Final word from Marcella and Niki


Like all good things, La Grande Bouffe came to an end too. I do have mixed feelings about it, I’m feeling satisfied for the great job done in collaboration with Patricia, NIki, the Belgian staff and the CinemìCinemà staff over the last two and a half years but I’m sad at the same time ‘cause it’s over!
I personally think it was a success, we’ve been able to create a link between our two countries which goes beyond stereotypes and what we can find in school or guide books.
The idea of choosing food and videos gave us the chance to discover our cultures through these two languages we can consider universal although different in each country. The difference of age between our groups of students wasn’t a real obstacle in the end since living in the same house for 10 days and doing activities together were the right keys for friendship. It was an experience Italian families and students won’t easily forget, for some of them it was the first time they had opened up their family to a stranger who after a few days had magically become a member of their family. Friendship and overcoming language barriers are the real core of an international project in fact, two reasons I truly believe in. I myself have made some friends too!
I know a lot of things could have been done better, but I like to see it positively and it’s the smile of our students receiving the prizes during the Award Night Ceremony I will treasure in my memory! Last but not least many thanks to everyone for their personal contribution to the project!


It all started in february 2012 meeting Marcella, an English teacher in Arezzo. Her moviemaking assistants Mirco and Michele where “the cherry on top of the cake”. We knew immediately … this project will work! We discovered Arezzo in the snow and even then it was an amazing experience.
We’ve worked together during 2 whole years, I cannot say how many emails we have sent but it was a lot. Even these days we’re still working together.
The idea that our project La Grande Bouffe is almost finished makes me sad … when I look back I  can see the Italian students in “freezing cold and snowy Antwerp”, the beautifull city Arezzo, the movie school festival Cinemi Cinema, our students cooking for each other, dancing together, learning Italian and Dutch,  … I can keep telling stories, stories that nobody will forget. It was amazing every little step. We had our ups and downs, but that is part of a project as big as this was.
Our students had an amazing experience meeting their wonderfull hostfamilies. Learning how to communicate (even non-verbal) was so hard for them in the beginning but at the end … they didn’t need our help any longer. When I saw all the tears when we had to say goodbye … I knew … La Grande Bouffe was a success!
Last but not least I want to thank everybody who participated in our project, the teachers of KA Ekeren, teachers of Fossombroni, our proncipals, the Italian students, the Belgian students, Mirco, Michele, Elena, … and especially Marcella! Thank you!


CinemiCinema Festival + departure

CinemìCinema took place during the last 2 days.

We were able to see the movies they made about us. (They will be online in a few days.)

At the awardnight there were a few pupils that received a price in the following categories: best actor, best dish (Masterchef), best restaurant (Masterchef), best team (treasure hunt), ...

At Wednesday it was time to leave Italy and head back to Belgium. Tears ran down their cheeks. 

We will miss Italy a lot and hope to see you Italians again sometime!!!

Thanks for everything!!!


Day 7: Siena

Yesterday was a day off for us. We all enjoyed the company of the host families. Some of the students went to church while others took a brave dive into a -slightly cold- swimming pool...

Our day started with a dubbing workshop. Our students took over the place of the actors in the film 'Frankenstein Junior. We recorded our own voices as dialogue in the film. We have some really talented voice actors in our class!
In the afternoon we vistited the beautiful town of Siena. Luckily, our principal, Mrs. Cuvelier and her husband are experts in Italian culture. We had a very personal and interesting encounter with this beautiful medieval town. Our students especially enjoyed the beauty of the Duomo. The weather was also on our side when we had a taste of typical Italian gelato!

Day 6

On Saturday we had a Masterchef Workshop. It was a challenge between several mixed groups of Belgians and Italians. A professional and famous chef instructed our students during cooking. Other students had to come up with a concept for a restaurant. They had to create a logo with a slogan  and a menu, design a uniform and a Facebook page for their restaurant. Afterwards, a professional jury tasted the food and commented on the designs. It was a really fun experience. The winner will be anounced at the film festival. It was also filmed by the regional television. You can watch it here.

In the afternoon we enjoyed the good weather during a football match between our students and the Italians. We all had a fun time.


Day 4 + 5

Thursday we went to the theatre in the centre of Arezzo. Where Michele and Mirco taught us the art of movie- making. We remade some scenes of the movie "La vita e bella". A few students had to act out some scenes of this movie. All this was filmed by professionals.
We had lunch in the centre of Arezzo. And in the afternoon some students went to school to see the movie "Frankenstein Junior".

On Friday we went to Bibienna, to see an Italian Baroque theatre. After a delicious snack we saw the small town. We drove further to Pratovecchio to have lunch, which was made by some of the host families.
In the valley of Casentino we saw the castle Poppie. There the students could imagine life in the Middle Ages. After that we took the bus back home.


Day 3: Viva la pappa col pomodore

The film says it all!!!! Enjoy!!!


Day 2: Firenze

Today we took the train to Firenze. First we went to "Il Duomo" and were amazed by the beautiful exterior of this building.  Then we visited the Palazzo Vecchio.  A lot of the girls were more interested in the Chanel store instead of the historical buildings :-).  For lunch, we had a very tasty sandwich and then we went to the Ponte Vecchio.  On the other side of this bridge there is a beautiful palazzo, the Palazzo Pitti.  We visited the gardens Boboli, where we rolled down the hill!  Even our teachers couldn't control the child inside ;-).  It was a very nice visit. Before we went back to Arezzo, we had some free time to shop.