UNIMED Award 2020 for cultural diversity and freedom of artistic expression

77° Venice International Film Festival

The international jury of university students who attended the 77° Venice International Film Festival conferred the UNIMED Award 2020 to the movie “Quo Vadis, Aida?” by Jasmila Žbanić, for its artistic value and its ability to depict the current themes of integration and multiculturalism. The Award was created by Miloš Todorović, in the collaboration with the young curator Nataša Radojević, a partner of the Drina Gallery (Belgrade), and the founder of Logic Art Space, and Paolo De Grandis, a founder of PDG ARTE Communications.

Marcello Scalisi director of UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union, Prof. Antonio Falduto, curator Nataša Radojević, Paolo De Grandis founder of PDG ARTE Communications

During the 77° edition of the Venice International Film Festival, an international jury of 12 students coming from UNIMED associated universities assigned the “UNIMED Award 2020” to the movie which best conveys the values of cultural diversity, promotes freedom of artistic expression and encourages cultural exchanges.

Curator Nataša Radojević, Paolo De Grandis founder of PDG ARTE Communications

The UNIMED Award, a collateral prize of the Venice International Film Festival and now at its 4th edition, results from the collaboration between UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union, an association of 130 universities from 23 countries of the Mediterranean area and la Biennale of Venice.

Marcello Scalisi director of UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union, Prof. Antonio Falduto, Paolo De Grandis founder of PDG ARTE Communications

UNIMED aims to develop university research and education in the Euro-Mediterranean region in order to contribute to scientific, cultural, social and economic cooperation.

Gabriele Campanella (student) declared the winner of the award

The Award was created in memory of Prof. Franco Rizzi, former Secretary General and founder of UNIMED, for his life-long commitment to cooperation among Euro-Mediterranean universities.

The jury motivated its choice as follows:

“The movie deals with the war that broke up Yugoslavia, in particular in the area of Srebrenica. Through Aida’s eyes, we are involved in the tragedy of a community that lives together, even though it’s culturally divided.

The director’s choices stress the protagonist’s dualism – mother and interpreter. The style of the movie is sober and real: it leaves in the audience a feeling of disillusionment and deafening silence.

The movie invites us not to cover our eyes, when we look at the brutality of the past, and to think about a present that is still too controversial.”

The final ceremony took place on September 11th, 2020 at 5.30 p.m. at the Excelsior Hotel in Venice. Dr Marcello Scalisi, UNIMED Director and Prof. Antonio Falduto, in charge of the initiative, participated in the ceremony.

Photo credit: Claudio Martinez, curator Nataša Radojević

Nataša Radojević is an art historian, curator and gallerist, founder of Logic Art Space and partner of Drina Gallery from Belgrade. Since she was 17 years old, she started to collaborate with South Eastern European and international artists, galleries, museums, private and public collections. She currently lives between Florence, Rome and Belgrade. Last year, on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition in Venice she was elected as a speaker on CEI Venice Forum for Contemporary Art Curators together with four other young curators from Europe. On the proposal of Paolo De Grandis, founder of PDG Arte Communications, she started to collaborate with UNIMED for the Venice Film Festival.

Miloš Todorović is the laureate of two of the greatest professional awards in France in the field of painting – the Antoine Marin Foundation Award and the prize for painting awarded by the French Academy of Sciences and Arts from the Pierre Cardin Fund. So far, he has exhibited his artworks in fourteen solo and over thirty group exhibitions, and his paintings have been exhibited along with artworks by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Jean Michel Basquiat, Erró, Combas, Damien Hirst, Mel Ramos, Douglas Gordon etc. More than a thousand of his artworks are in various private and public collections today such as the Frissiras Museum / Athens, Zepter Collection / Monaco, collection of Dakis Joannou, Pierre Cardin Foundation / Paris, Four Season Collection and many more worldwide. Todorović announced his “physical” death at the end of 2013 and subsequently withdrew completely from the public, deleting any trace of his own existence (but he never stopped creating art). He returned to the public briefly in 2015 with the exhibition “226”, which featured solely photographs and was staged at the Providence Hotel in Paris for only one day. After that, Todorović retreats again and becomes unavailable to the public until this year, when he decides to return to the public again after more than six years.

The Dance of Light (Sun)

“Beauty cannot be recognized with a cursory glance.” – Jean Cocteau

Green surface with golden drawing engraving, gives impression of the rising circular light. Mixture of the deep green and yellow (gold) makes the blue colour of the sky and sea. “The dance of light” is inspired by the frescoes realized by Jean Cocteau at the Chapelle Saint Pierre des Pecheurs. Pioneer of the experimental cinema and unique master of the line, Jean Cocteau by his magical and deeply metaphorical energy, opened new endless paths to be explored beyond the time existence of his art. The dance of light is a humble interaction between the visual sensation of light and its profound symbolism.

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