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VENETIAN CONNECTION 2012 PASSIONE 2013 STORIES OF THE GHETTO Three omnibuses of short student documentary films //




Three years ago, when we started the first of our three Venice documentary filmmaking workshops, I welcomed the students with some words of warning: I remember an occasion when I found myself in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Since I had enough time, I started walking around it, observing it from all possible angles. In the meantime, a tourist bus would arrive every ten minutes and a surge of tourists would rush out, each of them holding at least one camera. The moment they stepped out of the bus they would raise their cameras and keep taking photos until they were made to board the bus again. Not a single one of them, or at least no one I saw among the at least ten bus loads that came and went, ever stopped to look where they were or what they were looking at. The reason I am telling you this is because I am afraid that the same might happen to us here in Venice. This beautiful city quite easily turns people into tourists, into zombies who do not look and do not smell, who do not taste and do not listen, but take photos instead. You are here not to behave as tourists but to become filmmakers, individuals with an open heart and mind, ready to enjoy what you are doing. Believe me, you can make a film, and even a decent film, without extensive knowledge and good equipment, but you can’t make a film without enjoying the process, without enjoying yourself.

representation of urban spaces in creative interactions with the city’s inhabitants, course participants from Austria, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia developed valuable new specific skills and understanding. Besides the interdisciplinary combining of the areas of audio-visual techniques and (multi)media production as well as historical and (urban) archaeology, the transversal transfer of social and intercultural skills was notable among both students and mentors. The Venice experience also became one of the focal points in the regional consortium’s “site-specific mobility” teaching methodology within Three years later, after working with more than forty students, the majority for whom it was their first filmmaking experience, I can say to them, “Thank you. You found your way to enjoy making films and that’s why I enjoy working with you.” With almost the same words I can address you, our DVD audience; please enjoy these films and watch them with an open heart. Rajko Grlić | Film Director, Professor | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts | Leading Mentor

Reviving the peripheral actors and narratives of Venice’s seemingly decaying urban tissue was the pivotal aim of the Erasmus Intensive Academic Programme under the title “Hidden Live(r) s of Venice on Video”(HiLoVv). Contrasting the “hi” and “low” research or production paradigms—to mirror the two disparate layers of Venice’s social reality—the course focussed on simple people as filters and carriers of inaudible narratives, discovering Venice (repeatedly anew) as a living urban tissue that reaches far beyond the mere historical scenery, tourist landmark or cultural business setting. By discovering the city’s inner life through academic research and the audio-visual

In the first year, students uncovered the hidden lives of the least visible urban realms by telling the personal stories of Venetian firemen, vegetable farmers, bag sellers, cemetery florists and even “tree doctors”. The second run of the HiLoVv course offered intimate glimpses of Venice’s notable crafts(wo)men, from shoeand violin-makers to glass- and graffiti-artists. In the ultimate iteration the community of students and mentors tackled the complexity of the Jewish Ghetto, harkening anew to the protagonists of this somewhat hidden cultural gem. This third omnibus neatly wraps up the present 3-DVD box set—enjoy it, serenely! Peter Purg, PHD | Assistant Professor | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts | HiLoVv IP Project Manager

“It is held by some that this word VENETIA signifies VENI ETIAM, that is, come again, and again, for however oft you come, you will always see new things, and new beauties.” Jacopo Sansovino For three years in a row students from different countries explored together the hidden “lives” of Venice. By capturing their always-different discoveries on video, they brought a glimpse of the floating city back to their hometowns, universities and colleagues. Brigitte Kovacs | Assistant Professor | Graz University of Technology | Local Mentor

On the last day it seemed like everyone was happy to have had such an excellent intensive learning opportunity, to have experienced Venice in an exceptional way, to have encountered the people and culture of this small ancient Jewish community, to have seen spaces they wouldn’t have had access to and to have found some time to explore Venice. Ingeborg Fülepp | Professor | University of Rijeka Academy of Applied Arts | Local & Editing Mentor

The HiLoVv project has been an incredible opportunity for Udine students to work in an international context and to be exposed to different teaching approaches and methodologies. The highly professional training that they received in a very short period of time challenged them and allowed them to hone their skills and to acquire new abilities in

the ideation, production and postproduction phases. I also believe that narrating an Italian city together with Slovenian, Croatian and Austrian students was an enlightening and extremely productive experience. Alessandro Bordina | Researcher | University of Udine | Local Mentor

The HiLoVv workshop in Venice is a fine example of good practice for students to develop many different skills. They go through the complete process of making a documentary in a place which can provide a host of interesting and unique topics. Getting to know each other and working together for two weeks with students and mentors from other countries and universities gives them the priceless opportunity to learn how to cooperate in different languages and to deal with different working processes. Neda R. Bric | Author, Theatre director, Actress | Univesity of Nova Gorica School of Arts | Story & Script Mentor

Venice. A city known to the entire world and yet here, within grasp, in our immediate neighbourhood. A city with an extraordinary history, geography, and its very particular fabric and structure. A city on water that we cannot call “the Venice of the Adriatic” like “the Venice of the North” as some other cities are known as, for this is the original. Everyone knows it, and despite all of its menacing problems, it is still alive: not

only does it have tourist attractions, not only does it attract professionals and the general public in droves to one of its biennials, the Mostra and other arts events, not only do thousands study at its universities—it still has its people, the communities that live in the city. This is the side of the city that we wanted to explore—what ordinary life looks like in this extraordinary city. Rene Rusjan | Artist, Professor | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts | Programme Director

The HiLoVv project and filmmaking workshop with Rajko Grlić in Venice was a keystone project for the University of Nova Gorica, School of Arts. We managed to carry out a production workshop that film professors had for years considered as indispensable to film education. HiLoVv was our first multi-year project, finally making it possible for us to plan a three-year workshop with a degree of financial independence. Living in a villa in the heart of Venice, making films in the Mecca of cinematic cities, putting together an international team, having an international star as a mentor and ending with a premiere in a former church in the centre of Venice are experiences that the students will deeply remember for years, well into their professional careers in film. Boštjan Potokar | Artist, Professor | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts | Dean

November morning. Mist is lingering over the beautiful spacious garden so untypical of the image of Venice that typically comes to mind. When I enter the working room of the villa, some of the student film crews have already left for filming, another one is checking equipment to follow in their trail. They have to get the first vaporetto waterbus to the other side of the lagoon. To get a good shot. A student from the last group comes. They need a statement to obtain a filming permit. Then they also leave for filming. And it’s not even breakfast time yet… Each year we have thrown 18 students to the Venetian lions (and themselves) and hoped they would come back safe, in one piece, “with a film in their hand”. Some have been more successful, others less so. But all of them, future filmmakers, film theoreticians, architects and artists, have completed the difficult task they were given and learned a great deal in the process. And we are (everyone, I hope, including the protagonists, to whom we are deeply grateful) proud to have produced 16 short films in three editions, gradually widening the crack into the deep well of the local topoi. Tina Smrekar | Artist, Producer | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts | Workshop Coordinator


Our first plunge into the hidden lives of Venice leads us to interesting encounters: On one of the Venetian lagoon islands, the Finotello family produces vegetables and delivers them across the sea to their fellow citizens. Elisabetta is the third generation of florists at the infamous San Michele cemetery island. Modou is a Nigerian immigrant who reveals a few tricks of the bag-selling trade to the filmmakers. Riccardo Bonini is a fireman who thought he knew everything about his profession until he came to work in Venice. In the canal city we also meet Francesco and Lorenzo, two “tree doctors” preserving the Venetian gardens, and in Angelina we meet Dino who wanted to break the family gondolier tradition but could not resist the calling.

ELISABETTA | 5’38” | Jaša Bukovec, Nika Gvozden, John Mounir Hanna, Isabella Bubola

MODOU | 7’57” | Maximilian Conway, Jaka Žilavec


THE FINOTELLO FAMILY | 7’10” | Aleš Bajec, Anja Perše, Hana Kovačič

RICCARDO BONINI | 6’04” | Iva Musović, Lola Seibt, Nisa Hrvatin, Jan Serini

ANGELINA | 4’45” | Marija Laura Potočnik, Valerija Zabret, Mathias Prosekar, Kalle Köbler


The second edition was devoted to capturing un(dis)covered stories about the manual ingenuity of the Venetian “creative industries”. In Xe El Violin we learn from Riccardo Guaraldi about the traditional art of making violins. Shoes to Measure presents Giovanna Zanella and Gabriele Gmeiner, two highend craftswomen shoemakers who make everything by hand. Sweetly Salty shows us a brave start into the meticulous business of a pizzaiolo and Solo Perle the integration of an immigrant as maker of glass pearls. Delicate Surfaces presents Peeta, a successful painter and graffiti artist who, due to safety issues, now only makes graffiti as commissioned work.

XE EL VIOLIN | 8’05” | Polona Zupan, Bruna Del Bello, Sara Salamon, Vedrana Dragičević

SOLO PERLE | 6’47” | Dunja Danial, Christoph Walter Pirker, Dorotea Smrkinić

SWEETLY SALTY | 4’53” | Nataša Lanieri, Francesca Iacobo, Luis Hurtarte

SHOES TO MEASURE | 11’04” | Urška Djukić, Gašper Uršič, Marco Wenegger, Cordula Weitgruber

DELICATE SURFACES | 8’07” | Iva Musović, Matija Bajc, Urša Bonelli Potokar, Giulia Grotto


SHAUL | RAMI | 9’ | Urška Djukić, Peter Mišic, Gregor Mörth

DAVID | 3’02” | Dylan Mundy Clowry, Denis Barbić, Alexia Eberl

The omnibus of the final year of the HiLoVv project deals with the complex and delicate topic of the contemporary Venetian neighbourhood called the Ghetto which gave name to the notion of the ghetto as we know it today. The Ghetto celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2016.

Venetian Ghetto. David Ariel Guglielmi joined the Jewish Orthodox Community of the ChabadLubavitch three years ago. Since then he and his family have called the Ghetto their home. Karol Skladanowski Vaccarello opened a restaurant in the neighbourhood two years ago to keep the Jewish culinary tradition alive. Davide Casali, member of the Jewish community in Trieste, is a musician commuting weekly to his workplace in Venice. Živa Kraus is a Croatian painter and curator who has lived in Venice for the past 40 years. She has been running the Ikona Gallery, since 2003 located in Campo del Ghetto Novo, for 35 years. The Ghetto introduction insert was made by mentor Jasna Hribernik.

Shaul Bassi is a professor of English Literature at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, founder of the Venice Center of International Jewish Studies and a member of the Jewish Community of Venice. Rami Banin is the rabbi of the ChabadLubavitch Community of Venice and owner of the kosher Gam Gam restaurant in Venice. Artist, musician and researcher Lorenzo Moshe De Vettor Aboaf was born and raised in the

KAROL | 3’23” | Renata Fugošić, Sara Ghiani, Monika Rusak, Cornelia Steiner

LORENZO | 4’08” | Jasmina Lozar, Jaka Čurlič, Francesco Cartigheddu

DAVIDE | 2’35” | Katja Munda Rakar, Jaka Čurlič, Claudia Spinelli

ŽIVA | 6’03” | Iva Musović, Dominik Grdić, Gašper Uršič

My experience of the HiLoVv workshop The workshop made me realize just how powerful documentary filmmaking can be. The positive results of HiLoVv encouraged me to make further films. Under the mentorship of Rajko Grlić, I entered a state of creative flow that I’ve rarely experienced before. I’ll never forget the intense collaboration with Slovenian student Jaka Žilavec. Maximilian Conway | Student | Graz University of Technology

The HiLoVv project was one of the best international projects I participated in. It offered me an opportunity to explore secret corners in one of the most beautiful and extraordinary cities on Earth. I exchanged knowledge in cooperation with other students and mentors and had lots of fun making documentaries in such an inspirational environment. I would do it again any time. Urška Djukić | MA Media Arts and Practices student | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts

My Venetian experience in filmmaking was very motivating for me and my current/ future work. It helped in discovering and remembering some of my hidden and forgotten potential. A few months have passed and I’m already immersed in some serious film projects of my own. I hope it all goes as planned so I can inform you all about the forthcoming results and productions. Venice was a really, really good experience. I hope to be a participant of something similar in the future. Dominik Grdić | Student | University of Rijeka Academy of Applied Arts

HiLoVv was one of my first real experiences with film production, and I loved it! I remember I was ill, but nevertheless I became completely immersed in Venice and documentary film production. It was an opportunity to understand that cinema can get closer to me. And I got the point: still today I’m trying to make it possible, by researching and making new films. Giulia Grotto | Student | University of Udine

HiLoVv —


Denis Barbić, Matija Bajc, Aleš Bajec, Bruna Del Bello, Urša Bonelli Potokar, Isabella Bubola, Jaša Bukovec, Francesco Cartigheddu, Maximilian Conway, Jaka Čurlič, Dunja Danial, Urška Djukić, Vedrana Dragičević, Alexia Eberl, Renata Fugošić, Sara Ghiani, Dominik Grdić, Giulia Grotto, Nika Gvozden, John Mounir Hanna, Nisa Hrvatin, Luis Hurtarte, Francesca Iacobo, Hana Kovačič, Kalle Köbler, Nataša Lanieri, Jasmina Lozar, Peter Mišic, Liberta Mišan, Gregor Mörth, Katja Munda Rakar, Dylan Mundy Clowry, Iva Musović, Marija Laura Potočnik, Anja Perše, Christoph Walter Pirker, Mathias Prosekar, Monika Rusak, Sara Salamon, Lola Seibt, Jan Serini, Dorotea Smrkinić, Claudia Spinelli, Cornelia Steiner, Gašper Uršič, Mia Vučemilović, Marco Wenegger, Cordula Weitgruber, Valerija Zabret, Polona Zupan, Jaka Žilavec LEADING MENTOR:

I participated in the second HiLoVv workshop. I acquired a lot of practical knowledge due to the many set challenges in a short period of time. I would recommend this kind of workshop to anyone interested in film and/or video.

I benefited enormously from the HiLoVv project. I cooperated with new people from different countries and backgrounds, had the opportunity to see and feel the hidden side of Venice and learned a lot about documentary filmmaking.

Sara Salamon | MA Media Arts and Practices student | University of Rijeka Academy of Applied Arts

Iva Musović | MA Media Arts and Practices student | University of Nova Gorica School of Arts

Rajko Grlić | MENTORS: Alessandro Bordina, Neda R. Bric, Janez Burger, Valeria Cozzarini, Ingeborg Fülepp, Jasna Hribernik, Miha Hvale, Brigitte Kovacs, Dalibor Martinis, Nadija Mustapić, Boštjan Potokar, Urša Bonelli Potokar, Peter Purg, Nicole Pruckermayr, Rene Rusjan, Tina Smrekar, Ivan Vranjić, Fedor Vučemilović PHOTO:

Dunja Danial, Urška Djukić, Peter Mišic, Iva Musović, Tina Smrekar, Mia Vučemilović, University of Nova Gorica School of Arts archive


University of Nova Gorica School of Arts PARTNERS: University of Rijeka, Academy of Applied Arts Graz University of Technology University of Udine International Academy of Environmental Sciences EDITED BY:

Boštjan Potokar, Peter Purg, Rene Rusjan, Tina Smrekar | DESIGN: Metod Blejec | COVER PHOTO: Tina Smrekar | DVDs DESIGN AND PHOTOS: 2012—Tina Smrekar, 2013—Marco Wenneger, 2014—Gregor Mörth, Cornelia Steiner | TRANSLATION: Sebastjan Maček | PROOFREADING: Jan Nagel Nova Gorica, Univerza v Novi Gorici 2014 | First edition | 500 copies 10 EUR CIP — Kataložni zapis o publikaciji Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, Ljubljana 791.229.2(086.82):913(450.341.11) HILOVV [Videoposnetek] : hidden live(r)s of Venice : three omnibuses of short student documentary films. — V Novi Gorici : Univerza, 2014 Dialogi v angl. in it., podnapisi v angl. — Produkcija: Univerza v Novi Gorici, Visoka šola za umetnost VSEBINA:

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Venetian Connection ISBN 978-961-6311-82-3 (DVD 1) Passione ISBN 978-961-6311-83-0 (DVD 2) Stories of the Ghetto ISBN 978-961-6311-84-7 (DVD 3) ISBN 978-961-6311-85-4 (komplet) 273683712

HiloVv - Hidden Live(r)s of Venice  

DVD final compilation (booklet), Production: University of Nova Gorica School of Arts

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