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The  Caffè Sospeso, an old Neapolitan custom where cafeteria customers would pay for an extra cup of coffee to be set aside for anyone unable to pay for his/her own,  is the inspiration behind the Caffè Sospeso Network, which was presented at the recent edition of the Valsusa Filmfest, Valle di Susa (Piedmont).

The network is concerned with initiatives that help inmates of Italian prisons maintain contacts with the outside world and was represented at the Filmfest by members of two cooperatives who  help groups of prisoners  - the Lazzarelle Cooperative of Naples which produces coffee under the trademark Lazzarelle with inmates of the womens prison at Pozzuoli  and the Pausa Caffè Cooperative of Turin producing coffee, cocao and beer at the prisons of Turin and Saluzzo. An additional guest was Davide Dutto, author of the book Il Gambero Nero, ricette in carcere (The Black Shrimp, recipes in prison  with reference to the Italian Michelin guide equivalent, known as the Gambero Rosso or Red Shrimp).

The Valsusa Filmfest is also part of a wider network of Italian festivals, exhibitions and mutual help cultural associations, in the spirit of the caffè sospeso offered to a stranger in need. The network comprises the Festival of Cinema of Human Rights (Naples), Lampedusainfestival, the island of Lampedusa (Sicily), the Film Festival sul Paesaggio (Landscape) at Polizzi Generosa (Sicily), the Marine Caffè Noir  Festival di Letteratura Applicate (Applied Literature), Cagliari (Sardinia), Riaceinfestival at Riace (Calabria) and the S/paesati (loosely translated Lost, out of touch) at Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia).

The Valsusa Filmfest is an annual competition of films, shorts, music videoclips and documentaries, open to all and centred on the themes of environmental conservation and the preservation of local and folk memories.

For details of this years prizewinners:  www.valsusafilmfest.it

Posted on 06 May 2011 by Editor
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