WTFF6 – A new beginning

wtff6 collage

The sixth edition of the Working Title Film Festival is indeed a new beginning, after a one-year break in 2021 and a fully digital edition in 2020, due to contingencies with which everyone has become familiar.

2022 means not only a return to screening in physical theatres and face-to-face meetings, but also the possibility to connect again with valuable partners such as Cinema Odeon, which will screen the competing feature films and short films in its completely renovated Nuova Sala Lampertico. On the other hand, the ExtraWorks section, focusing on hybrid and experimental video-works, as well as on video-art and performances, has found a new home: the social and cultural centre Caracol Olol Jackson, where EneceFilm will also hold their masterclass. Last but not least, the presentation of the magazine “Made in China Journal” will take place at Porto Burci, one more major cultural venue in town.

26 competing films will provide unprecedented insights on the world of work, cross-breeding and layering different languages. A few lines of thought are shared by works that are otherwise distant in terms of geography and style. One is certainly the attempt to re-process the 20th century, Fordism, and its memories – both collective and family memories – through the ever-increasing creative use of footage coming from public and private archives alike. One more is the conflictual and simultaneous presence of a hyper-capitalistic modernity and of archaic cultural superstructures, more often than not putting women’s skin at stake, especially in a few works that are set in Asia. And one more line of thought is the condition of the youth, balancing between seeking a job that can be meaningful and contribute to creating an identity, and a prosaic reality that is characterised by precarious prospects.

While the climate crisis highlights the urgent need for an environmental transition (or conversion) of the economy, numerous films have chosen to cast their gaze onto the mysterious and ambiguous laws that govern the connection between human beings and the animal world. A similarly lateral and revealing thinking can be found in art jobs, in their close entanglement of creative spirit and daily practice, a category to which this festival has given space each year again.

In Le magnétophone by Noémi Aubry and Les filles de chez Moreau by Pauline Pastry, the directors engage in connecting their grandmothers’ working past with the present situation, resorting to a peculiar use of family footage.

Daniele Atzeni in Inferru also draws from found footage, but in his case the fragments come from various public audio-visual archives, contributing to (re)creating the archetype of miners with its gloomy premonitions.

While the Sardinian director’s film portrays a world gone-by, Acquasanta by Gianfranco Piazza and Tito Puglielli is the story of a new beginning, the one of Palermo’s shipyards, whereas Combat Trauma Bag by Lorenzo Picarazzi is a “factory symphony”, projecting Vertov into the time of electronic music. Boramey by Tommaso Facchin and Ivan Franceschini takes us to Cambodia, where many young female workers suffer from mysterious fainting spells. The protagonist of Lemongrass Girl by Pom Bunsermvicha is a producer who receives a quite particular assignment. The title Lili Alone of Zou Jing’s film hints at the loneliness of the main character, who has to make a tough decision for the survival of her family. These three films show Asia on the edge between modernity and tradition through women’s point of view.

Both the protagonists of Rue Garibaldi by Federico Francioni and the protagonist of Portugal Pequeno by Victor Quintanilha are people in their twenties who are searching for their identity, also through their job.

An attempt to redeem themselves through work can also be detected in the protagonists of the film Le buone maniere by Valerio Vestoso, Apache by Octavio Guerra, Caught in the Rain by Elie Maissin and Mieriën Coppens, and DentrOrsa by Chiara Rigione, even though within differing genres and styles, such as comedy, observational or experimental documentary.

The bee as the key to read this planet’s life and economy is the subject of Nina de Vroome’s Globes, featuring an array of different styles, including nature documentary, video-essay, reportage, and even thriller. The protagonists of Transumanze by Andrea Mura and La distanza by EneceFilm are shepherds who go through highly anthropized areas and testify to the survival of different practices of relating to nature and the local territory.

Più de la vita by Raffaella Rivi and Ritratto temporale I – Maurizio by Ilaria Pezone show that an artist’s work and personal life are deeply intertwined. Fabrizio Bellomo, the author and protagonist of Film is also an artist, and presents his unsettling installations with a deconstructed and meta-cinematic style. A reflection on the sense of film-making is suggested by Il silenzio del mondo by Riccardo Palladino. Dance and poetry blend against the backdrop of a factory in über sehen|frauen lyrik by Alina Yklymova, a performance that is also a feminist manifesto.

VO by Nicolas Gourault and Cutting Edges by Céline Berger are acute meta-reflections about the new technological and ideological frontiers of contemporary capitalism.

AMP. Note per una pratica di autogestione by Chiara Campara and Vittoria Soddu and In Flow of Words by Eliane Esther Bots evoke highly topical subjects: the first film is about universal health coverage; in the second one, the interpreters working for the International Court of Justice at The Hague translate the painful testimonies of war in former Yugoslavia, taking us back into a conflict at the heart of Europe that tragically reminds us of what is happening in Ukraine today.

Marina Resta

Marina Resta
Artistic director of Working Title Film Festival

Marina Resta (Altamura, Bari, 1984). She graduated in Film Studies from Università di Bologna and Freie Universität Berlin. She attended the Documentary course at the Film School Scuola Civica “Luchino Visconti” in Milan and a Master’s in Production and Communication at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. As a filmmaker she made Milano fa 90 (2013) and L’acqua calda e l’acqua fredda (2015). In 2018 Tracce di Rocco was selected among the 10 finalist projects of Premio Zavattini. She teaches audio-visual disciplines in an art high school in Vicenza. She has been the artistic director and organiser of Working Title Film Festival since 2016.