Salzburg Global Fellow Delighted by Success and Promise of US Film Tour

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Feb 01, 2019
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Fellow Delighted by Success and Promise of US Film Tour

YCI alumnus brings new perspectives to audiences at screenings in Memphis and New Orleans Mariano Pozzi (center) with YCI Fellows Dan Price (left) and Ian Nunley (right)

A US film tour designed by a Salzburg Global Fellow to highlight underrepresented groups and communities has been hailed a success.

Mariano Pozzi, a member of the YCI Buenos Aires Hub, held screenings at venues in Memphis and New Orleans.

Films included Argentine and Latin American titles and focused on topics such as access to safe water, renewable energies, women and children’s rights, and indigenous people of the Americas.

Pozzi, an image and sound designer from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), was supported by a travel scholarship, which was awarded by Salzburg Global Seminar and funded by The Kresge Foundation.

He worked alongside organizations including Indie Memphis and New Orleans Film Society (NOFS).

Indie Memphis promotes the making and screening of independent films using a weekly film series called “Indie Memphis Nights,” where it collaborates with artists, locates venues, and aids promotion.

NOFS, meanwhile, provided Pozzi with an all-access pass at the 29th New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) and managed the screening venue for Pozzi’s activity.

Pozzi said, “The successful tour consisted of four exhibits that were attended by about 150 people and established a foundation stone in a long-term collaboration with local organizations in each city.

“On the other hand, being a guest of the 29th NOFF allowed me to expand the search of film titles to invite their participation in the 18th International Human Rights Film Festival to be held in Buenos Aires in June 2019, including local productions from Memphis and New Orleans.

“From the Instituto Multimedia DerHumALC - IMD, the NGO where I work, we managed the screening copies, permits to screen them, fees, translations to English when needed, and the curatorship of the Tour selection.”

Pozzi is the technical coordinator and project developer of the International Human Rights Film Festival of Buenos Aires (FICDH) and the International Environmental Film Festival of Buenos Aires (FINCA). He attended the fourth program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators.

Discussing how his participation at the Forum had influenced him, Pozzi said, “Definitely the YCI Forum took a central piece as a motivation for this project. We’ve been trying for a while to do some concrete activity in the US like these... When thinking of this possibility, knowing that two Fellows of my cohort could help me build strong bridges with two important film organizations in Memphis and New Orleans, was for sure the thing that put the idea of this project going on.”

During his trip, Pozzi was also able to build contacts and recruit titles for FICDH and FINCA.

Commenting on the goals of the program, Pozzi said, “In general terms, the project was successful and the objectives where met. There were fewer screenings than the originally intended, but the amount of film titles and audience met were the originally proposed. Every screening was successful, and the audience were outstandingly pleased by the title selection of films, that showed diversity and encouraged debate and reflection.

“The selection of titles had a special focus in underrepresented groups and communities, and one common outcome after each screening was hearing the audience was shocked to get to know some of the situations portrayed and reflect about them.”

Pozzi believes the project could be easily replicated and that Indie Memphis and NOFS would be interested in collaborating again.

He added, “In terms of the Buenos Aires YCI Hub I think my travel has opened the door for possible collaborations with these other cities. None of my Buenos Aires Fellows has been in Memphis or New Orleans before, so me being there opens the possibility of helping them and putting any of them in contact with people whom I’ve worked with and also new professional contacts I’ve made on this trip.

“In terms of the local communities of Memphis and New Orleans, I think that both film festivals and organizations are somehow and overall, USA - based on their selection of films and curatorship, forgetting sometimes that they have very big Latin-American communities as well in those cities. So, having me there bringing titles with a different angle and approach than the one they usually have for sure is collaborating with their diversity and awareness.

“As for the local YCI [Fellows] in there, I also think that for instance having a Fellow from Buenos Aires over broadened their horizons. Every Fellow I met there was a little shocked and amused of having me there, which I think it’s important to remember, especially [for] the North American Hubs that there are lots of other Fellows in the world to work with and that these kind of partnerships and collaborations are possible.”

The Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators empowers rising talents in the creative sector to drive social, economic and urban change. Launched in 2014, it is building a global network of 500 competitively-selected change-makers in “Hub” communities who design collaborative projects, build skills, gain mentors, and connect to upcoming innovators in their cities and countries.