Saturday, June 18th, 2011, the evening event “Reality Bites” was held at the Sentieri Selvaggi School in Rome, Italy. The event is held annually, and features live music and opportunities for producers and directors to share stories about their production experiences. The event also serves as a chance to close and celebrate a didactic year, meanwhile introducing future projects to come. Useful meetings are offered for students who are curious and wish to know more about the production of independent films.

The fun and casual atmosphere, with plenty of finger food, music and drinks, saw a wide range of attendees, including: Claudio Di Biagio, Matteo Bruno, Guglielmo Scilla, Giampaolo Speziale with FREAKS! Project, an Italian web series, Adriano Bonforti, a member of the Creative Commons website ‘PATAMU’, Tania Innamorati, a member of the Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding project ‘CINEAMA,’ and not to mention ÉCU’s very own president, Scott Hillier!

Everyone who attended the event had the chance to introduce their own activity or project to the audience. One such presenter was Martha Capello, president for the Association Young Film Producers (A.G.P.C.) This association works to protect, improve and develop the entrepreneurial and artistic activity of rising generations of youth in the film sector. According to A.G.P.C., cinema must support the generational exchange at not only the artistic level but also the productive level by encouraging the founding of new businesses and favoring the growth of those already in existence. The aim of A.G.P.C. is to determine new trends that are able to open up new projects, guaranteeing technological and production development, and ultimately to enhance the experience and growth of young independent producers.

After showing a collection of ÉCU film festival clips and interviews of the winners for the 2011 festival awards, Hillier went on to speak of the festival and offer some tips to the students of the school. According to Hillier: -“(…) making films – good films – is about making them very often. And that’s what film schools do, they give you the facilities and the capabilities to make as many as you possibly can (…) It takes a lot of bravery and a lot of repetition, and that’s what I beg of you: is to make a film every day, even in your head, but then practice it on your fellow students, your teachers, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, your uncles – because trust me, the only way to become a great filmmaker is to make as many films as you possibly can.”

The presentation aroused a great deal of interest among the students, and fortunately ÉCU’s Italian representative was able to provide further information regarding the festival, registration and even possibly partnering up with travel agencies to enable students to attend the ÉCU film festival in Paris at a reduced cost in the future.

A fun filled evening that nonetheless helped to promote the ÉCU film festival, allowing ÉCU to expand to one of the most important Italian cities in the field of independent cinema! But this is only the beginning, as Italy promises great things for ÉCU and its growth. We encourage you to stay tuned, especially if you are ever in Italy, so as not to miss out on one of our events!

Alessia Massa, ÉCU Italian Representative/Business Development Manager

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