“L’ITALIANO CHE INVENTO’ IL CINEMA” Director Spotlight: Stefano Anselmi

Honestly, at the age of 19, I wanted to be a Poet.”

After graduating from the Civic School of Cinema in Milan (’99), Stefano Anselmi began his Film career as an Assistant Director for Cinema and TV drama.

As a writer, I had won some awards and published a small book. In 1993, when Fellini died, I saw ‘8 ½’ on TV for the first time. It was incredible. The film tells of a Director in crisis, and his surname, Anselmi. It was fate.

Translated to English, Anselmi’s 2020 MWFF Submission reads “The First Gaze. The Italian Who Invented Cinema.”

This was a long-term project. At least ten years. Everyone said “it’s a story to tell” but in the end the producers pulled back. So the two people who made it possible are the biographer of Filoteo Alberini, Giovanna Lombardi, who has always supported me and the producer Daniele Baldacci who firmly wanted to finally make this documentary.”

The film focuses on reconstructing the incredible life of the Italian pioneer, Filoteo Alberini. It unfolds a reflection on the birth of Italian cinema and, more generally, on the Seventh Art and its nature as the “magnificent obsession”. A journey in the company of an exceptional storyteller of cinema’s forgotten ones, Georges Méliès, who investigates Alberini, practically unknown in our present day.

Today it is thought that making cinema or otherwise making audiovisual is simple. Almost natural. Instead it is not so. It involves a huge creative and productive effort because cinema is an industrial art. Making a video on a social media – in most cases – is not making cinema. Even now the best films or series are the result of intellectual and economic fatigue, now as in the days of Filoteo Alberini.”

Anselmi is also a Professor at his Alma Mater, the Civic School of Cinema in Milan, named after Italian cinema, theater and opera Director, as well as screenwriter, Luchino Visconti.

I am not only a director but also a teacher in a film school. I love students, I love young professionals and I feel obliged to them. Cinema is a craft that must be handed down, it is not taught with books.” – Stefano Anselmi, on Filmmaking

Category: Documentary

Run Time: 01:01:00

Themes: Biography, Cinema History, Perspective

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