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Battle of the Storytellers Recap Part I

So, Monday was the Battle of the Storytellers event! It was a fun night that brought lots of great people together. I'm sad that it's already over!

There were five teams that competed for first place. I really enjoyed when each professor introduced their class and talked about some of the highlights of their semester before the videos played. The topics were super interesting - they ranged from Italian food, to street art, and even Italian film! It was clear that the students worked so hard on these videos. They went all over Austin to find Italian inspired locations, such as Andiamo Ristorante for authentic Italian food and Castle Hill for street art. I can't wait to check these places out! After the five videos played, various judges gave their remarks. There were two phenomenal performances at the end - Adriano Crookston played the accordion and Vanessa Fanelli sang a beautiful song. It was very fun to watch students from the department show off their musical talents. They were amazing!

In the end, the video that had the most points was "BRB Street Art Roma", from Elisa Valentini's class. Although there had to be a winner, each of the other videos that competed were fun, creative, and very informative! The team "Il Cibo D'Italia" from Antonella Olson's class came in second at the Battle of the Storytellers just shy a few points; however, they were actually the chosen the winner at the screening of the videos in Rome!!   We will soon publish a short video to show you what happened at this special screening organized by Pietro Panico and Simona in Rome.     

The winning team scored nice gift certificates from Lucky's Puccia! As well as some other goodies, while the rest of the teams were also awarded with sweet rewards such as several books in Italian donated by Antonella D. Olson, Dolce Neve's & Michael Angelo's gift cards.

As we mentioned before, the best prize of the evening was a set of hand crafted prints donated by award winning artist Domenico Dell'Osso (google him!)    These prints will be given to the BRB and the Il Cibo D'Italia teams in the Fall.  

This was such a great night that brought together many different people of the Italian community in Austin. I'm very thankful ITAL let me help them prepare for this very special event. Grazie mille to ITAL, the judges, instructors, students, donors of the prizes, and everyone who helped put this event together.

There are only a few pictures attached to this blog, but don't panic!!

In the next few weeks we will be uploading more videos and pictures to show you how the Battle of the Storytellers event went; after all, it was ITAL's last official event at the University of Texas at Austin!!    There was actually a very emotional moment at the event when Antonella Olson, the academic advisor of ITAL, gave flowers to Romina Olson, her daughter and co-creator of the project, in celebration for all the work she has done in the past few years.  The ITAL creators also received that evening a certificate of appreciation signed by Dr. David Birdsong, the chair of the department of French and Italian.  This certificate was presented by Dr. Daniela Bini with a very moving speech about ITAL's contributions to the UT and the Italian department.  

Stay tuned for more information about ITAL's new movie, "Tiramisu for Two". It's coming out in the fall! This will be the final piece of the ITAL project.   

Ciao ragazzi,



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