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From May 29th to the 31st, the Festival dei Popoli will set down in New York's splendid Snug Harbor, Staten Island, currently a vital center of activity in one of New York City's five boroughs.

The Festival dei Popoli's first annual New York event was developed by two associations with similar cultural platforms: the venerable "Snug Harbor Cultural Center", located in the Staten Island Botanical Garden, and the FitzGerald Foundation of Florence, a new association founded on the longstanding friendship between the city of Florence and Anglo-Saxon culture. It is also made possible by the support of the Regione Toscana and of Mediateca Regionale Toscana Film Commission.

The three day event is part of an ongoing movement by the Festival dei Popoli to circulate its rich collection of archival footage abroad. Since 1959, the collection has grown into an unparalleled treasury of documentary films and the history of documentary filmmaking.

"Cinema is a matter of exchanging looks: those of the people in the frame, those of the filmmaker framing them, and those of the spectator seeing through them. On the occasion of our first event on American soil, it seemed interesting to us, then, to focus in on the dynamic of exchanging viewpoints: on one end, the viewpoints of filmmakers who, over the years, have observed with curiosity and passion the peculiarities of Tuscan life; on another, those of filmmakers who have let their gaze fall on the complex and cosmopolitan life of New York; and yet another viewpoint is that of the people of Staten Island who can here discover the presence of a distant place and the memory of a place close by. The films were selected not only based on the material at hand in the archive, but also on the merits of creativity with respect to mere observation. Therefore, the films to be screened on Staten Island are auteur documentaries, the result of a reality as it is filtered through personal aesthetic. They consider environments, architectures, unusual people and quiet, everyday people, piecing together a mosaic that, seen through well-defined viewpoints, will bring to the public a more precise idea of different territories. Some of the documentaries show New York as it has been depicted in the festival's prizewinning films from the early years to today. Another group of films takes a look at places and events in Tuscany as they have been perceived and interpreted by filmmakers of international acclaim." (Luciano Barisone)

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Founded in 1959 by a group of humanities scholars, anthropologists, sociologists, ethnologists and experts in mass-media, the Festival dei Popoli has been working for almost fifty years to promote and study social documentary cinema. Chiefly, the association organizes one of the most important international documentary festivals in Italy. At the…

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