04 Sep MonFilmFest short film competition
Update: MonFilmFest short film festival is now held every summer in Casale Monferrato, with side events and free screenings throughout the festival. Check on our events page.
Casalborgone is a small village known for the quality of its peas, but it has another peculiarity: in this village of a thousand and seven hundred people, one person in ten has collaborated in the creation of a film.
It is thanks to MonFilmFest that offers since twelve years, at the end of August, a unique experience of its kind: the creation of low-cost short films in seven days, involving the locals in the making of props, as technicians and even as actors. We visited, on 2014, the last day of the screenings and the award ceremony.
Seven days to make a film
Since 2002 the “Film’s Games” competition of MonFilmFest transformed the hills of Monferrato in a film set. Seven troupes of international filmmakers are invited every year to produce a short film in only 7 days . A rush-hour competition tone down by the unique atmosphere of connection between the different crews and the locals, who participates actively as advisors, runners, and even actors.
The Festival born in from an idea of Immagina Association, led by Giuseppe Selva, the artistic director of the Festival. But the real difference with other festivals is the active participation of the whole village of Casalborgone, which hosts the crew in its houses and participates in the production of short films.
It is really impressive how easy the filmmakers bond with the locals: by helping each others and involves themselves the locals can be part of a film set for a week and the filmmakers can be part of the local community. This is the spirit of this peculiar film festival.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going
The big bet of MonFilmFest is low budget cinema, without hypocrisy, as constriction due to contained resources, but also as an ethical choice: “We fundamentally believe that a low budget film would allow greater research and development of ideas, therefore new stories and new talent” they wrote on their website.
Nevertheless, thanks to the ability to invest in young directors, this short film Festival is now internationally acknowledged and has promoted new authors who have had a response at international level thanks to the films produced in the last eleven editions.
Among these directors are names like Adriano Valerio, a film professor at EICAR, International Film School of Paris, and the winner of the 2013 Cannes Jury Special Distinction with the short film “S 37 ° 4′“. Elisabetta Bernardini, who with “Baiano” won 56 awards in the world. Andrea Jublin, selected at the Academy Awards in 2008 with the short film “Il Supplente” and Luc Walpoth , director of “Traiettorie Invisibili” award-winning film selected at Clermont-Ferrand film festival.
During the 7 days of production, the audience can also appreciate the showcase Vetrina di un Film di Fine Estate: a selection of films by the previous edition’s filmmakers.
Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign to promote a virtuous cycle of creativity, culture, economy and territory, the MonFilmFest has now reached its 13th edition, connecting film professionals with locals and involving the latter in shaping new forms of filmmaking.
Associazione Immagina (organizer)
Written by Tommaso Zavattaro | Photography by Monica Marescalchi