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Cooke's 7th year of supporting Terre Di Cinema as a technical partner.

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By: Joe Woolley  |   2 min de lectura

Terre Di Cinema (TdC) is a unique initiative that provides film students from all over the world with an opportunity to come together for a two-week Cine-Campus to learn and shoot short films in Sicily, Italy. 

 Since 2011, TdC has hosted 235 young filmmakers – directors and camera persons – from 36 different countries, who have shot 99 short films. 

 We spoke to Campus Director and cinematographer Vincenzo Condorelli, AIC, about what makes Terra Di Cinema so special and unique. 

 “It’s many things all at once; but mostly it’s the people who make Terre Di Cinema. It’s a pool of incredibly talented young filmmakers from all over the world that come together for an intensive, hands-on, practical, and goal-oriented programme.” 

 The campus is entirely dedicated to the art and craft of cinematography and is endorsed by the Italian Society of Cinematographers (AIC) and the Italian National Film School. “I started the campus under the guidance and inspiration of Luciano Tovoli, AIC, ASC. He is one of Italy’s greatest cinematographers.” 

 The students are split into departments: directing (production) department and the camera department. The directing department students also double up on other jobs on other production, becoming AD’s, Location Manager or general production staff. Whilst camera department members double up as lighting crew, 1st or 2nd AC’s, camera operators and or camera department grips. 

 “They live together for 15 days and at the end of it they have produce twelve short films in six days. It’s an intensive prep and educational programme followed by and intensive shooting schedule” 

 “What distinguishes TdC is that directors come onboard with their own scripts and choose sets within the locations proposed during the application process. The directors go through a script editing phase before the Campus starts, so the scripts are locked by the time they reach the Cine Campus.” “It’s for cinematographers, created by cinematographers, but with the essential fundamental participation of directors.” 

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All filming at TdC is captured entirely on film, and it is an important aspect of the programme.  

 Vincenzo continues, “I believe it’s an essential experience for the new generation of filmmakers, to shoot on film. I would say it has become the most defining trait of TdC. It’s not about nostalgia, it’s about the discipline and the values that come together when shooting on film. Because film inherently teaches a distinct set of values and skills. It’s goes with the territory when shooting on film. Limited film stock homes a director’s craft. Managing fixed film stock focuses a DOP’s planning. Younger students learn the technical and set protocols that only film brings. From loading film correctly to onset camera maintenance. It all goes into the mix to produce an intoxicating experience.” 

 “On a granular level even the notion off thinking more carefully about your T-stop, you can bring back depth of field as a narrative tool. I have seen a tendency for the last 10 years or so to shoot wide open, then depth of field becomes a given, and it’s no longer used as a narrative tool.” 

 “It is essential for the students on our programme to use the best tools available in our industry, so that they can better understand how to master our craft. I would say the technical tools are fundamental and we are blessed to have the top of the industry supporting us.” 

 This year Cooke Optics supported TdC with the new Varotal/i FF zooms, as well as a set of MiniS4/i spherical lenses. Cooke European Sales Manager, Jamie Cluer, attended the Cine-Campus giving a presentation supporting the educational part of the programme, along with answering technical and practical questions from the camera department students. 

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At the end of the fifteen days Cine-Campus, the enrolled directors receive a 4k scan from the Augustus Colour Lab in Roma from which to edit their short film to a deadline. All rights to the films are owned by each director – but another integral element of Terra Di Cinema is for cinematographers to have authorship rights of the final film. 

 “We have a provision for the core authorship of the cinematographer, meaning that if the cinematographer requires the material they can use it at any time, at any level, to any extent. This is linked to my personal involvement in IMAGO campaign in several countries in Europe to ensure co-authorship of the image for the cinematographers. This principle has already been introduced at TdC.”, said Vincenzo. 

 TdC enrols 36 students each year, with more than half already at the entry-level filmmaker stage of their careers, who are looking to home a particular skill or skills specific to shooting on film. 

 “They discover how simple, beautiful, and magical the process of shooting on film is, and many fall in love.  Some use the opportunity to further their carers by entering their projects at festivals. For example, Director Olga Torrico and cinematographer Eleonora Contessi won a best technical achievement award at the Venice Film festival in 2018. I know of many cases where people continue shooting on film after leaving TdC. It is a great reward for us at TdC. 

  “Another contributing factor I have not mentioned that makes TdC unique, is the support and contribution made by not only the support staff based in Italy. But also, by the visiting manufacturing and company professionals who take the time to support us with their knowledge and time. Plus, the amazing contribution made by the BVK (German Cinematography Society) who send one cinematographer tutor and one camera tutor every year.  

 The Terre Di Cinema campus happens annually either the end of May / start of June or at the start of September in Sicily, Italy. For more details go to their web site