One of the brightest, loudest, flashing neon-style sign that humanity can indeed get along is the upcoming Middle East Now festival in Florence, Italy. Yes, Florence, where that original coming out of the Middle Ages happened hundreds of years ago, is the city I believe could also be at the epicenter of a new cross-cultural Renaissance.
This wondrous season of endless possibilities kicks off with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival where, from October 23rd to the 1st of November, it's time once again for some magnificent movie watching, some life-changing interviews and the all around welcoming atmosphere of my favorite region in the world.
I love what Quentin Tarantino says, "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films." It's so true, just as art is only learned by looking at paintings and then drawing, doing, so filmmaking can only be achieved by watching the masters at work, and then trying to capture their essence.
I adore fairy tales and have never really grown up from that joy I felt as a child, listening to my grandfather read me stories by the Brothers Grimm or watching the Disney videos. But these days I require a little more heft, turmoil and character development. That's where Fabio Grassadonia's and Antonio Piazza's touching drama Salvo comes in.