manifesto ing


Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2020

Pino is 11 years old, he is a child like many others but unlike his peers he has always lived alone. Due to a hereditary disease that puts his life at risk, he is confined to his large villa where he lives under a glass dome, far from the world that he can only observe through a window. But despite his imagination and the colorful fun fair of his room, Pino can only dream of living a life like the other boys and joining the Snerd, a ramshackle group of friends, joined at the hip, who ride their fast bikes through the streets of the town. Everything changes after the unexpected encounter with the charismatic Mavi, the leader of the group, who puts him to the test by offering him the chance to be part of the Snerd and help them compete with the opposing Band. Animated by courage and an unbridled desire for adventure and freedom, the boy embarks on the road to emancipation, testing his frailties and the rigid rules of Nonna Helena - intent on asserting her beliefs about the fate of her grandson - and of his overprotective parents, subjected to despotic grandmother. There will be trouble and, helped by his new friends, Mavi, Ciccio, Mei and Domenico, he will have to decide to engage in his personal and fundamental battle to prove that he deserves a life just like any other boy.

Original Title Glassboy
Category Official Competition
Section Elements +10
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 90’
Production Year 2020
Nationality Austria, Italy, Switzerland
Directed by Samuele Rossi
Screenplay Samuele Rossi, Iosella Porto
loosely based on Il Bambino di Vetro
by Fabrizio Silei
Director of photography Ariel Salati
Editor Marco Guelfi
Production Design Stefano Giambanco
Costume Design Sabrina Beretta
Sound Edgar Iacolenna
Music Giuseppe Cassar
Main cast Andrea Arru
Giorgia Wurth
David Paryla
Loretta Goggi
Massimo De Lorenzo
Giorgio Colangeli
Pascal Ulli
Mia Polemari
Rosa Barbolini
Gabriel Mannozzi De Cristofaro
Stefano Trapuzzano
Luca Cagnetta
Emanuele De Paolis
Stefano Di Via
Produced by Emanuele Nespeca, Elena Pedrazzoli, Ebba Sinzinger, Vincent Lucassen


SAMUELE ROSSI 04Samuele Rossi

Samuele Rossi studied Arts and Performing Arts at the University of Pisa, Film and Television Direction at the European Rosebud Film School in Rome, Screen Writing at the York Film Academy and Modern Philology at the Faculty of Literature at La Sapienza in Rome.

He made his feature film directorial debut in 2011 with LA STRADA VERSO CASA, participating in numerous festivals around the world (Rome International Film Festival, San Paolo International Film Festival) and winning several national awards. The following year he founded the Echivisivi Film Production company.

In 2014 his first documentary film LA MEMORIA DEGLI ULTIMI premiered at BIFEST 2014, obtaining excellent feedback from critics and audiences. In 2016 he made the documentary INDRO, L’UOMO CHE SCRIVEVA SULL’ACQUA, in collaboration with Sky Arte and with the support of Mibact. The film was among the finalists at the Nastri D'Argento Doc 2017. In the same year the documentary BIOGRAFIA DI UN AMORE was released, a film that continues to work on the theme of “memory” and loss. In 2018 Samuele produced SE DI TUTTO RESTA UN POCO. SULLE TRACCE DI ANTONIO TABUCCHI, a documentary about the great Italian writer, and in 2019, he writes and directs FUOCO SACRO, a Format Tv about Italian literature of the 20th century, produced by LaEffe channel. GLASSBOY is his latest work. Currently he is also a Direction teacher at the Tuscan Cinema Academy and part of the Board of the Festival Internazionale dei Popoli.

Director’s statement

“When I started working on GLASSBOY I had some references in mind: legends of the children's cinema -such as "Stand by me", "E.T." or the “Goonies”- and works belonging to my European cinematographic background, more attentive to form and social issues. The challenge was really in the union of these two worlds: to tell the world at child's height and at the same time do it through a specific gender language, bringing it back to the center of my creative intentions and working mainly in the direction of the fairy tale and magical realism. It all started when in my research I came across Fabrizio Silei's book, Il bambino di vetro, at the end of 2014.

Falling in love was immediate. From that moment, a work of study, writing and adaptation with the aim of reducing the narrative dimension of the work in the present day, extensively modifying its characters and dramaturgy but without wanting to betray its main assumptions. That's why Pino's story stayed with me: the adventure of an eleven-year-old boy with a limiting disease who desperately seeks his place in the world. His will to live is so intense that not even the threat of death can keep him from pushing his limits. Pino, in the first part of the film, is often filmed behind something: a screen, his phone's camera, a helmet, a door slit, a curtain, a car window. There is always something that prevents Pino from participating in what is happening in the world.

Contrary to this mechanism, Pino's passion for superheroes and comics, the only vehicle through which the child, while drawing, tries to escape from his reality to feel part of the outside world. Imagination and fantasy thus become the only ways to project oneself elsewhere. In this initial oscillation, Pino's attempt to break down everything that separates him from reality (the window, a metaphor for illness) is ultimately told in order to transform what until that moment he has only imagined with comics into reality.

The initial and final comic, to mark the relationship between fantasy and reality, imagination and real life, opens and closes the story by combining and mixing the reading of the story in a double way, declaring that what is seen in the film is the story as well as Pino himself. 'he lived and told through a comic he created where, for the first time, life and imagination overlap. 

GLASSBOY has thus become year after year the opportunity to be able to tell a universal story, capable of making children protagonists, without compromise, and at the same time involving the world of adults in an extraordinary journey back to their childhood, the place of lost wonders, indelible signs of our journey into the world.”


Solaria Film (Italy)


Peacock Film (Switzerland)


Wildart Film (Austria)

international distribution
Italian distribution
festival contact