Journalist, movie lover and writer. Ivan Scinardo, headmaster of the Sicilian branch of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – National School of Cinema, talks about the achievements during his brilliant career. Sicilian Secrets interviewed him.
Q: How did you approach this job as a journalist?
A: Journalism is a passion that I have had since the years at high school. I liked literary subjects, my philosophy professor suggested this career to me. My father often took me with him to a local radio where he used to word as a columnist, I used to stay close to the director, behind the glass of the speaker booth and I was delighted to see all colored cursors and buttons. He taught me to take my first steps in this environment and I did my first news on the radio. Gradually I became more and more interested, so after the radio, I switched to local TV and print media: crime and judicial news, I became a news correspondent for the province of Enna at Giornale di Sicilia. In 1991 I enrolled in the Register of Journalists and in 2004 I took the exams as a professional.
Q: Where does your passion for cinema come from and how did you turn it into part of your job?
A: I never thought about working in the movie industry. I founded the first satellite TV, Oasi.tv, a channel dedicated to social issues, and I was appointed as a managing director. My last live news was in Rimini, for the national convocation of the Rinnovamento nello spirito. In this occasion I met the sociologist Francesco Alberoni. In 2009 he told me about an important project about the opening of a branch of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Palermo, the national film school of which he was the President. He was looking for a press officer and I applied; the experience at Oasi.tv was over and after a period as a freelance, I began collaborating with the School of Cinema.
Q: Since 2010 you have been headmaster of the Sicilian branch of Centro sperimentale di cinematografia – National School of cinema, how do you combine the connection between cinema and territory?
A: In 2010 the contract as a press officer for the branch in Palermo was turned into a permanent hiring as headmaster. I still remember the moment when I was notified of the appointment by the members of the board of directors, and alongside some legends like Giancarlo Giannini, I heard Ivan Scinardo, it was one of the most exciting days of my life. To date, over 50 students have graduated in documentary directing. Almost all of them work for international platforms such as Netflix and Prime Video. Many students live in Sicily and have created some associations to combine their skills and experiences.
Q: Sicily and cinema, according to you, what’s the potential of the island?
A: I think that Sicily should be considered a natural location to shot any kind of film. The history of cinema taught us to all of us. To make a successful movie needs a good territory and a nice landscape to develop the plot, it impacts on the local economy, of course. Moreover, movies can become the perfect way to promote a place and positively impact on tourism. The regional Film Commission is doing a lot.
Q: Cinema and journalism for Ivan Scinardo, your two souls that found the perfect dimension in your book “Cinema#Giornalismo”. What can you tell us about your project?
A: I want to answer using the same words of the introduction to my book: “Cinema and journalism are two fundamental tools to tell stories. They both build the so called process of imagination. Narration is the essence of these means, these languages, these keys to describe reality. […] I saw many movie, some of them even more than once. I analized some fragments, chose some scenes that I edited with a specific software, cleaned the color, light and sound. I created a collage of cinema and journalism, conflictual and symbiotic at the same time”.
Q: In your book you mention over 250 movies dedicated to journalism, what’s your favorite?
A: The movie that best describes the relationship between movie and journalism is ‘Il muro di gomma’ directed by Marco Risi in 1991. I think that the story dedicated to the journalist Rocco Ferrante, who worked at Corriere della sera, that told about the tragedy of Ustica and the following trial, is a milestone of journalism.
Q: Traditional Cinema VS streaming: according to you, what’s the future of the industry?
A: I think and hope that the movie theatre will never close, even if the pandemic made us do a sort of rehearsal and forced us to stay home and watch movie in streaming. Thanks to these platforms many movie productions have been saved and many your talents had and still have a huge opportunity to make their project true. Netflix and Prime are investing a lot of money. I’m sure that both the movie theatres and the streaming platforms will walk together and people will have more options.
Q: Do you have any upcoming new project?
A: I am thinking about continuing the research on the filmography dedicated to journalism. The last movie that I reviewed is ‘The French dispatch’ by Wes Anderson presented at Cannes and that will be released in November. I’d like to publish another book, in the meantime I have lived 11 years of experience in which I saw many new young talents for the movie industry. I’m proud of them. This is the ‘fuel’ and the motivation that pushes me to fly always higher.