THE SECRET FESTIVAL,
OR THE FESTIVAL OF OBLIVION
We come from Corsica, but not only. We are filmmakers, farmers, producers, musicians, carpenters, writers, cooks from the whole world. Every year in July since 2016, we've been gathering together on this island to create a secret festival.
A film and performances festival lost in nature, disguised as gifts and surprises rituals.
As we feel the urge to step away for a moment from the forced walk of our society, we need to reflect upon ourselves by looking at the neglected forces of our surroundings. As a community, the need to re-connect with the invisible worlds of nature. As creators, the appeal to experience art as a gift, out of the conventional and marketed spaces, further away from its relation to money and communication.
And so we joined together into the wild to transform an abandoned land on the side of a secret mountain into a vast playground. In a fragile but joyful way, we invite people to imagine cinema, music and art performances that play with the sceneries of nature. Create situations and images that take us away before they escape into the night. Before they haunt the limbo of the landscapes, whether the spirits of this fallow land or the tangled masses of our memories.
Robert Smithson wrote that "if there was a film festival in limbo, it would be called Oblivion". Therefore, without premeditation, we take him at his word, and organise a festival of fugitive apparitions and vanishings into a wilderness of elsewheres.
The festival takes place in a very particular place (see more pictures): above the village of Pieve di Tenda, in the Nebbio region close to Bastia. On the side of a mountain, a vast abandoned agricultural land is now slowly being put back into production. It seems to be floating in the sky. Facing the sea.
The festival happens in the third week of July. It is informal and secret, meaning it does not announce its programme neither communicate before its happening. The first part of the festival is a week of open residence in the land, that will include around 40 people from all over the world and Corsica. Every night then, during six nights, starts with a dinner, as a ritual prepared by one of the chefs. After the dinner, two different performances take place, playing with a particular landscape on the mountain.
It can take multiple forms, the staging of a screening of a film, a concert of music, a theatrical installation, a ritual, but has to respect two different rules. First, every performance must always happen in a different place in the land. Second, it has to remain secret until the last moment. Artists don't show their own work as in other festivals, it is always a creation or a recreation of another work.
As the surprises are revealed, the films are screened from one mountain to another, in impossible places, the images and scenes go off the sets and inspire each other.
To conclude the festival, on the 7th and last day of the week, a closing public night of performances and celebration takes place in the village nearby, gathering hundreds of people. A procession starts from the center of the land. All the participants carry together the big wooden exhausted cinema screens that we built and bring them to the church of Pieve. As we ring the bells, the people gather, an unannounced wandering program unfolds a night of gifts and surprises that includes performances, films, concerts, installations, imagined by the guests of the week. International and Corsican artists start a conversation with the public as a village ball, marking the culmination of the festival.
In the year following the festival, a catalogue is published, unveiling and announcing afterwards the programme of what has disappeared, as well as developing some of the conversations and ideas that have emerged.
Have created an event during the two first editions: PIERRE-ALAIN GIRAUD, filmmaker, France - VANNINA BERNARD-LEONI, researcher, Corsica - ANTOINE THIRION, film critic and screenwriter, France - VINCENT MOON, filmmaker & dancer, outer worlds - YSE LI, chef, France - SARA RASTEGAR, filmmaker, Iran - SIMONE YANG, filmmaker, Italy - GASPAR CLAUS, cello player, France - NILS BOUAZIZ, distributor, France - DANIEL HUI, filmmaker, Singapour - SARAH WIEN SHIAN, musician, Taïwan - ANTOINE VIVIANI, filmmaker & musician, Corsica - MATI DIOP, filmmaker, Sénégal - FABIEN DANESI, art critic & curator, Corsica - THIERRY DE PERETTI, filmmaker, Corsica - MELISSA EPAMINONDI, artist & architect, Corsica - PIERRE-EDOUARD DUMORA, musician, France - MANON LUTANIE, publisher, France - AURELIE BOIS, illustrator, France - AURELIA MORALI, filmmaker, France - GABRIELA FRIDRIKSDOTTIR, artist, Iceland - LOUISE HEMON & LAURIE LASSALE, filmmakers, France - ANTOINE COULMEAU, builder & carpenter, France - ALIOCHA, filmmaker, France - DIANA SALICETI, singer, Corsica - GHJUVAN FRANCESCU MATTEI, musician, Corsica - LAWRENCE WILLIAMS, musician, England - MARCEL TURKOWSKI, filmmaker, Germany - LAURE LIMONGI, writer, Corsica - FRANCOIS CHARLES, filmmaker, Corsica - LAURENCE REYMOND, film critic & producer, France - PRISCILLA TELMON, filmmaker, France - RAPHAEL HENARD, musician, France - SAVERIA TOMASI, dancer, Corsica - JEAN-BAPTISTE CHIARONI, cowboy, Corsica - LEA TODOROV, filmmaker, France - JULIEN COLARDELLE - artistic director, France
- The festival is a participatory and informal event. It has no budget and there is no money involved. It is conceived as an exchange of gifts and surprises. There is a small fee asked for every participant to cover the expenses of the day (dinner and beverages, pick up from the airport).
- During the week we will be around 40 to 50 people max at night. On the last day the closing night in the village is public and brings together a couple of hundred people. The organisers need help, and everybody needs to find a way to help the organisation of the nights or the dinners.
- The land is 35 min away by car from the Bastia airport. Consider renting a car if you want to be autonomous, as there is no public transportation in Corsica.
- There are different solutions for sleeping: on site under the stars or in the camping area, or very close by in a rented house (supplementary).
CREATED BY AV - AT - AC - PAG - FD - YD - JC - DS