The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae festival, one of the biggest festivals worldwide, after 16 years of steady growth in Friuli, is forced into exile from Italy. The Festival, in the person of its President, Filippo Giunta is threatened with criminal charges based on Italian Law, Bill n. 49, 2006, governing drugs, and known as the ‘Fini – Giovanardi’ law. As a consequence the organizers decide to move to Spain.
The Event annually attracts about 160 000 paying campers/spectators per edition, it employs a staff of about 1000 people, and generates increasingly bigger revenues for all. This was a counter-trend in the current economic crisis of the industries characterizing North-East Italy.
The Festival decides to move its HQ and the venue to Benicassim (near Valencia) where it receives a warm welcome from local authorities who fully comprehend the potential and the many values of the Festival. Opposite to Italy, Spain immediately demonstrates its welcome to creativity, freedom and business.
This documentary testifies the vast success of the 2010 Spanish Edition: Music, sun, sea and enjoyment and social respect while both in Spain and Italy severe criticism is directed towards the hypocrisy of prohibition.
Exodus – Finding Shelter is the story of a strongly united and determined workgroup who chose exile in another Country in order to find shelter. A forced decision aimed at the realization of an idea and the continuation of a project: The Rototom Sunsplash Festival.
From Benicassim back to the Friuli Region, from L’Aquila to Rome the Festival’s destiny becomes a ‘case-history’, fatally representing a metaphor describing the unfortunate paradoxes and the fine opportunities missed by a Country like Italy.
Interviewees: Olivia Grange, Jamaican Minister of Sports and Culture, the Mayors of Udine, Furio Honsell and Osoppo, Luigi Bottoni. Frances Colomer, Benicassim Mayor, llawyer Simona Filippi a representative of the Antigone Association, Carlo Giovanardi, Undersecretary, and co-author of the current law in force, or by Friuli-born Debora Serracchiani, centre-left Euro-Parlament member and centre-right M.P. Benedetto Della Vedova, openly part of the anti-prohibition movement. The report stresses the opinions of Osoppo resident as well as renown Artists, Intellectuals and Italian Opinion makers such as Artists like Etana, Sud Sound System, Africa Unite, William Lez Henry, Alborosie, Dubadub sound system and Legal experts such as Simona Filippi from the Antigone Association, the Spanish philosopher and writer Antonio Escohotado Espinosa, journalist and writer Ramon Chao, composer Teho Teardo and Beppino Englaro.
Exodus – Finding Shelter by Tommaso D’Elia and Silvia Bonnani (55′, col, Italia, 2011, HDV)
Direct by: Tommaso D’Elia
Edited by: Luca Onorati
Assistant Director: Silvia Bonanni
Photography: Tommaso D’Elia, Marco Pasquini, Silvia Bonanni
Executive Producers: Tony Shargool, Claudio Giust
Interviews by: Tommaso D’Elia, Tony Shargool, Silvia Bonanni, Daniela Preziosi, Pier Tosi
Graphics: Simone Pallicca
Produced by: Exodus Cultural Association – Paneikon srl