n[ever]land :: digital paths
year 2007 – fifth edition

Casa del Cinema in Rome, 16th-18th march
- free admission -

From the 16th to the 18th of March 2007, the fifth edition of n[ever]land – digital paths  will take place in Casa del Cinema in Rome. This event – created and directed by Enzo Aronica and produced by Associazione Trio Alma Mahler with the kind support of IMAIE (the Institute for the Protection of Artists and Performers)– explores the implementation of digital technology in art and communication. This project, characterized by contamination and experimentation, tackles topical Italian and international trends and looks into the future developments (and into the contradictions) of a technology whose potential elaboration is infinite.  As it was in all past editions, admittance will again be absolutely free.

n[ever]land is a very successful event which has turned into a habitual Roman meeting point for experts in this field, journalists, filmmakers, students and fans from all over the world – and it has moved from its original location in the Sala Multimediale (Multimedia Room) of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, to the MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Rome, and it has finally reached its present location in the Casa del Cinema (House of Cinema) in Villa Borghese. Various institutions have showed sensitivity and much interest in this event from the very beginning. As it has happened in all previous edition, the 2007 edition will be sponsored again byComune di Roma - Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali (Department of Cultural Policies), and by various Ministries, by three Universities of Rome (Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”, Università degli Studi di Roma “Roma Tre”) and by several Embassies, foreign academies and international cultural institutes.

Having hosted important previews – like the preview of Bubble by Steven Soderbergh – as well as international events, workshops, screenings, projects and exotica from the world of digital art, this year n[ever]land presents a extensive programme, a branched and absolutely unpredictable path, where modern visual arts and the most ancient performing arts criss-cross, as well as traditional publishing and on line communication, arranged in the usual structure with four main theme areas into which the event is divided: DIGITAL SCREENS (the new frontiers of storytelling through images); DIGITAL CLASSROOMS (technologies as an aid to teaching and learning); DIGITAL ARCHIVES (a new way to preserve and enjoy large and small cultural patrimonies); DIGITAL STAGES (new technologies merging with performing arts).

This fifth edition of n[ever]land will host, as Special Guests, Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano, 2007 Academy Awards nominees for Best Make-up for Apocalypto, Mel Gibson’s kolossal on the decline of the Maya civilization. The two Italian make-up artists will fly to the Casa del Cinema from Hollywood after the night of the prestigious Oscars – and after having spent months researching on the ancient inhabitants of Yucatan, visiting those lands, as well as museums and libraries and creating a most accurate reproduction of Maya’s physiognomies, along with their tattoos, hairstyles, physical deformities and body piercing.

During their visit to n[ever]land they will disclose the secrets of their art, showing a workbench to the audience, with torsos, make-up products and materials which they have used for Apocalypto: the instruments of their craft which have taken them from Gibson’s set to Hollywood’s Kodak Theater, “going from Italy’s pictorial tradition – as Vittorio Sodano has explained – to then incorporate all possible innovations”. Signoretti and Sodano were the only Italian nominees at the 79th edition of the Academy Awards along with Honorary Oscar winner Ennio Morricone and nominee for Best Costume Design Milena Canonero for Marie Antoinette.

The International Protagonist of this edition will be Abel Ferrara: the prolific New York-based director of Bad Lieutenant, The Funeral and recently of Mary, will speak of his latest film Go Go Tales at n[ever]land. This film was shot in Cinecittà Studios, and tells the intertwined stories of the customers of a lap dance bar in New York. It features Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, Matthew Modine, and also Italian actors such as Asia Argento, Riccardo Scamarcio, Valeria Golino and Stefania Rocca.

As an exclusive Italian premiere, Casa del Cinema will present  the world’s most prestigious event dedicated to digital images, computer graphics and interactive techniques: directly from Boston (where it has taken place last summer from July 30th to August 3rd ) SIGGRAPH 2006 @ NEVERLAND, an international performance of Images from the world by ACM SIGGRAPH - Milan Professional Chapter, with an introduction by Maria Grazia Mattei - MGM Digital Communication. A selection from Electronic Theater will be presented at n[ever]land featuring international screenings and debates, to compare international creativity and Italian digital products, providing a great opportunity for entertainment, updating and cross fertilization.           

Directly from Los Angeles, as a special guest of n[ever]land, Anthony LaMolinara winner of the Academy Award for achievement in Special Effectsfor Spiderman 2, brings Mina’s new videoclip Alibi to Casa del Cinema, in Rome, in collaboration with Digital Pictures. This animation video is a mix of Live Action and 3D, with Character animation; its original screenplay was written by LaMolinara, who then directed it and created its special effects – and it was shot right there in the Secret Gardens of Villa Borghese. The audience of n[ever]land will have an exclusive chance to watch the Italian preview of the backstage of this video. 

Another Italian exclusive presentation is The best of Ars Electronica 2006, the most prestigious international festival of electronic art, which for over 25 years has been gathering researchers, creative minds and scientists from all over the world in Linz (Austria) in an interdisciplinary platform dedicated to anybody who uses computers as a universal means at the service of creativity.

To make the 2007 programme even more complete with an international overview of the most recent projects, some works from the latest edition of Clermont-Ferrand International Festival of Short Films will be presented. Director Calmin Borel will bring a selection of the best short films of the digital area  “Labo 2007” to Rome. In collaboration with Stefano Martina – ARCIPELAGO – Festival Internazionale di Cortometraggi e Nuove Immagini.

In the Digital Scenes area, Accademia delle Arti e dei Mestieri dello SpettacoloTeatro alla Scala presents an interactive multimedia work – edited by Christian Silva – inspired by the famous 1987 production of Don Giovanni by Mozart directed by Muti  and Strehler – whose purpose is to raise young people’s interest in musical theatre.

In the videodance section, Ariella Vidach and her Milan-based company (Ariella Vidach – AiEP) in collaboration with Mediascena Europa, will present to the audience of n[ever]land the complex process of realization of multimedia performances in which the research on the dance code merges with the interest in themes that involve the relationship between body and technologyapplying motion capture techniques in dance performances. Among these works, the interactive dance productions DANXYmusic and HYBRIDOME, based on new interactive software INCROM (Motion Tracking) and AUXY (Audiosamplersplayer), created by Claudio Prati with the company.

n[ever]land will host the world’s preview of a documentary by Stefano Scialotti Bailo de toda la vita – Maria Pages, biografia de una bailaora, the making of Maria Pages’s new performance “Sevilla”  which follows the great flamenco dancer through her journeys in Tokyo, Madrid, London and Rome, paying her a special homage.

This year the usual digital screens space will be dedicated to the screening of a number of films shot in HD, and will also provide an opportunity for the audience to meet the authors: La radice del male by Silvana Zancolò – one of the very first examples of productions created by a post-production company, UBIK Visual Effects -, The Silver Rope by Fabio Resinaro and Fabio Guaglione, Dark Resurrection by Angelo Licata – a micro-saga created by an entirely self-made production, inspired by the world of Star Wars - and Billo,Il Grand Dakhaar, a film by Laura Muscardin which has won the Premio della Critica (Critics’ Award) at the last Festival of Villerupt, realized through an innovative production system built by Marco Bonini and Jacques Lipkau Goyard with “The Coproducers”, the same system used by Eros Puglielli in the production of his AD project.

To complete this section, the inquiry-film ZERO, Inchiesta sull’11 settembre – (ZERO- an Inquiry on 9/11) will be presented:  it is a filmed investigation on the mysteries of that tragic event which remained unresolved – which will be later commented by its authors Giulietto Chiesa and Franco Fracassi

Following a special screening of one of the highest examples of digital animation, the backstage of Ghost in the shell 2: Innocence will be presented, along with an interview given by director Mamoru Oshii, one of the most interesting figures in Japanese cinematography. This great master managed to introduce the complexity of political fantasy and philosophic-introspective speculation into the world of animation. In his latest action film, Avalon, which was presented as a non-competing film at the 2001 Cannes Film festival, he has used Domino digital editing technology for the first time. Ghost in the shell 2: Innocence is the first animation film that uses this technique. n[ever]land will show various moments of the processing of film during which Japanese animation artists can transfer pencil drawings into a 3D setting with a long and arduous process.

In addition, seven special screenings will be presented in the Finestra IMAIE section, an area entirely dedicated to audio-visual works which have been produced in 2006 thanks to the support of Istituto per la Tutela degli Artisti Interpreti Esecutori. Among these, the short movies Lacrima nera by Vincent Navarra, the story of a woman (actress Ornella Giusto) and her journey “through the paths of soul”, Il Giocoliere by Simone Mariani and Mauro Longoni, a poetic tale about the magical perspective of a street artist, Luce nel pomeriggio by Teresio Spalla, which uses the new HD/PRO Panasonic system (competing for the 2007 David di Donatello), and Adagio by Patrizio Cigliano, silent film written to follow the dramaturgical course of Albinoni’s famous “Adagio”, with cameo performances by Pierfrancesco Favino, Daniele Pecci, Mario Scaccia, Neri Marcorè and Pino Quartullo. Finally, an experimental project inspired by the theatrical version of Federico García Lorca’s work Di qui a cinque anni(When Five Years Pass), Il sogno sopra il tempo by Caterina Genta and Marco Schiavoni, Le parole necessarie by Cinzia Mascoli, 25’ film which describes, through a number of interviews, the urge that drives poets, actors, songwrites, writers and common people to search for words that become an access code to go beyond words, and Avanti il prossimo by Roberto Della Casa, a scornful parable on the metropolitan generosity of an ordinary man,will conclude this event.

Among the protagonists in the field of Italian visual effects for the big screen, the event will welcome PROXIMA - a company which will disclose some digital secrets behind the most recent films by Paolo Virzì, Marco Risi, Mario Monicelli, Giovanni Veronesi and Fausto Brizzi, and will illustrate its experiencewith the  Etruskan Maskahorror film by Ted Nicolau, possibly the first film with a digital monster ever made in Italy - and UBIK Visual Effects - which will present La radice del male, a low-budget noir film shot in HD. These two companies will give the audience of n[ever]land an opportunity to attend a series of workshops, with screenings and demonstrations, concerning visual effects created by using digital techniques.

An overview of broadcasters’ use of digital technology in the production of scientific documentaries and television films in Italy will be presented in order to give an account of present methodologies and of new technical opportunities available, analyzing their limits, values and potential.

Thus, as a guest in this section, n[ever]land will host Gabriele Cipollitti, a Rai director and collaborator of Piero Angela in the “Speciali di Superquark” series. His docu-fiction Stava 19 luglio, tells the story of the Prestavel mine and its mineral processing facilities and retraces the growth of dumping grounds and the mud flow that swept Val di Stava away, using highly sophisticated filming techniques and special effects.

As far as TV series are concerned, Stefano Amatucci - director of Incantesimo and La Squadra – will illustrate some of the first Italian experiences with television films and soap operas shot in HD.

Finally, the Corso di Laurea Specialistica in “Editoria, comunicazione multimediale e giornalismo” of Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia Università di Roma Tor Vergata will be represented at a n[ever]land by the short film Altrove con il suo nome by Silvia Di Domenico and Giulio Latini featuring Sonia Bergamasco (in the  “Digital Screens” section) and by the presentation of Francesca Vannucchi’s research“La diffusione del libro attraverso la rete. Dall’e-book al book trailer”, which will be followed by a national preview of the documentary Un giorno da lettore (in the “Digital Archives” section).