Cinematic Experiences

Maina Spada and Julia Barnes

Italian filmmaker Marina Spada speaks with students during a Q&A session as interpreter Julia Barnes '14 looks on.

Internationally recognized film director Marina Spada visited Dickinson on Wednesday to screen her latest movie and speak with students interested in independent films, as well as Italian language and culture. All were welcome to attend the event, which was co-sponsored by the Italian department and the film-studies program.

Spada, who teaches cinema at the University of Milan, Italy, worked in the Italian television industry before making her first feature film, Forza, Cani (Go, Dogs), in 2002. Her best-known work is Come l’Ombra (As the Shadows), a multiple-award-winning film that drew critical attention at the Venice and Toronto film festivals. At Dickinson, Spada screened  Il Mio Domani (My Tomorrow), a movie about a young professional who faces 21st-century dilemmas in both her personal and professional lives.

After the screening, the director answered questions about the movie, the independent-film industry and everyday life in contemporary Italy. The conversation continued at Vincett House, where Spada chatted with students and professors over an informal dinner.

History major Tim Lehotsky ’16 said that although he doesn’t plan to go into movie-making, he greatly enjoyed catching an insider’s view of the art. “I came away with a much greater appreciation for filmmakers and for all of those who participate in the process,” he said. 

"It also was interesting because we are learning about Italian culture through Italian film," added Italian-studies major Catherine Proietto '14, who, like Lehotsky, is enrolled in a course on the subject taught by Associate Professor of Italian Nicoletta Marini-Maio.

Tim Hegberg ’17, an avid blogger, videographer and writer who is considering enrolling in Dickinson’s film-studies program, picked up valuable filmmaking tips. “I leave a lot up to chance, because I believe it captures more of the essence of what is happening in the environment I’m filming, but after hearing of her success, I’m exploring the option of increasing the amount of planning that goes into my next project,” he said.

For Julia Barnes ’14, who served as the evening's interpreter,  the event offered a chance to practice her craft. "I was very intrigued by the challenge," said Barnes, who majors in French and Italian studies and plans to pursue a career in literary translation. "Marina Spada was very patient and helpful. It was an added bonus that I genuinely adored her film."

Published Nov. 11, 2013