Exploring Sardinia’s Cinematic Voice: Sa Terra at Al Ard Film Festival


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In its nineteenth edition, Al Ard Film Festival’s artistic direction decided to infuse a touch of Sardinian essence with a special section called Sa Terra, inspired by the festival’s name, “Al Ard,” which translates to “The Land.”

Despite being popular as a European film festival focusing on Palestine and the Arab world,  Al Ard Film Festival remains deeply rooted in its birthplace, Sardinia. This strong connection explains why the festival decided to go beyond merely serving as a platform for filmmakers focusing on Palestine and/or the Arab world; it now also highlights the distinctive cinematic voices of Sardinia through its dedicated section, Sa Terra.

Sa Terra aims to provide a glimpse of Sardinian cinematography to the audience of Al Ard Film Festival and its international guests. Moreover, it serves to raise awareness among viewers about the political and social issues facing Sardinia.

Continuing this tradition into its twentieth edition, we showcase two films produced in Sardinia that will be screened out of competition: “Padenti” by Marco Antonio Pani and “Il dito e la luna” by Agostino Marco D’Antonio. These two works, while distinct from each other, offer intriguing insights into our Sardinian land, each with its own unique style.

Padenti by Marco Antonio Pani

Wednesday, 21st February 2024 – 8:30 PM

Translated as “Forest,” “Padenti” is a self-produced documentary set in the southeastern part of Sardinia, within a cork oak forest. It presents a triple portrait of the area, capturing the ambiance with sounds of cicadas, footsteps, and the rhythmic strikes of axes against ancient cork oak trees. Through imagery and sounds, the documentary highlights the significance of the cork oak forests in the Mediterranean ecosystem, acting as vital green lungs and natural filters for the air we breathe. The film’s main characters are the inhabitants of the village to whom the forest belongs.

Marco Antonio Pani, born in Sassari, Sardinia, pursued studies in classical and artistic fields before venturing into filmmaking. With a diploma as an Expert in audiovisual management, he embarked on a career spanning over three decades, directing and producing numerous documentaries that have been showcased in prestigious national and international festivals.

Il dito e la luna by Agostino Marco D’Antonio

Thursday, 22nd February 2024 – 8:30 PM

This documentary, delves into the theme of freedom of artistic expression. Bakis Beks, a rapper with twenty years of experience, after singing a song denouncing the military exploitation of Sardinia by NATO and the Italian Army, was convicted of abuse of a public official, along with three other people in the audience. The film not only portrays the protagonist and his world but also incorporates his music, with hip-hop culture being a prominent feature. Artists like Bakis Beks, Malam, Futta, Kento, Lord Madness, and 1989 grace the screen in this captivating narrative.

Agostino Marco D’Antonio, born in Nuoro, Sardinia, began his cinematic journey by directing amateur short films. His professional path led him to study at the SNCI (Scuola Nazionale di cinema indipendente) in Florence and work in various roles on film sets until he devoted himself entirely to directing. “Il dito e la luna” marks his debut as a feature-length filmmaker.

A Window to Sardinia

From the vibrant hip-hop beats of “Il dito e la luna”  to the serene melodies of nature in “Padenti,” Sa Terra offers a multifaceted exploration of Sardinia’s documentary landscape, inviting the audience to dive into the rich tapestry of stories woven by its filmmakers. At Al Ard Film Festival, these films serve as windows into the heart and soul of Sardinia, echoing its voices.