Isolated Italians Project Classic Film Clips Onto Rome Buildings To Lift Beleaguered City’s Spirits

The deadly spread of coronavirus may be taking a harsh toll on nations around the globe, but witnessing the creative outlets that people are finding to alleviate the boredom of isolation is providing some more uplifting news to report.

Italy has been one of the places most decimated by the virus. Last week, its death toll surpassed China’s. At the time of writing, it had reached 5,476, with 59,138 confirmed cases. The country is in full lockdown, with people only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons.

Despite an understandable doom and gloom in the national mood, one organization is trying to lift spirits by projecting scenes from classic movies onto buildings in Rome, to provide welcome distraction for cooped up citizens.

The endeavour was originated by Alice nella Città, the independent and parallel sidebar of the Rome Film Fest aimed at younger audiences. The org has invited people all over the country who have the ability to project movies to do so onto their neighbouring buildings, and to share images online.

In the first week, clips from the following films have already been shown (copyright restricts the screenings to individual scenes): Dead Poets Society, Billy Elliot, Cinema Paradiso, La Dolce Vita, Der Himmel über Berlin, Miracolo a Milano, The Great Dictator, and The Aristocats.

Fabia Bettini and Gianluca Giannelli, the festival’s directors, instigated the project from their houses in Rome, and have invited others to follow suit, with the movement now reaching all across the Italian capital. People in Pisa, Turin and Palermo have also begun to show scenes every evening, according to the fest.

Each projection starts at 22.00 local time, with the festival saying its purpose is to send people “to sleep with a lighter heart after these tiring days, thanks to the sharing of a moment dedicated to watching scenes from the films we love most”. The festival is also taking requests for films to feature from people without projectors.

Celebrities have already begun endorsing the project. Spanish star Penelope Cruz posted the below on her Instagram feed with the caption “Mandando mucho amor. Sending so much love”:

Alice nella Città says the initiative is now spreading abroad, with participations in Philippines, Brazil and Vietnam, and further set to come in England, France, Switzerland and Bulgaria. The festival will continue to share images from around the world as the popularity grows.

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