Florence November 27th - December 4th 2015

International documentary film festival

In order to realize the image of this edition, the Funky Fresh Factory team – after several drafts and sketches in computer graphics – needed an actual life vest, like those we saw, in TV or newspapers, worn by the sea refugees found and rescued by the coast guard. We bought the vest used for the photo shoot, which can be seen in the festival poster, on the internet at 27.98 Euros, including shipment. It was delivered one morning by one of the many couriers who come daily to our offices to deliver or collect those less and less voluminous and ever lighter parcels that contain 'the cinema', i.e. the screening copies of the films that make up our programme. When we opened the box and perused its content, a beautiful fluorescent orange life vest, I couldn't help rethinking about those 27 euros and 98 cents: a modest amount for many, likely to be above their possibilities for many others. How could we determine the actual value of this object for those who are compelled to use it? For those who measure the difference between safety and tragedy on their own skin? I don't know what my co-workers thought, but I do remember that, once the life vest was replaced in its box, no one felt like joking for a few hours.

The hand writings integrating the photograph seem to me even more important than the object per se. They remind us that a person is supposed to be 'inside' the object. Besides the direct reference to one of the festivals sections, the focus section on the drifts and destinations of contemporary migration, I rely on the iconicity of our poster to convey the outlook and contents of the entire programme: the essential unity of photographic reality and subjective truth. A common trait in our films this year is the coexistence of high technical and aesthetic quality – factors denoting mastery of the medium – along with a clear-cut personal outlook, a subjective dimension that does not hide 'behind' the picture but permeates it, becoming one of its substantial elements. The documentaries we are presenting are works of creation. They are fuelled by facts, stories, vicissitudes taken from reality, but then attain the quality of meditated points of view and personal reflections through an artistic elaboration that is a commentary of that same reality. We can only be mesmerized by the value and importance of these works. They allow us to enhance our knowledge of world facts and kindle our attention to the complexity of human emotions.

Once again, I invite you all to be conquered by the spell of reality.

Alberto Lastrucci
Director of Festival dei Popoli