For the 2018 edition, the program of over 20 films includes documentaries and films by artists, many of them Premieres, with their authors present.
Among the Italian Premieres: Island of the Hungry Ghosts (2018) by Gabrielle Brady, in the presence of the artist, a project developed during Feature Expanded 2015, and winner of the Best Documentary Feature Award of the TRIBECA Film Festival 2018 and the Buyens-Chagoll Award of the Visions du Réel festival in Nyon. On Christmas Island, a small Australian island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, famous for the millions of red crabs that migrate from the jungle to the sea every year, the dramatic conditions of the lives of migrants who arrive from all over the Middle East is narrated by a young psychologist committed to supporting them; Wild Relatives (2018) in which the young Palestinian artist Jumana Manna, who will be present, discusses the theme of the environment, and opens a space for reflection on biodiversity, resilience and climate change, as well as on the terrible disasters caused by humankind and our ambivalent efforts to remedy them; Kusama-Infinity (2018) by Heather Lenz, a documentary dedicated to the ninety-year-old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, considered one of the greatest artists of the contemporary world scene. The film brings together various interviews with friends, collaborators, scholars and colleagues from the art world, and contains numerous excerpts from her diary and letters, including those she sent to the great American artist Georgia O’Keeffe when she was very young. By her own choice, Yayoi Kusama has lived in the Seiwa psychiatric hospital since 1977, but she paints almost daily in her studio in Shinjuku. The End of Fear (2017) by Barbara Visser, who will be present at the Festival, is a film in which the director, who twenty-five years ago destroyed the painting Who is Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue by American abstractionist Barnett Newman at the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, reconstructs the story: not so much to denounce the gravity of this artistic “murder”, as to accurately determine the moment of death. When does a work of art, or a concept, an idea, cease to exist?
Focus 2018 is dedicated to Rä Di Martino, one of the most interesting Italian artists in the international visual arts scene, and will bring together seven short films made between 2001 and 2018. She has presented her films on numerous occasions, including Art Basel, the Kassel Dokfest, the Torino Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, Lo schermo dell’arte 2017 and 2015. She has exhibited her works in Italy and abroad, and in institutions such as Palazzo Grassi, GAM and Fondazione Sandretto in Turin, MACRO and MAXXI in Rome, Museion in Bolzano, HangarBicocca and PAC in Milan, the Tate Modern in London, the MoMA PS1 in New York, and the MCA – Chicago.
The 4th edition of Feature Expanded: Art Film Strategies – a training program directed by Sarah Perks and Leonardo Bigazzi, with the support of Creative Europe / MEDIA – which will bring to Florence international artists who want to make their first feature films, and which will award four prizes: Feature Expanded Distribution Award; Feature Expanded Development Award, Ottod’Ame Film Award, SUB-TI Award; the VII edition of VISIO: European Program on Artists’ Moving Images, curated by Leonardo Bigazzi, aimed at young generations of artists working with video and cinema, which confirms VISIO Young Talent Acquisition Prize; the exhibition European Identities. New Geographies in Artist ‘Film and Video at the Murate PAC, with video- and film installations by the artists taking part in VISIO, opening November 13; the second edition of the Moving Archive project that offers films from the festival’s archive, in libraries and institutions throughout Florence.
The complete festival programme will be presented during the press conference on September 25 (11.30 am) at Triennale di Milano, Spazio Agorà.