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Giorgio Armani’s ‘Films of City Frames’ Initiative

For the third edition of Giorgio Armani’s ‘Films of City Frames’ Initiative, Dev Patel is mentoring students from all over the world to help them create short films.

In addition to being a famous clothing designer, Giorgio Armari is also actually an active participant in the film community as well. In the past, he has said “I have often wondered what my life would have been like without cinema… I certainly wouldn’t be the man and the designer I am today.” Armani has successfully combined his two passions in his “Frames for Film” initiative, in which students from top film schools are commissioned to create short films that draw inspiration from Armani’s ‘Frames of Life’ eyewear collection and the cities they reside in. The third installment will take place at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, where Dev Patel will host the screening.

Patel also contributed to the project by mentoring the students during their filmmaking processes. In a video on the project’s official website, he says, “Armani and myself are so proud to be mentoring five unique talents from around the world for the Films of City Frames initiative.” In the video, he eloquently explains the purpose of the initiative and the importance of promoting young artists:

At its core, this year we are looking at trying to incorporate eyewear into the stories. The beauty of filmmaking is getting to explore the world through a director’s eyes. You could almost say we are putting on their glasses, so to speak. Having a perspective on something and not just being you know fed words is very important. What we’re looking for in films is to understand ourselves a bit more and understand that we can be different in many different ways. The fashion industry and the film industry, they’ve always been so beautifully intertwined and its so hard for young filmmakers to get their foot in the door. For Mr. Armani and the brand to come together and to give them a platform – to have a voice – that’s really beautiful.

In a statement released by Armani, the designer said of the initiative:

Cinema, just like fashion, is a wonderful medium, because it keeps endlessly renewing itself thanks to the contribution of young talents who bring their unique point of view… I am proud of my Films of City Frames initiative: we have reached edition number three, we are in Austin at South by Southwest, which represents the cutting edge of visual creativity, and we are presenting stories that are emotionally strong as they are engaging. This edition also expresses a message of true multiculturalism, which I think today is particularly important.

In its founding year – 2014 – the first edition event was held at the Toronto International Film Festival. The schools chosen to participate were Honk Kong Academy of Performing ArtsNational Film and Television School of LondonUSC School of Cinematic ArtsNYU Tisch School of the Arts, ESRA Ecole de Cinema of ParisThe National Film School of the Experimental Center of Cinematography of Rome. Each school had a team of three to five people, whose goal was to capture “the never-ending beauty of contemporary metropolis, where eyewear becomes an instrument to express feelings, tell stories of special encounters and urban adventures.”

The second edition, held at the BFI London Film Festival, saw far fewer students as only four schools were chosen to participate: Academia Internacional de Cinema of Brazil, Seoul Institute of the Art, Sydney Film School, and Scuola Holden of Turin. In 2015, there was also no variation in the amount of students from each school: each team was composed of six students. The theme of the second edition films was to create films with protagonists who “observe reality, capture feelings and experience situations through the lenses of their glasses.”

This year’s films and their creators will be revealed on March 12th, first at SXSW and then online. Students were chosen from Beijing Film Academy, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Prague Film School, Steve Tisch School of Film and Television of Tel-Aviv University, and Emerson College.

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