The iconic Piazzetta of Portofino sees the return of open-air movie nights, with the launch of Cinema in Blu. Three evenings of screenings have been organised in collaboration with the Riviera International Film Festival of Sestri Levante.
Rather than fiction films, Belmond has chosen three documentaries by emerging directors from the RIFF selection. These discuss important issues on sustainability, environmental protection and sociality and represent a new “committed” glamour, connecting to the world through comparison, debate and diverse points of view. The Piazzetta of Portofino will be transformed into a unique and unparalleled stage, as viewers absorb these thought-provoking stories, surrounded by a beauty that frames its universal value.
Electricity produced by Belmond hotels’ photovoltaic panels, mini hydroelectric turbines and the wind turbines of La Portofinese, will be used to power the screen and the audio system, making them 100% sustainable.
Alessandro Gassmann and Ermes De Megni
The opening night began with a world premiere of a short film starring Alessandro Gassmann – this was commissioned by the luxury travel provider, Belmond, to a local production company, Flying Donkeys.
Robert Koren, Senior Vice President EMEA at Belmond says of the launch: “For this reason, his talent, his love for Portofino and his deep involvement in environmental and sustainability issues, the choice of Alessandro Gassman as the protagonist of our short film was for us an obvious choice”.
Gassman had a passion for Portofino and this initiative corresponds to the celebrations of Vittorio Gassman’s centenary, with the exhibition currently underway at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica in Rome which, before moving to Genoa (the city where the actor was born) on 6 July. He was a loyal guest at Belmond’s Splendido where his dedication signed in the Golden Book is jealously guarded. Gassman says in the short film: “The stories of my father in the 1960s and of the afternoons on the terrace of the Splendido; the Italy of those times have passed through here and continues to do so, “
Ermes De Megni – Ambassador of Splendido, Splendido Mare and Mino Viacava – is also participating. Born and raised in Portofino, he is the founder of La Portofinese, a unique business intent on highlighting the Portofino harbour and the beauty of its surroundings. Splendido and Splendido Mare have launched an exciting collaboration with this local company through a wide range of experiences offered to guests of both hotels.
The three films
The first screening took place on the 13th May, with the remaining two taking place on the 10th June and 6th July, with the movies beginning at around 9pm. They are the work of emerging directors chosen by Belmond in order to promote and give visibility to new talents. Chosen from a selection at the Riviera International Film Festival, they encourage conversation on topics very relevant in today’s world.
Kwando (USA – 2021 Documentary, 46 min) by Kaya Ensor was the first, on May 13. It’s a story of a young Angolan fisherman, obsessed with his past as a child soldier who chooses to join a team of international scientists to travel on one of the last unexplored rivers of Angola, discovering its destiny in the protection of this natural paradise.
Desert X 2021 – The Film (USA – 2021 Documentary, 56 min) by Dylan Robertson will be shown on June 10. This is a behind-the-scenes exploration of 12 artists from eight countries who have exhibited their works in the desert, experiencing this particular setting not only as a place but also as an idea, for a profound reflection on concepts and social movements necessary for the sustenance of our future.
Ride the Wave (UK – 2021 Documentary, 84 min) by Martyn Robertson will close the season on 6 July. This film follows the challenges a 14-year-old surfing champion experiences in the dangerous waves and icy waters of Mullaghmore, Ireland. If he does well, he will join an elite group. If he fails, the consequences will be terrifying. Danger, opportunity, and parental dilemma collide, pushing Ben and his family towards an unknown fate.
“This is a project that, while it celebrates the historical heritage of Portofino’s grand cinematographic days, it also looks to the future. It’s about a place that, while being located in a corner of paradise nestled between sea and hills, also pays special attention to the world and to the main themes of the times we live in”. concludes Koren