Summer School

21st Documentary Summer School

The Documentary Summer School (DSS), which has been active for 20 years now, has its roots in a tradition that ties it inextricably to the Locarno Film Festival and its activities, in particular those of the Locarno Academy. For this reason, the cancellation of the 73rd edition of the Locarno Film Festival in its usual form and the consequent decision of the Locarno Academy to stop and rethink itself have an inevitable impact on the organisation and activities of our DSS.
The health situation caused by Covid-19 prevents us, in the current conditions, from preserving the spirit of our Summer School, based on the encounter between students, teachers, professionals and directors who fill the classrooms with their experiences and animate them through an open and participatory dialogue.
This year it would have been impossible also to replicate what we like to call the "Locarno experience", which every year has allowed our students to participate in the many events of the Festival and a series of activities carried out in collaboration with the Locarno Academy.
Sadly aware of the situation, therefore, we are forced to cancel the 21st edition of the Documentary Summer School in the form in which it has been held over the last 20 years. We therefore officially inform you that it is not possible to enrol in the Documentary Summer School 2020, which was to be held in Locarno from 9 to 15 August.
We are very sorry to have to interrupt the preparations and cancel our 8 days of meetings dedicated to training and sharing ideas and opinions about the great passion that we have in common - documentary cinema - particularly in recent years on the theme of ethics and the questions we need to ask ourselves when we narrate the other. This particular approach is proving to be more and more topical, indispensable to nourish reflection on documentary cinema, its possibilities and responsibilities.
Besides, Covid-19 is producing and will produce so much suffering in the world, that even if it were possible to make the DSS in person, the climate around us would inevitably be different from the usual one, marked by sadness. Some of you had already contacted us to take part in this edition. Your enthusiasm for DSS drives us to work already today to prepare an even richer future edition.
It also stimulates us to open an internal reflection on alternative possibilities and ways to share discussions and reflections around documentary cinema, even without a “real” Summer School.
In this regard we would like to remind you that Locarno73 has been replaced by Locarno 2020 - For the Future of Films, an initiative aimed at supporting independent cinema and film theatres. The initiative will be presented in detail by the Locarno Film Festival in the coming weeks.
For more information on the future of the Locarno Film Festival, please see the dedicated section in the official FAQs.

M. Cristina Lasagni, DSS scientific director
Eleonora Benecchi, DSS organisation manager

For further information:
Documentary Summer School - Organizing committee
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano
Tel. +41 (0)58 666 4814
documentarysummerschool@gmail.com

 

20th Documentary Summer School
Representations that build bridges, representations that divide

 

Already in its 20th year, the Documentary Summer School (DSS 2019) is jointly organized by the Università della Svizzera italiana and Locarno Film Festival, in collaboration with the Semaine de la critique. The DSS offers places for up to 30 university students in the fields of cinema, media and communication. Graduated students, early doctoral students and emerging filmmakers are also welcome to apply. The DSS explores different research and production relevant issues concerning documentary cinema. A special attention is devoted to ethical questions. 

 

For further information:
Documentary Summer School - Organizing committee
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano
Tel. +41 (0)58 666 4814
documentarysummerschool@gmail.com

 

CONTENTS

Now in its 20th edition, the Documentary Summer School (DSS 2019) is jointly organized by the Università della Svizzera italiana and Locarno Film Festival, in collaboration with the Semaine de la critique.

The DSS explores different research and production relevant issues concerning documentary cinema. Given the great pervasiveness with which currently images and representations spread, for some years the DSS has decided to focus on the theme of ethics in documentary filmmaking. This year the DSS will be held on 11-18 August and will reflect upon the representations of people and issues we do not experience directly: "the others". The respectful coexistence between people different in terms of culture, sexual choices, origin, religion is becoming an issue of crucial importance. The aim of the DSS will be to investigate this issue in the context of audiovisual representations - such as documentaries, but also reportages. Which forms of communication could build bridges among people? Which ones can reduce fear, distrust, rejection? Which ones are at risk of dividing people?

Speakers include: Prof. Maria Cristina Lasagni, the DSS director, lecturer in cinema and documentary at USI with more than 20 years' experience in teaching and researching documentary filmmaking and media ethics. Prof. Nevina Satta CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission and a board member of Cineregio, the EU network of Regional Film Funds; Andrea Segre an award-winner filmmaker who has directed over twenty films of documentary and fiction genre exploring issues such as ethnic and cultural identity, migration, social and economic crisis. Prof. Gail Vanstone a well-known researcher in the field of Feminist Cultural Production with an emphasis on Literature and Film, Canadian Cultural Production, Contemporary Critical Cultural Theory; Prof. Brian Winston founding director of the Glasgow Media Group and founding chair of the British Association of Film, Television and Media Studies. Among the DSS guests also professional documentarists from Semaine de la critique selection.

The DSS is open up to 30 undergraduate students in the fields of film, media and communication studies. Graduate students, early PhD students and emerging filmmakers are also welcome to apply.

The participation fee - 550 CHF - covers accreditation valid for Festival screenings from 11 to 18 August, a red carpet experience and the following Piazza Grande screening, lectures and meetings, bed and breakfast accommodation for 7 nights at the Locarno Youth Hostel, social events, public talks and a closing dinner with participants from all the Summer Academy programs. The DSS students will also receive a participation certificates.

The double goal of the 20th DSS is to be a learning experience but also to make students feel part of the "Locarno experience".

 

 

FACULTY

Maria Cristina Lasagni is professor of Cinema and Documentary at the Università della Svizzera italiana, and Scientific Director of the Documentary Summer School (with Prof. Matthew Hibberd). She has directed scientific researches for Universities and Institutions, such as the Italian public broadcaster RAI, the Italian Authority for Communications, and for the Swiss Federal Office of Communications UFCOM. She has been content editor for the educational channel TVLTV-Language (digital TV Stream, now Sky). As a filmmaker, she has directed documentaries on social matters (e.g. gender issues, mental health, psychiatric reform, social marginality), as well as educational productions for the Italian Parliament and the Italian National Health Service. She is the head of Psicoradio, a national radio program in collaboration with the Department of Mental Health in Bologna (Italy). Her latest book, entitled Nanook cammina ancora ("Nanook keeps walking", 2014) is about the historical development of the documentary genre, as well as on its philosophical, ethical and social status. She is currently working on a new book on the theme of ethics in the documentary filmmaking.

 

Nevina Satta is the CEO of the Sardegna Film Commission, the Vice-President of the Italian Film Commission Association (IFC), and a board member of Cineregio, the EU network of Regional Film Funds. A professor of Film Producing and Directing at various EU Universities, she received her PhD in Cultural Media Studies and Visual Anthropology in Milan, where she began her career as filmmaker and producer. Before returning to her homeland after twenty years, she was based in Los Angeles and Milan, developing and producing narrative features and documentaries. She has also worked as consultant for International Film Festivals and as an architect of training initiatives, among which the Documentary Summer School since its inception in 2000. She founded with her husband the Unicef-endorsed NGO The Traveling Film School. She is a specialist in Sustainability in the Creative Industries and Audiovisual Industry Funds and Institutions.

 

Andrea Segre is an award-winner Italian filmmaker who has directed over twenty films of documentary and fiction genre. In his films, Andrea has explored issues such as ethnic and cultural identity, migration, social and economic crisis. His first feature film Shun Li and the Poet (2011) is a poetic depiction of the friendship between a young Chinese woman, migrated to Italy, and a silent fisherman of Slavic origin. The film won three awards at the Venice Film Festival, as well as the prestigious LUX Prize from the European Parliament. His last documentary film Ibi was, for the first time in Europe, entirely based on the self-narration, direct and spontaneous, made by an immigrant woman telling about herself and about her Europe to her sons in Africa. This documentary was also selected for the Locarno Film Festival last year. His last feature film The Order of Things portrays the tension between Europe and immigration which is calling into question the very identity of Europe. This film won the Human Rights Film Network Award Special Mention at the 74 Venice Film Festival. Andrea Segre holds a PhD in Sociology of Communication from the University of Bologna. He has been teaching for over ten years graduate courses in visual ethnography and social communication.

 

Gail Vanstone is an Associate Professor in the Division of Humanities of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies at the York University, Canada. Her research interest are Feminist Cultural Production with an emphasis on Literature and Film, Canadian Cultural Production, Contemporary Critical Cultural Theory. Her ongoing research frames women and the stories they tell as powerful critical tools for understanding women's experience in a world where their voices are often suppressed.
Professor Gail Vanstone research agenda grows out of themes explored in her book"D is For Daring", the first-ever feminist historical analysis of Studio D, the women's film unit (1974 to 1996) in the National Film Board. She is also the author of  "'I Wanted to Say How Beautiful We Are': Cultural Politics in Loretta Todd's Hands of History" in Reverse Shots and "Scriptrix Narrans': Digital Documentary Storytelling's Radical Potential" in Female Agency and Documentary Strategies. For the past several years she has taught AP/CLTR 1953 6.0 Canadian Writers in Person and has filmed readings to preserve a scholarly and cultural record and worked with a graduate student to create an interactive data based film and digital archive as an on-going resource.

 

Brian Winston a professor at Lincoln School of Film and Media. His primary areas of interest are freedom of speech, journalism history, media technology and documentary film, all of which he teaches. He is the founding chair of British Association of Film, Television and Media Studies and has been a governor of the BFI. Winston sits on the editorial board of British Journalism Review. He is a Guest Professor at the Digital Cultures Research Centre of the University of the West of England and at Chanchung Normal University. Prof. Winston has been involved with media since he joined Granada UK's World In Action in 1963.  He has written for magazines and newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic and his television work in documentary was awarded in 1985 with a US prime-time Emmy (for WNET, New York). In 2012, a feature-length documentary on Robert Flaherty - "A Boatload of Wild Irishmen" - which he wrote and co-produced won a Special Jury prize from the British University Council for Film and Video. Winston was the founding director of the Glasgow (University) Media Group whose pioneering studies of television news, "Bad News" (1976) and "More Bad News" (1980), have been re-issued as a classic of media sociology. He has written 17 other books and contributed 48 articles to scholar journals and more than 50 chapter books across the entire field of media communications. With "Media Technology and Society" (1998) he established the concepts of 'supervening social necessity' and 'suppression of radical potential' as factors in technological change. His writing on the documentary includes editing "Claiming the Real II" (2008), "The BFI Documentary Film Book" (2013) and "The Act of Documenting" (with Gail Vanstone and Wang Chi) (2017). His latest books on free expression are "A Right to Offend" (2012) and "The Rushdie Fatwa and after: A Lesson to the Circumspect" (2014).

 

CONDITIONS OF PARTECIPATION

The Documentary Summer School is open up to 30 undergraduate students in the fields of film, media and communication studies. Graduate students, early PhD students and emerging filmmakers are also welcome to apply. No geographic restrictions apply. The participation fee is of 550 CHF and it covers:

  • Lectures and meetings
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation for 7 nights at the Locarno Youth Hostel (11-18 August 2019)
  • Accreditation valid for Festival screenings (11-17 August 2019)
  • Closing dinner with participants from all the Summer Academy programs (16 August 2019)

Meals other than breakfast and travel to and from the Festival are at the expense of participants. Please note that the Festival provides participants with a shuttle service free of charge between Milano Malpensa airport and Locarno, prior booking.

 

SUBMISSIONS 2019

Deadline for submission is 16 June 2019 for students who do not need a visa, and 31 May 2019 for students who needs a visa to come to Switzerland.

Candidates shall submit via email the following documents:

  • Personal CV
  • Brief motivation letter
  • Passport-size digital photo (max 1MB)

Submitted dossiers will be evaluated by the scientific board, and selected participants will be notified via email within three weeks after the deadlines for submission.

 

Applications and enquiries to:
Documentary Summer School - Organizing committee
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via Buffi 13, 6900 Lugano
Tel. +41 (0)58 666 4814
documentarysummerschool@gmail.com

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