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Urban Visions. Beyond the Ideal City (2020)

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Competition and program of the first edition of the Urban Visions Film Festival

The first edition of the film festival “Urban Visions. Beyond the Ideal City” was scheduled on 12-15 November 2020 as a live event, with screenings and activities in several locations in t

Posted on 21/05/09

Opening Ceremony

Video of the opening ceremony available on Youtube.   The opening ceremony was the opportunity to present the A-Place project to the Italian audience with the involvement of the coordinator

Posted on 21/05/09

Special events / Interviews

The Film Festival Urban Visions included several online interviews with the engagement of artists and acclaimed filmmakers.   In regard of the competition “A-Place/Migrants, refugees

Posted on 21/05/09

Debate / Perspectives on Migration and Humanitarian Crises

The first edition of the Film Festival Urban Visions included a public debate, with the engagement of international scholars and humanitarian activists, on “Perspectives on Migration and Humanit

Posted on 21/05/09

Awards / Migrants, refugees and displaced communities

The recording of the Award ceremony is available on Youtube.   For the competition “A-Place / Migrants, refugees and displaced communities”, we received more than 380 submission

Posted on 21/05/09

Closing session

Video of the closing session available on Youtube.   The closing session of the first edition of the Urban Visions Film Festival was the opportunity to present to the Italian audience other

Posted on 21/05/09

Bologna will host the first edition of the international film festival “Urban Vision. Beyond the Ideal City” (UV) which will include a competition for short films, with sections dedicated to specific themes and several traveling cinema events, enhanced with exhibitions, public talks and art-based performances. In addition, there will be special sessions for the screening of award-winning films dealing with the complexity of the urban condition.

The aim of the UV film festival is to develop a field of research activities to facilitate a dialogue between urban theory, social complexity and film studies, and to raise awareness of some contemporary urban issues, emphasizing the relationship between individuals and the urban spaces they inhabit. In this context, a film becomes a tool to open new perspectives, to explore new theoretical paradigms and research methods, to establish an effective understanding around urban humanities, especially in the urban settings in which the festival will take place. 


“URBAN VISIONS. Beyond the Ideal City” is the first, indipendent, Italian-based film festival for short films entirely dedicated to the contemporary city and to urban public life, aimed at exploring urban humanities through an interdisciplinary approach.

Official website (in Italian): www.cityspacearchitecture.org/urbanvisions.

The first edition of the Festival was supposed to take place on 12-15 November 2020 in Bologna but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has been posponed to 22-25 April 2021.




“URBAN VISIONS. Beyond the Ideal City” / First edition / 22-25 April 2021, Bologna & ONLINE

FREE streaming: https://visioniurbane.stream/


Credits: the cover image is a still frame from PANORAMA by Gianluca Abbate (2014)


The first edition of the international film festival “Urban Vision. Beyond the Ideal City” (UV) in Bologna will analyse the living conditions of migrants, refugees and displaced communities, in Italy and elsewhere. The Bologna festival will offer an opportunity to activate, through placemaking activities such as workshops, talks and small events – to take place before, as preparatory phase, and during the festival – specific places in the Porto-Saragozza neighbourhood, in the southern area near the well-known Arco del Meloncello. 


The festival will include an A-Place section which will address the living conditions of migrants, refugees and displaced communities. This activity will be developed in collaboration with the UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency, office in Rome. 


Italy is currently hosting around 150,000 refugees, which means two per thousand of the whole population. Over 24,000 people made the journey across the Mediterranean in 2018, many died in the attempt to reach a safe place, escaping from war, violence, poverty and authoritarian political regimes. Over the past years, Italy was the most exposed European country, given its Southern location, to a real humanitarian emergency from the MENA region. In 2017, only 40% of asylum requests were granted, and this percentage was much lower in 2019. Yet, the public opinion has been largely and negatively influenced due to the financial support that the Italian government has given to migrants and refugees, in the mid of an economic recession and the increasing poverty in the middle class. In this context, the rejection and fear of “the other” is becoming a rising sentiment that is leading to divisions and conflicts. 




The Festival is aimed at engaging young and experienced film-makers through an open competition for short films: https://filmfreeway.com/FilmFestivalUrbanVisions

"URBAN VISIONS / A-Place" competition includes:
- A-Place / Migrants, refugees and displaces communities, investigating the living conditions of migrants, refugees and displaced communities in cities, in Italy and elsewhere.
- A-Place / A Confined Urban Vision" (online), investigating human life in cities during the COVID-19 pandemic 

The Festival will also host a series of activities, workshops and talks with international filmmakers, artists, creative practitioners and the creative community in Bologna, Italy.


Awards & Prizes

Category: A-Place / Migrants, refugees and displaced communities
1st prize - € 500 in cash
2nd prize - € 300 in cash
3rd prize - € 200 in cash
2 honorable mentions - certificate of excellence


Category: A-Place / A Confined Urban Vision
1st prize - € 500 in cash
2 honorable mentions - certificate of excellence


The Festival is interested to collect narratives of different realities, to investigate city’s connections, intersections and activities while focusing on the public realm, where public aspects, related to participation, sharing and social practices, blend with private aspirations, related to individuality, diversity and lifestyles. Urban Visions intends to collect stories of happiness or poverty, success or solitude, compliance or rebellion, beyond the seducing and reassuring shapes of the beautiful, ideal city. Overcoming the stereotypes and well-known images of consumerism, Urban Visions looks for something that our eyes, deliberately or unconsciously, don’t know or can’t see.


The planned activities around the UV film festival will contribute to achieve the following objectives of A-Place:  


  • To create cross-disciplinary learning spaces, engaging an inter-generational audience and different social groups, with a particular focus on youth, with the aim to connect them with migrants and refugees living in Bologna. The metropolitan area of Bologna currently hosts 1,585 asylum seekers. In April-September 2019, the main city reception centre welcomed 2,616 migrants, of which 2,371 were male and 245 female. Bologna is one of the most progressive Italian cities in terms of civil rights and policies to guarantee safe and caring hospitality for people in need. This activity will contribute to foster understanding of the living conditions of migrants and refugees. 

  • To develop and apply creative placemaking practices, through workshops, art-based interventions and temporary transformation of space, both indoors and outdoors, in order to establish new places for peaceful coexistence of residents, migrants and refugees. The activities will contribute to foster solidarity, cooperation and trust among people from diverse cultural origins and to approach notions of identity and belonging from a multidisciplinary perspective. 

Other files:


Official website (in Italian): http://www.cityspacearchitecture.org/urbanvisions

Competition: https://filmfreeway.com/FilmFestivalUrbanVisions

FREE streaming: https://visioniurbane.stream


Curator: Luisa Bravo / City Space Architecture



Curator: Luisa Bravo, City Space Architecture
Assistant curator: Giulia Gualtieri, City Space Architecture

Partners of A-Place: International filmmakers, artists, creative practitioners and the Bologna community, from the residents in Porto-Saragozza neighbourhood to the local creative community.


The Film Festival Urban Visions. Beyond the Ideal City will also engage:

  • students and educators, from high schools and universities, in Italy and abroad, through dedicated calls for expression of interest. 

  • artists, architects and designers, in Italy, Europe and worldwide. 

  • policy makers and local administrations in Italy, to discuss current laws and regulations regarding migrants and asylum seekers and to share best practices of hospitality and social integration.