Synopsis: Thousands of shows, companies, meetings. From the political theater of the 70s to the Third Theater of the 80s; from actors to performers, and finally to the arts festival. Santarcangelo Festival was and is a faithful mirror of trends of European performing art: unique, precious and imitated.
Director: Michele Mellara, Alessandro Rossi
Director’s biography: Authors, directors, event creators, Michele Mellara and Alessandro Rossi, authors and directors, have been working together in solid artistic association for 15 years. Their documentary films have been transmitted throughout the world from television broadcasters from more than 50 countries. Over the years, they received important recognitions and awards during numerous Festivals, both in Italy and abroad. Their last documentary “Life is deadly” has been theatrically released in Italy and broadcasted on SkyArte.
Production: Mammut film
Synopsis: This documentary follows the life and work of the Romanian visual artist Ion Grigorescu (born in 1945), one of the pioneers of experimental art in Europe. In a time of repression of freedom of speech, his work was focusing on topics that were taboo for the Communist regime: the frailty of his own body, Christian Orthodoxy, getting old, his private life, which he explored in various mediums from painting, photography, to film and installation. Even if his works are part of the permanent collections of MoMa New York, Tate Modern London or Centre Pompidou Paris, among many others, he is not largely known to the international public. Ion Grigorescu has influenced an entire generation of younger internationally renowned artists like Adrian Ghenie, Mircea Cantor, or Ciprian Muresan.
Director: Andreiana Mihail
Director’s biography: Andreiana Mihail is a filmmaker with a rich art background. She is a DEA graduate in Philosophy of art at the Sorbonne. Her work experience spans from curatorial work to that of a gallery owner. Her work was featured in some of the world's most prestigious publications like The New York Times (article by Holland Cotter on Frieze New York 2012), The Financial Times, London Times (during Frieze London 2010 and 2011), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, amongst many others. As owner of Andreiana Mihail Gallery, she has curated and organized more than 30 exhibitions, and has participated to 22 editions of the most important art fairs, e.g. Art Basel, Art Brussels, Frieze Art Fair (London and New York), VIENNAFAIR / vienna contemporary, Liste Basel. She represented artists like: Ion Grigorescu (Venice Biennial, Berlin Biennial, Sao Paolo, museum shows and collections of MoMa New York, Tate Modern London, Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, etc), Adrian Ghenie (Contemporary Art Museum Denver, USA, Venice Biennial, 2015, SMAK, Ghent, Hermitage Museum, Sankt Petersburg), Ciprian Muresan (Venice Biennial, Sydney Biennial, museum shows at SF MoMa, Tate Modern London, FRAC Champagne Ardenne, CAC Geneve, Centre Pompidou), Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor (Venice Biennial, Berlin and Istanbul Biennials, museum solo at Secession, Vienna, BAK, Utrecht, etc). She is the editor/producer of “Auto-da Fe” artist book by Ciprian Muresan, presented at Art Basel, Art Statements 2008 (at Andreiana Mihail Gallery) and Venice Biennial, 2009. She has also edited ‘Photography in the Circulatory System’ and co-edited together with Georg Schoellhammer ‘Diaries’, both by Ion Grigorescu, After more that 14 years of fruitful collaboration with one of the pioneers of video art and visual artist Ion Grigorescu, Andreiana started making her first feature documentary, entitled Boxing with Myself.
Production: Monogram Film, Esco Art Contemporain
Synopsis: Ever since his birth, a Slovak married couple Michal and Lenka Hanuliak have been conducting a peculiar experiment on their now four-year-old son Miško. They spend every minute raising him to one day become a successful athlete and a “quality human being” in all senses of the word. They have decided to sacrifice everything, including their own individual pursuits, in order to achieve this goal. This film captures their efforts for a period of one year and through raw scenes from the Hanuliaks family life, it raises a number of questions with regard to the meaning of parenting in today’s society, single-minded focus on performance and the possible ‘robotization’ of our lives.
Director: Erika Hníková
Director’s biography: Erika Hníková (December 24, 1976) is a Czech documentary filmmaker. She studied documentary film at FAMU in Prague and received several awards for her student films. In 2004, she earned broader recognition with her film The Beauty Exchange (Ženy pro měny) that was also among the first Czech documentaries released in Czech and Slovak digital distribution. In addition to being a box-office success, The Beauty Exchange won the Audience Award at the Jihlava IDFF. Her second documentary feature I Guess We’ll Meet at the Eurocamp (Sejdeme se v Eurocampu) was also released in cinemas and screened at various international festivals, including Hot Docs in Toronto. From July 2006 to September 2007, Erika was the editor-in-chief of the street magazine Nový Prostor and a columnist for Respekt magazine. Matchmaking Mayor (Nesvatbov), her third feature documentary movie, premiered in the Forum section of the 2011 Berlinale, where it received Tagesspiegel Readers’ Award, and later screened at festivals around the world. It received a number of awards, was theatrically released in several European countries and is among the most successful Czech documentaries. In 2012, Erika made the six-part TV documentary series Bound Forever (Navždy svoji). Since the birth of her son in January 2013, she has focused on script editing, short documentaries and development of her upcoming documentary feature Every Single Minute (Každá minuta života).
Length: cca 75'
Country: Czech Republic, Slovakia
Synopsis: Simona Kossak (1943-2007) is known for her activities to preserve the remains of Poland’s natural ecosystems. She is famous for her uncompromising views, sensitivity to the fate of animals and actions for nature protection. Some people called her a „Witch” as she talked to wild animals and lived in a wooden forester’s lodge in the middle of the Białowieża Forest, without water or electricity. Numerous animals lived with her including a raven, roe, deer or dungeon that slept in her bed. There are some famous pictures of her with falcon, elk or lynx.
Ida (28), the grandniece of Simona Kossak, travels to the Białowieża Forest. She is the heir of Lech Wilczek – Simona Kossak’s partner and the author of numerous pictures documenting their life together. Sorting through the pictures, Ida uncovers stories from the life he had with Simona that have been captured in the photographs and their friends’ memories. She reads Simona’s “The Białowieża Forest Saga”, listens to the folk tales she recorded for the radio, goes through her pictures with wild animals, and watches her films. On her journey into the past, Ida discovers family secrets she has been unaware of. Together with Ida we unravel the magical world of both the primeval and today’s Białowieża Forest. We learn about the remarkable life of Simona Kossak – a daughter, grand- and great-granddaughter of the famous painters from the renowned Kossak family, a woman who left Cracow and found her true home in the Białowieża Forest where she worked as a zoopsychologist and wildlife biologist. To her we owe the opportunity to see the Białowieża Forest not only as a natural reserve, but also as an extraordinary and unique ecosystem that has existed for thousands of years. A forest that has served as a witness of important events, a safe haven and the habitat of animals that are often on the verge of extinction today.
Director: Natalia Koryncka-Gruz
Director’s biography: Director screenwriter, producer. Graduate from Polish Film School in Łódź (Directing Faculty) and Warsaw University (Polish Literature). Her short „1 — 1” (1986) won 20 prizes at international film festivals. For “Amok” awarded with Best Debut Director Prize in Gdynia. She is an author of many widely discussed and awarded documentaries, well recieved feature films and TV plays. Member of Polish Film Academy and Polishfilmdirectors Guild.
Production: Eureka Studio
Synopsis: Francisca Yañez, Chilean illustrator, has always fought against the monster of the political violence, in search of the right weapons to protect the weakest. Tolerance, art and education are contained in her small nomad suitcase - since the exile from Chile, passing trough the Germany of the wall and several Southern American countries, up to today. Up to the showdown with the monster.
Director: Daniel Henríquez
Director’s biography: Daniel Henríquez, Chilean film director and screenwriter, has developed his career between Madrid, Santiago and Buenos Aires. From his own work in fiction to the fistful of collaborations, he found in Argentina a place to experiment the documentary language for TV, and he shots his second long feature film, Shadows of light, (2018). His author´s perspective on subjects and characters represent a flowing quest towards identity. His awarded short-films and his long feature debut A stop away from you, had been released in theatrical, selected in important film festivals and broadcasted in international TV channels. Nowadays he´s developing his next feature films, The translator, a fiction co-production with France, and the documentary La maleta de Francisca.
Length: 90' - 52'
Country: Italy, Chile, Germany
Production: Bo Film, LOBOCINE, inselfilm
Synopsis: Vosot is a 56 year old man who lives in Tokyo, he started his social withdrawl when he was 23. He rarely leave home, and if he does, it is only to participate in Hikikomori meetings that he organizes. Throughout his life he fought against depression, death wishes and the struggle to conform to the rigid Japanese society. Always failing until he understood that he would never be part of this society in the way so called normal people do. After years of isolation from a community he consider unfair and oppressive, he started a different kind of sociality helding meeting with the goal of helping other in his situation.
Salvatore is a forty years old psychotherapist and regional coordinator for Hikikomori Italia Emilia Romagna. He trying to start a safe space for hikikomori willing to reintegrate into society, a first in its kind experiment in Italy but an already successful reality in Japan.
Those are the stories of an expanding phenomenon on a global scale: hikikomori. The whole film is based on the protagonists' attempt to build a more inclusive society and fight prejudice against hikikomori.
Director: Martina De Polo
Director’s biography: Martina De Polo was graduated in Cinema, Television and Multimedia Production with the highest grades. For over ten years she have been working in the field of independent video production.
In 2018 she made her first documentary “Shuluq, south wind”, a report on the journey of African migrants arriving in Europe, winner of many international festivals (like best documentary at Los Angeles Film Fest, Best Documentary at the Underground indie film festival in Florida, and best documentary at the Spello Film Festival awarded by the Experimental Center of Cinematography of Rome).
She worked for seven years at L’Immagine Ritrovata as a digital restoration artist.
She is always been passionate about social issues, cinema, investigative journalism, which led her to collaborate with Alberto Nerazzini's Dersu Production.
In recent years she has collaborated with online magazines creating video services on ecology and environmental sustainability and she organize videomaking workshops and screenings on the theme of human rights.
Length: 76' cinema version; 53' television adaptation
Country: Italy, Japan
Production: Dersu Productions
Synopsis: Journeys With My Mum is an intergenerational film looking at the changing face of the north of the UK through an intimate portrait of my elderly parents. After 30 years of making films around the world and with my dad’s health failing, I wanted to reconnect and film their precarious life together with my sister in a northern town called Hull. Exploring themes of class, opportunity and social mobility at a time when Brexit divides, the film characterises life in one of the most economically hard-hit cities in Britain. What is life like for the ordinary person up north? Will Hull ever see the return of the heydays as my parents remember them?
Director: Sean McAllister
Director’s biography: After leaving school at 16 Sean McAllister worked in a series of low-paid low-skilled factory jobs in his hometown of Hull before finding a camera and filming his way into the National Film and Television School (NFTS), graduating in 1996. Since then he has made films for both the BBC and Channel 4; working in the UK and internationally. His candid, frank films depict with extraordinary intimacy the lives of ordinary people who are struggling to survive but who are survivors; intelligent and resourceful people caught-up in a world of political turmoil and personal conflict.
Sean is much more than a dispassionate fly-on-the-wall observer of other peoples lives, there is a fly-in-the-soup (Vérité) approach to his film-making, he becomes involved, he intervenes, he asks the questions which often provoke his subjects (and himself) into insights, thoughts, and realisations which they never knew they had. From his early films Working for the Enemy (1997) and The Minders (1998), Sundance Jury Prize-winning The Liberace of Baghdad (2005) and Japan: A Story of Love and Hate (2009) to his most recent successes, The Reluctant Revolutionary (2011) BAFTA nominated A Syrian Love Story (2015) and A Northern Soul (2018). Sean’s work continues to inspire, to surprise and to fascinate audiences. In 2017, Sean was Creative Director the opening ceremony for his hometown, Hull as the UK City of Culture, setting the year off with record audiences, 1.5 times the city’s population attended the opening week events.
Production: 10FT Films Ltd
Synopsis: Marcus lives with his little brother and his grandmother in a slum of Nairobi. His mother disappeared after moving to South Sudan, where many Kenyans move with the purpose of finding a job. He is in a tough and delicate transition age: being 12 years old, he is slowly getting under the influence of the “bad kids” from his school. His grades and behavior are getting worse every day and his grandmother is losing all control over him. She's afraid because he is getting pulled into criminal activities.
One day, Marcus meets Steve, a 36-year-old self-thought acrobat and one of the founders of the acrobatic group “Nafsi Africa. The “Nafsi Africa” group tours every summer through Europe with their “Cirque du Soleil” look-a-like show trying to bring hope and empowerment to children and youngsters in their society. The money raised by performing on these tours is used to fund their children outreach project back home. Steve is teaching a group of kids how to do flips. Marcus is amazed, seeing in that man a superhero. Steve is organizing a training for the slum children to choose new performers for the next tours.
Marcus puts all his effort into learning from his new mentor how to become an acrobat himself, challenging his fears, the limits of his young body and his grandmother's authority, who doesn't agree with this choice. Will he be chosen for the new Nafsi Africa tour? Will he really start a new life that will bring him from the Nairobi slums to beautiful and famous European cities? Is this new world in Europe as amazing as he imagines it?
Director: Nika Saravanja
Director’s biography: Nika Šaravanja, author and director of the project, was born in Croatia in 1985. After studying at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management, she spent years traveling, engaging herself in social work and collaborating with various artists and NGOs. In 2016, she graduated in Directing for documentary and new media at the ZeLIG School. Since then, her work consists mainly of social and environmental documentaries. Dusk Chorus - Based on Fragments of Extinction, her first feature documentary, was premiered at Vision du Réel in 2017. It has been screened in more than 80 festivals and gained more than 15 awards. She is currently based in Vienna.
Length: 52' and 75'
Country: Belgium and Italy
Production: Tico Film Company – Playtime Films
Synopsis: The hometown of Mussolini and the place he is buried in, Predappio is a meeting point for nostalgists of the fascist regime. Despite this, the town has been governed by left-wing mayors ever since WWII, but Giorgio Frassineti might be the last.
For five years, he’s been fighting to change the narrative around this town, but his most ambitious project is yet to come: creating a museum and a center for the study of fascism in the former party headquarters in Predappio (Casa del Fascio), something he’s been criticized for by everyone. Giorgio believes education is the only possible answer to the pilgrimages and the shops that sell Mussolini memorabilia.
For the first time in the town’s history, the right wins the election. The new mayor, Roberto Canali, who defines Mussolini a “resource for the local economy”, decides to carry the museum project forward. But he prefers to create a museum on local history or on rationalist architecture instead, something he deems less divisive and less risky, especially for a right-wing administration.
Giorgio decides to take the discussion outside of Predappio. He confronts himself with experts and historians in Italy and abroad, searching for support.
Meanwhile, restoration of the Casa del Fascio begins, but what it will host is still unclear.
Hundreds of fascists gather in Predappio to celebrate the March on Rome. Giorgio watches them wondering if he will ever succeed in his intent.
Director: Piergiorgio Curzi and Sabika Shah Povia
Director’s biography: Piergiorgio Curzi is a writer and director of historical and social documentaries, as well as TV programs. He made his first documentary “Cyprus” in 2007. In the same year he started working with B&B Film production, where he worked as project developer, writer, and director. In 2011 he made the documentary “The Other Revolution, Gorky and Lenin on Capri” with Raffaele Brunetti. The year 2012 saw his documentary film “SMS, Save My Soul” being screened at numerous festivals and winning the Best Documentary and Critics’ Award at the Genoa Film Festival (2013), as well as being an Official Selection in the Festival dei Popoli of Florence. In 2014, the documentary “Lauro de Bosis, storia del volo antifascista su Roma” co-directed with Maurizio Carta, was selected by the channel Rai to represent it in the Pessac International History Film Festival. In the same year, Piergiorgio wrote and directed various social reportages for the program “The Human Race”, broadcasted on Rai 2. The documentary “Aldo Moro, memorie di un professore” was realized in 2015 again for Rai. The historical documentary “The Road to Reconciliation”, produced in 2016, was written and co-directed with Raffaele Brunetti and selected for the “Globo d’Oro” Prize 2017 on behalf of the Foreign Press Association in Italy. In 2018, he wrote the documentary "My Missing Sister" which was critically acclaimed from both the public, critics, and the press. Piergiorgio’s latest documentary, “Tiberis”, is in post-production.
Sabika Shah Povia holds a degree in Journalism from the London College of Communication and has been working as a freelance journalist for over twelve years. She covers stories related to religious and political extremism, immigration, and race, colonialism and human rights, for various national and international media outlets, including The Post, Internazionale, La Repubblica, Dawn News, and Reuters. She collaborates with Associazione Carta di Roma on behalf of the National Council of Journalists, training journalists in Europe and Africa on the rules and regulations to follow when covering immigration-related stories, producing fact-checking reports and in-depth analysis, and acting as a media watchdog on the subject. She also works as a press office consultant at Amnesty International for national campaigns regarding human rights' violations. This year, Sabika joined the team of a successful weekly prime-time Tv program on politics and current affairs, ”Propaganda Live”, that airs on national channel La7, as a writer and producer. She is the co-writer of the documentary film “Tiberis” (in post-production) directed by Piergiorgio Curzi, produced by Road Television and Museo Migrante.
Length: 52' + 90'
Production: Road Television (Italy) and Illegitime Defense (France)
Synopsis: A daughter revives her father’s visionary projects: a world where nature and technology seem to finally live in harmony and where the experience of life is shared in a communitarian way. The avant-garde philosophy of Fabrizio Fiumi and his Group, the 9999, a Radical Architecture collective designing a new society, turns out to be a surprisingly contemporary utopia. An emotional journey in an exclusive family archive invites us to rethink our ideas of home and the environmental crisis, activating us as we learn a radical possible future.
After losing her father, filmmaker Elettra Fiumi journeys through an exclusive family archive, piecing together the story of her pioneer father, Fabrizio Fiumi, with his 9999 Group and their prophetic, radical vision of the world’s potential future. A yellow trunk brings back to life the mysterious legacy of the Group, part of the 1960’s-70’s Italian design movement, whose philosophy and spirit created visionary projects based on the connections between nature and environments with art and technology, imagining a new society entirely rethought and literally redesigned. The journey is a great opportunity for a restored dialogue between Elettra and her father, for new family conversations around this precious legacy, exploring connections with the present: to reflect on how we live this planet and how we could be living it. Layered, psychedelic and ironic yet romantic, inspiring and profound, Radical Landscapes invites us to embrace ideas that relate to our more recent, urgent questions and to possibly take action for a better future.
Director: Elettra Fiumi
Director’s biography: Elettra Fiumi is a Florentine-American director, producer and editor focused on documentaries that explore the meaning of innovation, sense of place, our relationship to our environment and our planet. She has worked on documentaries for Tribeca Studios, Netflix, The New Yorker, BBC and others. She is a Columbia Journalism School alum and the founder of the Italian chapter of the Video Consortium, a global creative community of the best non-fiction filmmakers.
Length: 52' / 90'
Country: Italy, USA, Switzerland
Production: Fiumi Studios Sagl/LLC, FilmAffair
Synopsis: The last 30 years of history of the Italian Left Party, viewed with irony through the eyes of a character who refuses to grow up, an eternal child. A voyage starting in the 1980s, where on the Venice coastline he discovered Communism, then in Bologna in the middle of Berlusconi era during the 2000s, up to the present day, in Estonia, where he now lives, while in Italy the Left Party is losing pieces.
Director: Nicola Piovesan
Director’s biography: Nicola Piovesan was born in Venice in 1979. He graduated in Cinema in 2004, at Bologna University. As a filmmaker, he won more than 80 awards in hundreds of festivals worldwide (including Nastri D’Argento for Best Animated Short in 2017, and many Oscar Qualifying festivals), writing and directing shorts, animations, documentaries and music videos. He’s also a teacher of Cinema. Since 2013, he’s been living in Estonia, working as a freelancer with many customers worldwide.
Country: Italy, Estonia
Production: Sayonara Film, Exitfilm
Synopsis: Claudio is a farmer. His wife Ivana is a dressmaker. They are avid tango dancers. Claudio is determined to realise a dream he has been cherishing his whole life: to tango with Ivana in Buenos Aires, a promise he had made her years ago. He will do whatever is needed.
Time is short. Claudio has Parkinson’s, an incurable degenerative disease. His condition was diagnosed eighteen years ago. His doctors told him that he would be in a wheelchair within two years. However, Claudio is not only still on his feet and able to work his fields but he’s also still dancing. For many years, there was no plausible explanation, until the day he read an article by a Canadian researcher linking the tango with a cure for Parkinson’s.
Since then he has devoted himself to fostering and supporting this research work, as an activist and as a case study for researchers. He has also founded a support group to help fellow sufferers in a practical way. His example gives hope to the many other sufferers who take part in his impassioned weekly tango evenings.
Parkinson’s is a relentless condition. Even though its progress has been much slower than the doctors predicted, it permeates his nerves, tendons and bones. One day, Claudio will resign himself to life in a wheelchair, but he insists on doing so without any remorse or regrets. He is determined to make his dream come true: to take his beloved Ivana dancing in Argentina. Time is short.
Director: Erica Liffredo
Director’s biography: Erica Liffredo is a scriptwriter and a director. She wrote the script for shorts, such as “La Badante” [The Maid] - winner of the 2008 RIFF (Roma Independent Film Festival). She writes for documentaries too, among which “E L’Italia volò” [When Italy Started Flying] (2012)- produced by Stefilm International, directed by Stefano Tealdi. She is the co-writer of “Borsalino City” – directed by Enrica Viola (2015), produced by Unafilm, and co-produced by Apapaja Film and Les Films d’Ici 2, with the MIBAC and ARTE support. She is the director of “La Valle Ritrovata” [The Rediscovered Valley] (2015), produced by Falenakeller and Motion Pixel.
Length: 90' / 52'
Country: ITALY, LATVIA, ARGENTINA
Production: B&B FILM (Italy), in co-production with VFS FILMS (Latvia)
Synopsis: After 48 years in prison, for Alberto time is out of joint. A serial bank robber and rebel inmate, he now faces freedom and, with it, the invisibile frontier between the outside and his inner world: between the good man who strives to belong to the community of ordinary people and the cursed anti-hero that will never find a place in this society.
Director: Manuel Coser
Director’s biography: Manuel Coser has extensive experience in the Italian TV and film industry both as director, author and cameraman; his work focuses on citizen activism, political participation, human rights and environmental issues. He directed "Corridoio 5" (2013, best film at ValSusa Film Fest), and with a co-authorial group born within the Piccolo Cinema of Turin, he conceived and realized the interactive documentary in virtual reality "Babel - il giorno del giudizio", presented at the Biografilm Festival and the Festival dei Popoli in 2019. He won the prestigious Solinas prize for best documentary 2016 for his debut first feature documentary "L'Incorreggibile", now in post-production.
Length: 72' / 52'
Production: Altrove Films
Synopsis: In the challenge to understand his parents radical choices, a son of the Colombian guerrilla plunges into his family archive: extraordinary home movies and writings reveal conflicts and painful memories. A unique chance for a dialogue never happened.
Director: Flavia Montini
Director’s biography: Graduated in Political Science and International Relations in Rome; Multimedia Journalism Course; Training Program in documentary filmmaking in Rome. Since 2010 collaboration with Libera, the Italian NGO against mafia. Assistant director in documentaries: 87 ore by C. Quatriglio (2015), Viale Giorgio Morandi by G. Piperno (2017). Los Zuluagas is Flavia’s first feature documentary film as director.
Length: 75' (52' TV)
Country: Italy - Colombia
Production: FilmAffair, Inercia Películas