Art on Film at ‘Lo Schermo dell’Arte’ 2017

A scene from Looking Out for Oum Kulthum

Florence’s Lo Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival, held from November 15 – 19, will comprise exhibitions, talks, workshops and above all film premieres on contemporary art (Cinema La Compagnia, Via Cavour 50/r).

A whole day ticket costs €10 and allows the public to attend all events taking place that day, alternatively it is possible to purchase a five-day ticket for the price of €40 (opening night costs €14). All events below will be in English.


The programme also spotlights a series of short films such as 24 Frames (Wed. 15, 9:30 pm), the last masterpiece of Abba Kiarostami, winner of the Palme d’or award in Cannes and The Silver Lion award, is a film made solely from photos taken during the course of his life. Kiarostami expanded the photos into 24 frames, lasting 4 minutes and 39 seconds per tableau, or picture.

The main star of the event, however, will be Egyptian musician and artist Hassan Khan who will provide the audience with a live multilayered musical and art performance Superstructure; using his art work as the stage for his gamelan-style music using predominantly percussive instruments (Wed. 15, 7 pm).

Khan was the winner of The Silver Lion award for the most promising young artist of this year’s Venice Biennale, with his piece Composition for a public park. Other works include Gasworks (London, 2006) and Moving Images (Hong Kong, 2015).   The public can expect to experience a new type of performance. Through synthesizers, laptop manipulations and classic Arabic instruments, Khan’s music will reinforce the mood of his artwork.


Act & Punishment (Fri. 17, 7:10 pm) by Evgenij Mitta, is a documentary film dedicated to the punk-rock movement in Russia. In the name of freedom of expression, a punk-rock band began performing in public places such as subways and cafés, criticizing male chauvinism.

The Dust Channel (2006) by Israeli artist Roee Rosen (Sat. 18, 7 pm) reflects the feelings of being confronted with xenophobia.  The family, which the film focuses on, becomes obsessed with dust and dirt, for them symbolic in a subliminal manner of the desert and the Holot, a local detention center for refugees.

James Crump’s Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco, is a documentary film concerning Antonio Lopez, the most influential fashion illustrator of the 1970s Paris and New York and his colorful and outrageous lifestyle. Crump takes his audience back to the hip ’70s  (Sun. 19, 9:15 pm).


An exhibition will inaugurate on Nov. 14 (6 pm, Galleria delle Carrozze of Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Via Cavour 5), entitled Directing the Real: Artists’ Film and Video in the 2010s, a project created by Leonardo Bigazzi. The event will serve as a preview to the festival and will celebrate its 10th anniversary (on until Dec. 10).

Bringing together the works of 12 international artists specialised in moving images, its aim is to follow the evolution of this form of technology and discover the new formats used today in the area of contemporary video. ‘The modern world, which is becoming more and more altered by screens and electronic technologies, creates a blur between what is real and what is virtual.’ The event will support the new generation of visual artists that question the pertinence of technology in our current society by exhibiting their films, video installations and multichannel works.


The aforementioned exhibition is part of the yearly European project known as VISIO – European Programme on Artists’ Moving Images, a learning course comprising a series of seminars, talks and meetings with artists part of the festival, such as Hassan Khan, dedicated to helping the 12 selected participants to improve and amplify their artistic abilities.

Back at La Compagnia, the VISIO project opens on Wed. 15 at 11 am until 4:30 pm. This part involves a 15-minute presentation of the participant and his or her artwork.

Throughout the week the participants will be attending many talks and events of the festival and are highly encouraged to partake in any discussions.

They will be able to take notes and listen in on Khan’s talk on Thurs. 16 at 3:45 pm focusing on his style of practice.

Other features of the project include ‘The Conversation Room,’ which allows for a one-to-one meeting to be held between the participants, artists and critics where they can discuss their artwork and portfolio. This makes for a perfect opportunity to extend personal growth and one’s network of connections (these sessions are not open to the public).

The 12 European artists will present their work to a final panel and one winner is decided during the last day of the Schermo dell’Arte Film Festival and awarded the Young Talent Acquisition Prize (9 pm). Seven Gravity Collection, specialising in the discovery of new European moving images, will purchase the winner’s work and include it in their selection.


An extra event included in this year’s festival, also headed by Leonado Bigazzi is the Feature Expanded Programme 2017 – European Art Film Strategies. Similar to VISIO, it is an intensive training course for visual artists who wish to develop and produce their first feature film.

As opposed to VISIO that expands only across the duration of the festival, this learning experience lasts a total of six months and has already taken place for its initial week in Manchester’s cinema, theatre and art centre, HOME. The week was followed by online sessions in July and October and finally has its finale at the Schermo dell’Arte Festival.

Each of the 12 participants of this intensive programme is assigned an experienced producer as a tutor who will work with them to develop their film project throughout the entire Feature Expanded 2017 schedule, tutors are; Jacqui Davies, Lisa Marie Russo and Leif Magne Tangen.

The Art on Screen festival serves the participants as a series of film examples from which they can be inspired in their own upcoming works, before finally pitching their film idea to a jury of industry professionals such as Caroline Bourgeois (curator of Pinault Collection which focuses on modern and contemporary art), Heinz Peter Schwefel (filmmaker, producer and director of Kino der Kunst Film Festival in Munich) and Yorgos Tsourgiannis (producer), (these sessions are not open to the public).

There will be a winner selected out of the 12 competitors who will be awarded the Feature Expanded Award on Sat. 18, at 9 pm.

The award grants the winner a four-day opportunity in Stockholm to work with Swedish screenwriter, Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten on the development of his/hers film script.

For more information and the full programme, visit Lo Schermo dell’Arte’s website. (karen gee)