Rome, Villa Celimontana, 22 February 2012
A new book, "Energy seen through the eyes of the cinema: Eni cinema in Gilbert Bovay's documentaries", will be presented in Rome tomorrow, 22 February 2012, at 17.00 at the Italian Geographic Society, Palazzetto Mattei, Villa Celimontana, Via della Navicella 12. Speakers at the event will include the author Giulio Latini, a director and lecturer in Multimedia Communication at the University of "Tor Vergata", Rome, together with the lecturers, Marco Maggioli and Giovanni Spagnoletti, the publisher Marta Donzelli, and the manager of Eni cultural initiatives Lucia Nardi.
The book, published by Donzelli, focuses on the rapport between cinema and industry in the aftermath of the Second World War, and explores the career of the French film-maker Gilbert Bovay during the 1960s, through the films and documents stored in Eni's historical archive. During that time, Bovay filmed a series of documentaries, commissioned by Eni, in African and Middle Eastern countries which were experiencing the phenomenon of "decolonization". Works such as Oduroh (1964), Gli uomini del petrolio (The oil men, 1965) and the trilogy Africa: nascita di un continente (Africa: the birth of a continent, 1968) – the full length version of which is included on the DVD that accompanies the book - demonstrate the commitment of Eni's workers to establish an open relationship with the producing countries. The films reflect on the living conditions of populations who, both then and still today, merit considerable and genuine attention.
Eni's involvement in cinema dates back to the company's origins, when Enrico Mattei decided to establish an internal film office, run by renowned journalist Pasquale Ojetti. Today, the historical archive contains over 2000 mostly unreleased films and a total of 5000 audiovisual units, produced by some of the most prestigious names in the world of cinema, such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Gillo Pontecorvo and the Taviani brothers. The documentaries describe episodes in the life of the company since the early 1950s. These include the decision to move to methane, the construction of a gas pipeline network and the work of the technicians, followed by the company's expansion abroad, the search for oil in complex geographical areas, and the experience of living and working with different ethnic groups. The films, made by famous directors and talented film-makers, recount Eni's story and the world of energy in an original manner.
With this initiative, Eni once again demonstrates its commitment to culture, with the aim of communicating, in an innovative manner, the consolidated values for which it is famed, promoting the respect, open dialogue and collaboration that have always governed the company's dealings with the countries and communities in which it operates.