MTSU Students Create Prize-Winning Docs from Italy Trip

Documentary films created by a dozen MTSU students took top prizes at the recent ArtLightenment Festival in Nashville. The films were the products of a summer Documentary Program Abroad trip to Florence, Italy.

Tom Neff MTSU

Each 10-minute film focuses on a different aspect of art and artists in the city known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, where the students lived during their three-week adventure, accompanied by professor Tom Neff. The students and Neff, founder of the Documentary Channel as well as an Academy Award documentary nominee and Emmy winner, then returned to campus for three more weeks of postproduction work.

Sam Willey’s team created Il Maestro Aquafresca, Jaclyn Edmondson’s team created Sbocciare and Phillip Dixon’s team created Streets of Florence.

Sbocciare tells the story of mosaic artist Silvia Logi, who promotes the idea that “art” is ready to bloom in everyone regardless of age, occupation or excuses. Il Maestro Aquafresca follows chasing and repousse master Aquafresca, whose art is his love, passion and life. And Streets of Florence focuses on a number of talented artists, ranging from Claudio Spadi to Clet Abraham, who create their art on the public streets of Florence.

Sbocciare won the Best Film Award at ArtLightenment, while Il Maestro Aquafresca won both Best Documentary and the Audience Award. Streets of Florence won the award for Best Production Design.

You can listen to a pre-trip interview with Neff, recorded last spring for MTSU on the Record, here.

You also can view trailers for each film below.

Il Maestro Aquafresca:

Streets of Florence:

Learn more about the students, faculty and projects in MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication at emcmtsu.com.


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