The L'anello debole (Weakest link) international prize was created in 2005, and is the brainchild of Giancarlo Santalmassi. The prize is promoted by Fermo’s Comunità di Capodarco, and is awarded to the most acclaimed journalistic and fictional short films (audio and visual), heavily featuring social issues, and environmental sustainability content. The winners of the prize are announced on the closing night of the Capodarco l'Altro festival

The prize is tailored towards audio and visual communication, which is considered to be a cornerstone for the formation of society, and for its power to influence the collective thinking. The aim of the prize is to promote the emergence and growth of high calibre audio and video productions on topics relating to the most vulnerable members of the public who live on the margins of society. Seldom are such issues dealt with adequately, despite their importance. The overall aim is to enrich our communication and to draw everyone’s attention to all aspects of today’s reality. One has to be aware that the strength of the communication “chain” is determined by what resistance the weakest link can exert.

Over the past few years in Italy, the standard of short films has reached new heights. Despite this, those behind the making of these short films struggle to draw attention to their work, making it difficult to market. The Weakest link/L'anello debole prize is aiming to support the cause. Anello debole has emerged from the crowd from the very beginning for its originality and the high technical standards of its short audio and video works, and has thus far become the main library in Italy of its kind. Over the past 12 editions, a total of 2,003 works have been selected to take part in the contest, and 910 have been shortlisted and reached the finals. Amongst the contestants are journalists from Rai, Mediaset, Sky, La 7, Radio 24, regional radio and television channels, and the best independent young audio and video makers.

In 2011 the prize has been honoured with the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic.

The Comunità di Capodarco of Fermo has been welcoming less privileged individuals since 1966. Throughout this process the community has always carefully observed how social news is spread, and since 1994 it organises seminars (called Redattore sociale) aimed at training journalists, to help them report differently on the more vulnerable slice of the population, as opposed to the usual stereotypical crime news reporting. During the first 25 years, over 8,000 journalists from all over Italy have attended said seminars. From this experience a daily online journalistic agency was formed in 2001. Expanded by additional services at a later stage, Redattore sociale  has become the most important Italian multimedia network, as far as information, research, and social issues are concerned.

The L'anello debole (Weakest link) prize is a further sign which demonstrates that the community is still focused, and is working on the mechanisms and quality of communication.

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