GIFFONI50PLUS - 21.31 JULY 2021



Category: Edition 2021

At 30, Federico has already lived many lives. And all successful. But that's not enough, because nothing he’s done seems to matter very much; he needs more. Once the entertainment world has been filed, the new frontier is art. His work begins to draw attention also thanks to the wise use of the Net: it is precisely his repudiated past which gives Federico the tools to achieve his dream.

Original Title Empty Man
Category Official Competition
Section GEx Doc
Tipology Documentary, Feature Film
Duration 82'
Production Year 2020
Nationality Italy
Directed by Davide Romeo Meraviglia
Screenplay Marco Ferrarini
Director of photography Anna Vigorelli
Editor Adalberto Lombardo
Sound Emanuele Misurina
Music Luca Longobardi
Main cast Marco Montemagno
Simone Fugazzotto
Max Brigante
Produced by Adalberto Lombardo
Production Lamp – Light and Motion Pictures (Italy)

Davide R MeravigliaRegistaDavide Romeo Meraviglia

Davide Romeo Meraviglia (Legnano, 1986) is an author and director. Graduated in Communication Design at the Politecnico di Milano, he studied cinema at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Back in Italy, he enriched his training at IED-Officine with a few exceptional masters, including Silvio Soldini, Pierfrancesco Favino, Paolo Borraccetti, Fabrizio Donvito, Nicola Giuliano, Luigi Lonigro. During his career in advertising, he signed projects for important international brands. At the same time, he made several short films between Italy and Japan. In 2009 he directed his first medium-length film, RIESCO A SENTIRTI. In the following years he had many experiences as an author, director and producer. With his works he obtained various national and international awards, including the "New Talents" award in 2014 at the International Grand Prix Advertising Strategies for the creation of the Tv series MY DREAM HOUSE. In 2017 he directed the short film LITTLE STEPS, with the artistic supervision of Paolo Borraccetti, Ambra Angiolini and Adriano Giannini, made as part of the Lancia Generation Y campaign, for which he was selected at the London Lift-Off Sessions in the “Best Live Action” category. In 2018 he was chosen by Campari to co-direct the docu-fiction film ELISIR, produced by Double. EMPTY MAN is his first feature film.

director’s statement
“Thanks to the film's producer, Adalberto Lombardo, I was lucky enough to meet Federico personally in 2011. At that time I was fascinated already by the paintings he made in secret. In 2019, I was on a set, during a break, when someone from the crew mentioned him. A heated debate arose between those who adored and who hated this character, but I realized that none of them knew the true story of Federico. The episode kept coming back to my mind, until I decided to call Adalberto to tell him that we had to make a film about Federico: his story was too fascinating not to be known. [...] I wanted to show this ‘journey’ in the most sincere way possible with a small and discreet, almost imperceptible hand-held camera, an often dirty image without any patina to be always truthful. I wanted to show the character and the person as if the viewer was next to him. We chose to narrate the duality of an artist who wants to live a constant relationship on social media with his followers, who follow and appreciate his art, while at the same time he’s trying to become part of a world, that of 'institutional' art, that doesn’t want to have anything to do with the social media universe. Federico lives between these two worlds, unable to give up one or the other, desperately looking for a way to make them coexist. [...] The film was shot between September 2019 and February 2020 when the pandemic outbreak forced us to a pause. This pause, however, allowed us to carefully analyze the material and grasp nuances and details which we would have missed otherwise and which, instead, complete our story. We realized that the film was already there, there was no need to acquire much more. Indeed, the pandemic provided us with the right ending. At the end of the film we see Federico still dealing with his challenge, he still has to fight to succeed. We are the spectators of 2021 who, after seeing how the art world had to adapt to the online dimension to survive, now know how prophetic his vision was. We know that EMPTY MAN is not the story of an artist with a peculiar creed who struggles to be recognized: it is rather the story of a visionary who has foreseen an epochal change, anticipating it even at the cost of risking it all.”

festival contact
Lamp – Light and Motion Pictures (Italy)
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