When a festival advertises itself as a unique and out-of-time experience that you can only understand once you have lived it in person, such a claim may be met with skepticism at first. But my visit to the small village of Revine Lago, located directly by the UNESCO World Heritage-protected Prosecco Hills in the northern Italian province of Treviso, will certainly remain unforgettable.
Hard to reach without a car, the festival site is laid out more of a music festival: you pay admission once and gain access to several cinema screens, some of which are located directly on the beach in the water or in the surrounding meadows. There are also food trucks and adjacent bars, film installations in wooden pavilions, or industry meetings held on pedal boats; visitors can either camp or stay in the surrounding B&Bs—and all of this is embedded in the kind of relaxed tranquillity that is only possible in summertime Italy.
If this wasn’t reason enough to visit the festival, Lago Film Fest has also chosen an extremely exciting direction in terms of content. Over nine days, it presents positions by authors situated between film and art, who regard the moving image as “a territory in constant evolution”, regardless of the length and origin of the productions. So you can suddenly find yourself sitting next to the celebrated Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz and watching selected films of the day in one of the pavilions while the pent-up heat discharges in a violent thunderstorm outside, with hailstones the size of chicken eggs. Afterwards, everyone’s off together to one of the surrounding bars, where the filmmakers, visitors, and the wonderful festival team are served Aperol Spritz made with regional Prosecco. A truly unforgettable experience.
Text by Daniel Ebner