Cinema and the world's fragile boundaries: IX Film Summer School (19.05.2008)

Every year the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the Università della Svizzera italiana and the Locarno International Film Festival organise a Summer School to analyse fiction and non-fiction media.

The Summer School is part of Réseau Cinéma CH, a Swiss university consortium promoting two Master of Arts programs in Film Studies and Film.

The IX Film Summer School (Locarno, Switzerland 4.- 8. August 2008) will attempt to intercept the hot points of a topical debate: what representation does the cinema give of borders? And how does it contribute to overcoming them? Since its first years, cinema has appeared as a phenomenon capable of overcoming geographic and cultural identities and of involving a global population. It seemed to strengthen the dream of universal language and thus be able to offer one art for everyone. At the same time, however, the critics of the first 10 years of the XX century also began to describe the various cinematographies on the basis of national characters: the American, French, Italian, Scandinavian and German cinemas were defined on the basis of true and presumed “constitutional conceptions” of the various cultures such as the opening to modernity, the ability to bring back tradition, a certain impudence, etc. In this way, from its earliest years, cinema has been linked with contradiction: on one side it eliminated differences, yet on the other it replicated them. This double destiny has often repeated itself in the history of cinema. Many times films have offered opportunities for comparison and as many others they have functioned as marks of identification.

Today, in a world characterised both by a rapid globalisation which threatens to eliminate all cultural specificity, and by the rebounding of ethnic conflicts which underline how difficult it is to overcome identities, this double destiny of the cinema can constitute a good occasion for reflection. The Summer School, organised by the Università della Svizzera italiana together with the Festival of Locarno, will dedicate a week to this topic.

With the contribution of acclaimed filmmakers Amos Gitaï (director, Israel - Leopard of Honour at the 61. Locarno International Film Festival) and Corso Salani (director, Italy - Ciné Cinéma Special Jury Prize / Filmmakers of the Present Competition at the 60. Locarno International Film Festival), and renowned scholars Vinzenz Hediger (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Massimo Locatelli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan), Carmelo Marabello (Università Bocconi, Milan) and Margrit Tröhler (Universität Zürich), the 2008 Summer School will be trying to tap into the hot spots of an extremely topical debate, in which the relationship between cinema and the representation of boundaries, and the implications for the production, creative and consumption processes traces out a broad and multi-faceted work map.

The Summer School – whose scientific committee is composed of Francesco Casetti (University of Lugano and Catholic University of Milan), Maria Cristina Lasagni (University of Lugano), Frédéric Maire (Locarno International Film Festival), Giuseppe Richeri (University of Lugano) and Margrit Tröhler (University of Zurich) – is open to 30 university students from Switzerland and abroad, and offers them the opportunity to explore the techniques of analysis and the processes of creation and production of the documentary film through the following teaching activities:


A series of four seminars - coordinated by Professor Francesco Casetti - will tackle the subject of the representation of boundaries in terms of the industry, authors and genres. Guest teachers will include scholars Vinzenz Hediger (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Massimo Locatelli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan), Carmelo Marabello (Università Bocconi, Milan) and Margrit Tröhler (Universität Zürich).


The four modules - coordinated by Dr. Nevina Satta - will consist of two workshops conducted by renowned filmmakers Amos Gitaï (director, Israel) and Corso Salani (director, Italy). Using analytical methods, the authors will present their own creative-production processes and the typical features of their relevant market. Laboratory work includes the viewing and the discussion of one or more films, each author’s presentation of his conception and production cycle in its main stages, to conclude with a group discussion with the film director.

Deadline for application: Friday, 4. July, 2008

The Film Summer School full program may be found at the website

Information request:

Tel. +41 (0)58 666 48 14