Animated cinema is our passion. But not only. For us, it is the peak of contemporary art that aims at synthesis, at ceaseless interaction between sign and meaning where spectators become players, users, and content creators themselves, in a world and the many different universes that look towards the future while constantly changing shape and meaning.
Other than animation, we also enthusiastically explore visual effects, gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, the metaverse, video mapping and much more.
Visual effects, for example, are increasingly being used in live-action films, transforming reality thanks to animation, making cartooning the protagonist of films and series such as Avatar, Mission Impossible, Dune, Love, Death and Robots, Stranger Things or Carnival Row. As Guillermo del Toro said talking about Pinocchio, his latest Oscar-winning hit from 2023, ANIMATION IS FILM.
Whether from thrillers to horror, from fantasy to detective stories, from political fantasy to documentaries or from fairy tales to noir, animation is now a part of cinema, no longer and not only a genre but a real technique and style used for depicting the world.
For over twenty years, Future Film Festival has in fact dialogued with and presented the greatest animation/visual effects authors, directors and animators and has collaborated with production companies such as Pixar Animation Studios, Studio Ghibli, Aardman Animations, Blue Sky, Illumination Studio, Industrial Light and Magic, EDI, MadHouse, MoVimenti Productions, Mad Entertainment, Miyu Production, Studio Mappa, Production IG, as well as both national and international distributions such as Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Netflix, Sony Pictures, Lucky Red, I Wonder, Plaion, Amazon, Double Line, MK Entertainment, BIM, and many more. It has always stayed in touch with major research centres such as Cineca’s Visit Lab and MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a privileged observatory for new forms of entertainment, keeping an eye on the young and independent realities, always looking towards the future.
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FUTURE FILM FESTIVAL
THE CINEMA OF THE FUTURE | THE FUTURE OF CINEMA (AND NOT ONLY)
Future Film Festival was born on the threshold of the year 2000, an emblematic year where future seemed both imminent and distant at the same time. As Kubrick had foretold in a visionary message at the end of the 1960s: “The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent, but if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
The future is from then on not only the Great Unknown, but also and above all the occasion to rethink the figure of Man in the universe. Cinema, too, underwent great transformation and entered the realm of the unknown at the end of the 1990s. Computers became a fundamental part of image processing and people’s everyday life. From the “intelligent” computer as 2001: A Space Odyssey envisioned it, we arrive to computers capable of generating moving images.
And then there’s Fiction, the playful interaction between real and virtual, the incursion of real actors into virtual scenarios, or digital characters into real sets, creating the most magical illusion of all time, the one George Meliès dreamt of. Animated cinema, the magical expression of fiction par excellence, cannot but fully be a part of this universe.
2006 – Time Magazine presents as “person of the year” a computer screen with YOU written on it. The subtitle explains: “Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world.”
This becomes Cinema’s new truth: more and more, extra-wide-screen video game experiences, YouTube (born in February 2005), mobile devices, series, the carousel-like 3D cinema, and VR make the spectator the protagonist, turning him into a Player.
What is more, today’s image producer must compete with “amateur” producers. The notion of open source, or open work if we want to call it “the old-fashioned way”, contaminates the world of Cinema.
As Guido Bartorelli states in his book Art/Tube, one of the emblematic films of this shift in the relationship between cinema, producers and spectators is Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind (2008).
“In this film, consumers appropriate freely the films they love(…). This way, their entire community becomes prosumer.” It is not so much the quality of the image that matters anymore, but rather its transformability bringing it close to us.
We draw content and inspiration for the Future Film Festival programme from this complexity. As Walter Benjamin said: “The film has not yet realized its true meaning, its real possibilities … these consist in its unique faculty to express by natural means and with incomparable persuasiveness all that is fairylike, marvellous, supernatural.”
THE BOARD OF HONOR
The Festival’s Board of Honour is made up of personalities such as Bill Laswell (American musician, composer), Leslie Iwerks (director, grandson of Ub Iwerks, the creator of Mickey Mouse), Bruno Bozzetto (Italian director, animator), Joe Cornish (American director), Peter Lord (British director and co-founder of Aardman Animations), Priit Parn (Estonian director, animator), Silvia Pompei (Italian animator currently working on The Simpsons in the USA), Bill Plympton (American director, animator), Ikue Mori (Japanese musician, composer), Raul Garcia (American director), Bruce Sterling (American writer, essayist), Barry Purves (British director, animator), Beto Shibata (Brazilian graphic designer). The Association works with artists such as Alessandro Mendini, Massimo Caiazzo, Laurina Paperina, Superdeux, Laurence Gartel, Antonio Riello, Pablo Echaurren, Luigi Presicce, Andrew Spradbery, Kensuke Koike, Eleuro, DEM, Matteo Capobianco (Ufo 5), Michael Dumontier, Marina Bolmini, Alex Pinna, Studio Croma
THE ASSOCIATION OF THE FUTURE FILM FESTIVAL’S FRIENDS
The “Associazione Amici del Future Film Festival” aims to promote films related to the themes of future and technology, as well as motion picture science to an audience of young adults and students. The Association’s headquarter is in Bologna, a city that is very open to film research since it hosts both the Cineteca di Bologna and the University of Bologna’s Drama Arts and Musical Studies, not to mention the many production realities the area counts. The Association also works with children and teenagers, collaborating with local institutions through workshops on how to make animated films and how to use special effects. The educational aspect of our mission is the one we value the most: we want to educate the new generations to use the technologies available to them creatively and in a safe way. We’d also like to contribute to the promotion of works that have not yet or have never had national distribution.
THE DOC NETWORK
In 2021, the cooperative Rete Doc took over the festival’s organisation, as part of its mission to support and develop the work of people working in various creative sectors, especially the audio-visual one that has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rete Doc is the largest network of professionals in Italy in the cultural and creative industry that has been offering quality services to companies, organisations, and institutions in the fields of culture, entertainment, creativity, innovation, research, training, tourism, territorial development, communication, and media for over thirty years. It was founded in Verona in 1990 as Doc Servizi but has then evolved into a network made of 9 different companies, a foundation, and 31 offices throughout Italy and abroad (in Paris and San Marino), counting 9.000 professionals as members. Rete Doc is the first and only joint cooperative venture* in the cultural field.
Managing Director (Doc Servizi)
Marketing Communication Manager
Ilaria Tortora, Silvia Vazzana
Reception and logistics
Motion and Graphic Designer
Antonio Cavallini, Margherita Ronzoni
Social media management
Silvia Michelangeli, Aurora Ventura