We have made it until our 5th edition: a milestone we never took for granted for an independent film festival that started bottom-up, with no special funding from institutions. But with a bit of foolishness, stubbornness and “self-exploitation”, Working Title Film Festival, year after year, has managed to grow, create a loyal audience base, develop collaborations with other organisations at local, national, and international level, as well as with directors, producers, and distributors. Five editions are a sufficient timeframe to be able – we believe – to outline an aesthetic and political idea for our cinema: an independent, plural, rigorous one, the carrier of original languages and multi-faceted ways to look at the world, a kind of cinema that prioritises the narration of marginalised jobs, of jobs that are seldom represented in the media mainstream.
To celebrate this milestone, I had imagined a special edition. We couldn’t foresee it would be so special indeed. Nearly the whole festival has been organised during the Covid-19 pandemic. During the lockdown we could test new methods to distribute and promote our films, by collaborating with the VOD channel of Cinema Odeon in Vicenza.
The health emergency is unfortunately still very present: organising in autumn an in-person edition would involve risks for our staff, for our guests, and for the audience, without mentioning the possibility of a last minute forced cancelling of the event. The idea of organising an online festival has arisen from these considerations and it has never been perceived as a fall-back. Quite the opposite: it has given us the opportunity to broaden the selection and to reach a potentially wider audience.
The programme includes 59 films, produced in 35 countries, presented in the four sections of the international competition: feature films (with a duration over 40 minutes), short+ films (20 to 40 minutes), short films (shorter than 20 minutes), and Extraworks (experimental, hybrid films, video- art). 7 world premieres, 3 European premieres, 23 Italian premieres, 14 debut films, 20 women directors: this rich programme will be available for the world audience in the days 1-15 October 2020 on the website stream.workingtitlefilmfestival.it, and will be supported by video-introductions as well as Q&A sessions on the website and on the social media of WTFF.
To wrap up, a web conference with other three European film festivals on the theme of work: Arvetar FilmFestivalen – Nordic Labour Film Festival in Malmö, Filmer Le Travail in Poitiers, and LAN – Festival audiovisual obrero in Bilbao.
During the lockdown we observed the world stand still from our home windows and from the virtual windows of our electronic devices. Now we wish to open a global window onto work and its stories, struggles, passions. Enjoy the show.
artistic director of Working Title Film Festival English
Translation by Giulia Galvan