“We spent one year in the hospital, gathered material and listened to the stories of youths and parents. Then we tried to give realistic images to the audience and the thing we were most impressed by was the youths’ worry about their parents’ sorrow. This has been a unique life lesson for me”: so said Stand By Me CEO Simona Ercolani, during the Masterclass at Giffoni Film Festival, where she came back as creative producer of “I ragazzi del Bambino Gesù”, the ten-episode documentary that was broadcast on Rai 3 Channel last February. The film documentary, that also inspired the book of the same name published by Rizzoli and released during the Festival, garnered her the Giffoni Award.
“The initial aim was talking about adolescence and youth through the disease, that is something that happens but can’t define a person”, she explained. “During the shooting, we realized we had broader responsibilities. We had to break a taboo: talking about children whose lives were at risk, which is something that people tend to hide instead of talking about. Many youths – she concluded – confessed that some friends distanced themselves from them because it’s hard to be around the sorrow”.
“Bambino Gesù” Paediatric Hospital Director Mariella Enoc joined the Masterclass as well: “At the beginning, we were afraid the documentary might be seen as an advertisement project but then I convinced myself to keep going. My aim was conveying the message that the disease can be won and there is hope for everyone. Thanks to the help of doctors and parents, these youths taught that life always gives an opportunity”. Ercolani also announced the second edition of “I Ragazzi del Bambino Gesù”, that will be back in primetime on Rai 3 Channel at the end of April 2018.