International Office Blog

News and information from the International Office at the University of Brighton

Alice Giraudi

Digital Film graduate recognised at international film festival

Italian Scottish student Alice Giraudi has placed third in an women’s international film festival. Alice’s short film, entitled Il Giardino, takes a documentary look at Italian chef Maria Zingarelli as she sets about opening her own vegetarian restaurant – in a part of Italy famed for its meat…

Alice is an Italian Scottish student and grew up all around the world, but it was after studying her IB Film course at high school in Jakarta that lead her to consider a film degree.

“I chose to go into film because many of my interests and strengths overlapped with filmmaking, such as writing, photography, editing, and organization, collaboration, and creativity in general.’ said Alice. ‘I also was not entirely sure about what I wanted to do as a career, but I knew that a film degree would open many different career routes, especially in today’s digital world, since videos have become ubiquitous in our everyday lives.”

She enrolled onto the Digital Film BA degree and had this to say about choosing areas of interest to study:

“I am so grateful that I chose to take this course because it really helped me figure out where my interests lie and what I could see myself doing in the future. It helped that this course was quite broad for the first 2 years since it gave us a chance to try out and learn about the many different aspects involved in filmmaking: everything from marketing to documentaries to experimental film, taking projects from the pre-production stage all the way to distribution.’

‘This prepared us for our final year, during which we were able to specialize a final project and dissertation. This could be on any topic of our choice involving digital film. Apart from the course itself, I met so many people that I will definitely want to work with again in the future, and friends I know I will have for a long time, not just from my course but others as well.”

Alice Giraudi film crew

‘For my final year, I chose to overlap both food and film within my dissertation and my practical project. I am especially interested in the impact globalization has had on food as a cultural artefact and a commodity. I explore both these aspects within my final year projects. My short documentary, “Il Giardino” or “The Garden,” highlights chef and entrepreneur Maria Zingarelli, who owns a vegetarian restaurant in the heart of Turin’s old town.

I was largely inspired by the Netflix docuseries Chef’s Table, as I love how they highlight amazing food while also bringing awareness to socio-cultural, economic, and political issues. I wanted to follow this example and use food as a platform to uncover issues that are apparent in Italy but that I believe are not talked about enough, such as gender equality, sustainability, excessive meat consumption, and overall the rejection of innovation to maintain tradition.

While I could have easily made a 30 minute to 1-hour film from the 10 hours of footage we shot, our assignment limited us to 10 minutes. My biggest challenge was to convey the story I wanted to tell in that short amount of time. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the themes involved within food, globalization, culture, and sustainability. I definitely think I would like to continue exploring these themes in my work in the future. However, I also know that I would love to delve into other uncovered issues that are present in the world, and use my documentary filmmaking to expose truths about our society.”

Alice Giraudi film crew railway Alice Giraudi film crew on location

Alice was awarded her honour at the Her International Film Festival, which celebrates and promotes young women in the film industry by bringing female film-makers to a greater audience, and building a community of women making movies across the world.

Talking about her time Brighton, Alice noted the impact of the support she had around her. “I am really grateful for the opportunities I have had throughout my time here,” she said. ‘From the support to follow my passions and interests, to be able to explore and discover new ways of looking at the world, to the great work experience opportunities I had. I was really lucky to have very talented people on my course – my film would never have got to the level it is at without them.”

Since winning the prize, Alice has been accepted on a masters programme that will create a bridge between her passions of film and food, studying at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. Now moved back to her home city of Turin, Alice is also busy working on an art archive. But she intends to keep working with Maria, including starting an Instagram account to showcase the people she works with and her efforts to improve the world through food. “After my Masters programme, I hope to be able to combine film and food studies in my future work, Alice says. “I would love to work in areas such as journalism, documentary-making, creating online content and advertising. While I really enjoyed directing my own project, I would love to work within other sections of film-making in the future.”

Watch Alice’s film – Il Giardino here


Olivia Weatherill • January 27, 2021

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