This documentary explores the challenges faced by small, traditional grocers in Urbino, Italy, both from the business owners’ and consumers’ perspectives. Produced and directed by Jolie Smith during the 2022 ieiMedia and James Madison University School of Media Arts and Design Urbino Project.
After visiting Rome a few years ago with my family, I knew I wanted to return to Italy one day. The Urbino SMAD trip seemed like a unique opportunity, though I remember feeling skeptical about the small town it was located in—would there be enough to do there? The short answer: Yes! Urbino is a beautiful, charming, and exciting small town. From the friendly shopkeepers and the breathtaking scenery to the dance recital in the square and the university students gathered at the piazza at night—this town is special. I not only got to witness the Urbino way of life, but be truly immersed in it for a month. I have grown to feel like a part of the town, rather than a constant tourist. I learned a good deal about documentary filmmaking through my classes here, but the most valuable lessons I learned came directly from talking to my subjects and interpreters. I learned to communicate across language and cultural barriers and create lasting friendships through this communication. I will miss the weekend trips, the daily gelato, my Italian friends, and finding new places to explore every day. However, I am looking forward to having a big American bowl of Chipotle when I return to the US!