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Panaria film – A historic Sicilian experience

panaria film

The Panaria Film presents …  A dip in the history of cinema through the underwater filming of the Sicilian home. 50s vintage films tell of virgin waters, marine life in balance, unspoiled nature …

 The Horcynus Orca Park hosts an exhibition of artifacts, photographs and original footage of  Panaria Film, historic film production company founded by Sicilian Francesco Alliata Prince of Villafranca Aeolian islands turned the first optical submarine in the history of cinema.

Diving enthusiasts, the founders of Panaria Film realized the dream of those who remained on the surface to show the wonderful world of the deep.
Initially they used rudimentary tools and craft with which they immersed themselves in apnea risking their lives for a few seconds of footage.

Over time, they refined the techniques, and their contribution, which has become professional, the director Dieterle he used to shoot some scenes of Vulcano, a cult in 1950 with Anna Magnani and Rossano Brazzi. La Torre’s English Peloro in Messina, building from the middle of the ‘500 and recently restored and recovered from the Park Horcynus Orca, is the evocative setting of the show.
Pesce spadaThree exhibition sections, devoted respectively to the tools and techniques of underwater filming adopted by the “boys” of Panaria, the stills and other materials of the film Volcano, and the filming of the documentary Scylla and Charybdis and tuna, winning the Venice Film Festival and Edinburgh in 1948 and 1950.
The exhibition concludes with six short films that tell some antique pieces of landscape and life of Sicilian mid last century, when the traps were still in operation and the slaughter was holding much of the island’s economy, when “the Aeolian blue words / fate in water in the morning with joy / calm like virgins with a light / white in the middle, “according to a poetic image of Bartolo Cattafi, you were still as fascinating and wild, almost mythical, where the foods were still cooked with sulphurous vapors.
“With my friends and members of Panaria” says Alliata “we conducted our documentation film in Sicily from 1946 to 1956 for the pleasure to know many Italians and foreigners the life of our people and our secular or millennial activities: the trap swordfish, the work of the puppets, the mines, Aeolian activity, and so on. “
And if after the show was still curious of the secrets of the world of film, Horcynus Orca Park offers a rich library of movies in the rooms of the Tower of the English.

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