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A. Lo Russo and M. Matarozzo • MAshRome Film Fest

"The internet is the third industrial revolution"


- The directors of the first Italian festival dedicated to film and audiovisual remix talk about the Internet, mash-up and the new frontiers of cinema

A. Lo Russo and M. Matarozzo • MAshRome Film Fest

Alessandra Lo Russo and Mariangela Matarozzo are the creators and directors of the MAshRome Film Fest (Rome, June 6-9, 2012), the first festival in Italy entirely dedicated to mash-up of audiovisual styles, that is, the montaging of images and sounds taken from different sources to create a new work, with the help of new cross-medial forms of expression (see the news).

Cineuropa: Was it difficult to organise this festival and communicate its concept?
Mariangela Matarozzo: It's a complex project, with alien contents and we struggled a little to communicate what it is we wanted to do, also because of the slightly unusual terminology: mash up, crossmedia, converging culture. We were helped by our network of participating cultural partners and international festivals. We wanted to create a unique and specific event which is linked to this historical era in which the internet and new technologies represent a third industrial revolution and offer some important opportunities. The basic concept is that of mixing to create a new work based on past material.

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The festival hosts various American artists, where mash-up is already an established reality. What has the response been in Europe?
Alessandra Lo Russo: 90% of the artists are American , that's true. We also received some works from Italy, but more than being real mash-ups these were experimentations with video clips. If we look at Europe, mash-up is used a lot in the North-East, Estonia, Lithuania and the Baltics are very active. But we also have works from Spain, Austria, France, Denmark, the UK and Poland.

What kind of reaction do you expect from the Italian public?
A. L. R.: Our aim is to share, to show these works to as wide an audience as possible. Those who live on the Internet and uses it in a constructive way will benefit the most from our festival, as well as those who have a high level of interest in music, cinema and audiovisual media.

M. M.: We would also like to bring this festival to other countries and other contexts which are more predisposed to accepting it, through awards and twinning. Getting the funds together wasn't easy. It's important that people talk about it.

Who is the typical author of audiovisual mash-ups?
A. L. R.: They are new creative types, people who are curious and able to re-elaborate existing material and create new forms of expression, and who are familiar with found footage and new editing techniques. Bergman and Méliès already used mash-up, these days Gondry uses it. And modern techniques are much more advanced than those of the early film years, we have to make the most of that. Mash-up is also an opportunity for young filmmakers to showcase their work when the budget is lacking: the material is there, you just have to rework it.

How does the question of authors' rights come into the case of mashed-up works?
M. M.: Using the work of others can create problems. Within the sector, people are trying to understand how to go from copyright to copyleft (a licence whereby the author allows for his work to be used, circulated and changed on the basis of certain conditions, Editor's note) so that great works can have a second commercial life. For ten years now America has had creative commons, a different form of licence which promotes sharing, while protecting the author and guaranteeing the fruition of his work. It was created precisely to ensure a continues flux of content on the Internet: copyright is no longer in step with new technologies.

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