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About us - The Islands of Cinema

Letter from the islands

Stop thinking of the sea around as a “border” that separates, but as a meeting chance. The project Le isole del cinema was created to reverse the usual perspective that sees Sardinia, and even more its smaller islands, as “on the fringe; marginal outposts”. It stems from our vocation as Sardinians to host our friends and colleagues “at home”, from the desire of exchange and knowledge. With the great utopian ambition to offer and share with the cinema world an “harmonic” place of extraordinary beauty seen as a possible place for creative concentration: a lively laboratory where it is possible to build, imagine and refl ect upon what yesterday’s cinema was and what tomorrow’s cinema will perhaps be. There is nothing new about this idea. In fact, there have been similar experiences, especially life experiences, which have the weight and strength of a tradition to preserve and look after. At the, Thanks to the work done by Antonello Grimaldi, Marco Navone and Sante Maurizi, Una notte in Italia, the outdoor arena of new Italian cinema, has been running for over fifteen years on the Island of Tavolara. It is guided by Piera Detassis’s expert hand and it is a point of reference for all Italian cinema. For many years in the recent past La Maddalena was home to the Solinas Prize for screenplay, created by Felice Laudadio and directed by Francesca Solinas, and - until it stayed in Sardinia - Giovanna Gravina, Fabio Canu and I worked together on it. It was natural that all these threads, full of lived history, memory and legacy, intertwined to create a common design. That is why, seven years ago, we gave life to a film festival divided into four chapters - four “artistic themes”.
Le isole del cinema - foto della Sardegna
Le isole del cinema lays its own belief and strength in natural and human “landscape”, which makes it possible to enjoy a fruitful exchange of possibilities, experiences and cultural wealth, by proposing a new union and an original interpretation of the territory. But even before our recent story, told in this book, there was, as Sardinians, the duty to collect a profound, intimate legacy, a sort of genius loci: the sign of the past experiences lived by Franco Solinas who, in the 60s, used to take his director and actor friends to La Maddalena, to fish, swim, talk and write films. Gillo Pontecorvo, Giorgio Arlorio, Costa Gavras and Joseph Losey, and many more passed time there, and a lot of cinema that the world still admires today was conceived in those islands, in front of the same sea. The secret of that creative magic was a “different time”, without superstructures, a nice place to work: simplicity, harmony, a harsh nature and going straight to the heart of things. Straddling the 70s Gianmaria Volontè also chose Sardinia, thanks to Franco Solinas’s stories. In the summer of 1984, it was precisely Volonté who gave Felice Laudadio the idea of creating an annual appointement on the island dedicated to the great writer and screenwriter who died in 1982: the Solinas Prize for screenplay. And his daughter Giovanna Gravina has chosen the archipelago and lives there permanently. In these traces I can clearly identify a modern and open vision of Sardinia where the real strength is precisely the island, that is, an unusual perspective from which to read the world, a culture that recognises its identity in its sense of hospitality and exchange.
Le isole del cinema is a cultural and artistic project to offer “those who make cinema” a precious, protected opportunity to reflect and meet together, far away from the red carpet of those important festival markets of “film promotion”. A “different time” in which to discover the artisan before the artist, a time that again puts at the centre the human values and the profound motivations behind every single artist who has chosen to work in the cinema world. This common objective gives Le isole del cinema the strength to live in its utopia and to keep contributing to a different interpretation of the territory and to the strengthening of cinema in Sardinia. In its path, Le isole del cinema gives something original to the land that houses it, just like many other realities born on the island over the years: a firm point of reference on which it is possible to base promotion and cultural and tourist development. Our real challenge is believing in the possible reconversion of smaller islands. Imagining them as places of educational and cultural excellence means making Le isole del cinema a privileged place, an incubator for far-reaching projects. A patient work, which seems less visible than the “big event”, but one which, apart from moving Sardinia close to the world, “gives soul” by enhancing and promoting the peculiarities of the territory. If you are aware of a story behind it, of an idea, every little goal achieved is a treasure, and deep down you feel that you are useful, you feel that this is also a noble way of making cinema, and that it is still worth continuing.
Gianfranco Cabiddu


The Festivals

Each chapter of Le isole del cinema, which recalls the title of an Italian songwritersinger’s song, contribute to explore the extraordinary charm of cinema, by delving into the peculiar creative aspects which is composed of: acting, directing, writing, music.


La Valigia dell'Attore

La valigia dell’attore

Island of La Maddalena
(the actor’s work)
Una notte in Italia

Una notte in Italia

Island of Tavolara
(directors and Italian cinema protagonists)
Pensieri e Parole

Pensieri e parole

Island of Asinara
(writing and animated cartoons)
Creuza de Mà

Creuza de Mà

Island of San Pietro, Carloforte
(music and sound in cinema)