Angela Maria and Tindara are in fact the example of how women are always the first to grasp changes and make decisive, even if painful, choices to start a new course, in the name of good for each of us and of ‘remainder’ , understood as that strong bond with one’s land that accompanies us wherever we go. By virtue of the courageous and innovative choices of the women, the olive grove will remain in the property of the monastery, it will become a resource for the entire community and for the territory and the Pope will always have his oil.

The life experiences and thoughts of these young people, who are confronted with the world of adults, give the opportunity to reflect on the activities generating virtuousness that the territory in which they live can offer, such as the valorisation of agricultural work and the management of large Beauty in which they live carelessly, indicating the right path in women and in the strength of female entrepreneurship. A productive prerequisite that has characterized the entire project since its inception, was to involve the school, students and teachers together with the entire school community, in the creation of a cinematographic product with the characteristics of a low budget production but in the professional logic of mainstream production intended for the cinema, led by director and screenwriter Luciangela Gatto. The choice to start from the adaptation of a novel already published and set in the places in the area where the school is located, allowed the comparison between the point of view of the writer Nunzio Primavera and that perceived by its inhabitants, students and teachers , highlighting the importance of a point of view and a theme underlying each look. A film for the theater as a tool for critical analysis of the present and its territory and not just a tool for entertainment. The making of the film accompanied the teaching activity of the entire 2022/2023 school year, becoming an example of a permanent school-laboratory through the extraordinary opportunity to make a film with the criteria and tools of mainstream professional activity, thanks to the the activity of professionals in the sector who supported students and teachers in every phase of the creation process, from reading the novel to its transposition into images and sounds, also participating as actors. The events told are set in the area between Milazzo and Capo Peloro in Messina, indicated by the Homeric myth as the coast of the Sirens, brought to life in the film by the voice of the Sirens which emerges to comment on the extreme moments, of joy and pain, of the facts represented. The adaptation of the novel, carried out by a professional in the sector with the participation of students and teachers, it highlighted the cultural, historical and environmental references, between the great naturalistic beauty and the great suffering of the bombings of World War II which redesigned personal behaviors and ambitions from the post-war period onwards. The facts represented in the fiction are alternated with archive material of historical facts and customs. This experience, which combines knowledge and know-how, facing production difficulties as challenges that put personal resources to the test, with courage and perseverance, was above all an opportunity to instill confidence in the school’s training action and in its action. to support the construction of critical thinking that leads the new generations to make free and autonomous choices following their own passions, of primary importance for Sicily, rich in environmental and intellectual resources but which very often forces emigration due to structural deficiencies or fragilities of all sectors. The students of the “Music for film” Masterclass of the “Luigi Cherubini” Conservatory of Florence, coordinated by maestro Giovanni del Vecchio, held by maestro Dario Marianelli (winner of the prize Oscar and Golden Globe for the soundtrack of Atonement 2008), composer for numerous international productions awarded at festivals around the world.