It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL
FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DECEMBER 10TH 2017
Passion & Integrity
Commerce & Creativity
Equality Not Hierarchy
Valentina Castellani is the recipient of TheWIFTS Producer Award 2017. The film One Rock Three Religions is unique in that it highlights the potent mix and issue of religions and war. What makes this film exceptional is the inclusion of the Pope on his visit to the Holy Land. A producer’s task is not just about securing the money, but a pivotal idea and implementation that makes a film resonate.
In 2012, Valentina Castellani created Quinn Studios, and produced the TV documentary series Life On A Bike based on the Italian pro cycling tour Giro D’Italia, which was filmed across 11 countries.
Moving Quinn Studios forward in 2014, the studio co-produced the movie The Butterfly’s Dream. The Butterfly's Dreamwas Turkey's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. It also garnered a Golden Globe nomination and was a winner of thirteen International Awards including the Turkish Film Critics Association Award (SIYAD) in several categories.
Valentina Castellani’s Quinn Studios is also a post-production company, which was involved in the post-production of The Square, a feature documentary on the Egyptian conflict, which won several major international awards, including the Directors Guild Award 2014, Sundance Film Festival 2014, Berlin Film Festival, Dubai Film Festival, and more.
In 2015 Quinn Studios completed the feature documentary film One Rock Three Religions about Peace in the Middle East. The film explores humanity’s connection to one of the world’s most revered and disputed places, Jerusalem’s Haram Al Sharif or The Temple Mount. Jerusalem has been at the center of some of humanity’s most creative and dramatic periods.
Today it finds itself again at the crossroads between East and West. The Israel Arab conflict has defied resolution for decades. It has horrified and outraged with its cynicism and cruelty. In the light of developments, we find the urgency to try to “connect” with the history of this place, the people, their beliefs…to finally find a key which can allow people to accept each other.
Behind the political struggle is a unique and shared connection to the land that always focuses back on a single place, Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple Mount or Haram Al Sharif. There can’t be a resolution to the struggle without a mutual recognition of the site’s relevance and importance to both sides.
One Rock Three Religions takes us on an intimate journey forcing us to open our hearts and awaken our conscience, as it illuminates what the legendary mountain means to people around the world as well as to the participants in this terrible conflict. The film exposes the ramifications that the Holy site has on the political conflict, including the way it is used to provoke violence, while uncovering layers of history and taking into account the most recent archaeological finds.
The film not only offers historical, anthropological, and religious insight, but is a film about the present. The core message lays in the belief that every side needs to be respectfully heard and this enables the film to reveal its most striking secret… that we share so much more than we would ever allow ourselves to believe.
One Rock Three Religions has won a number of awards including the Human Rights Award 2016, The US Congress Award Recognition 2016 for the film efforts to create dialogue among Countries, Religions and Ethnicities, the Jury Grand Prix at the Siena International Film Festival 2015, The People Festival in NY as Best Documentary, The Impact Docs Award and many others (Press and Awards on Website)
One Rock Three Religions is a Lookback and Quinn Studios Production, directed by Isaac Hertz, and written and edited by Alain Jakubowicz. The film’s director of photography is Artem Zuev, and it is executive produced by Judah Hertz. One Rock Three Religions is produced by Isaac Hertz, Sam Grundwerg, Valentina Castellani Quinn, Max Musina, Alain Jakubowicz, and Mohammed Akbar Khan.
Continuing the Ethical work of One Rock Three Religions, Valentina is now in pre-production with a film on Oil and Alternative energies.
Valentina Castellani was born in Florence, Italy, where her family owned since the 1800s an Opera House Theatre, the Teatro Verdi. Her Grandfather Riccardo Castellani was one of the leading producers and distributors of the Golden Era of Italian cinema. Growing up behind the stage, watching operas, plays and ballets had a strong influence on her career path.
Castellani graduated from college, majoring in arts and painting, and acquired a Master’s degree in Fashion Design at FIT in collaboration with the University of Florence, Fine Arts.
Quinn Studios was created by Valentina Castanelli in memory of Francesco Quinn, her late husband and son of legendary Oscar winner actor Anthony Quinn, the first Mexican-American to win at the Oscars. Quinn Studios continues the Quinn Legacy in the fields of entertainment, the arts, and world peace.