Mariella Bussolati

Mariella Bussolati, journalist, graduate at School of theatre Paolo Grassi (1986) and Scuola di Cinema e Televisione Luchino Visconti, Milan (2013) documentary course, started producing video on 2009, on social issues (Milan) and a multimedia project called Orto diffuso. She made 5 films: Urban making over (10 min), was selected at Agrofilm festival Slovenia, 2013, Festival Docucity 2014, Forum Ambiente 2022, Milano. Amore che sbrana (Tearing love) (30 min) (won the short doc at New York Festival of New Cinema (2015), and was selected for Cinema Doc june 2015 Singapore World Film Festival (2016), Ozark short Film Festival (2016), won the Best short doc at Eurovision Palermo Film Festival (2017)). The microvideo Hepatitis C (1 min)(was selected for the 60 seconds or less Film Festival, Washington University). the film Paws, men, roots (2017) (30 min), selected at Festival Sicilia Ambiente 2018 and Agricorto. The film Punching the city (2018) (70 min) was selected by Sport Film Festival and Dumbo film festival , Holly weird Film Festival and won Excellence award in Viewer Impact: Motivational/Inspirational at Doc without borders film festival, finalist at Chungju International Martial Arts & Action Film Festival, Corea. Coronavirus was selected by Lift off Festival. Boxing estate (shorter version of Punching the city) (60 min) got the Award of Merit at The Impact DOCS Awards and screened at Avvistamenti Festival, Rome, Iper festival, Rome, Docucity, Milan, finalist at Docucity Milano. Coronavirus was selected by Lift off Festival.


Your project takes a part in our festival. What is your project about?
My film is about the play, from the early stages of writing to the scene, of the Odyssey, the Omero poem, by a group of young university students of Gaza, helped by a group of Italian volunteers. The story is different from the original one. In the young Palestinian version Odysseus dies and Telemacus is wondering if it could be better to leave and go abroad. A feeling that many young people have. So the main plot became also a way to interview the actors, but also ordinary people, in order to discover the meaning of the concept of home in a place where home is daily at risk and to search what people living here feel as a home. Refugees have lost their one, and living in a
permanent war situation does not help. The words of the actors, Ala'a, Dalal, Karam, Abraham, Fatma, Adil, Mohammad...and of the people in the streets, Mariam, Hassam, Abdallah, Ragheed.... are mixed with views of the city which show also the beauty of Gaza. There are many places, like the marriage shop, the poetry cafe named Handl Hon, which means “we will stay here” , the horses on the beach, which were never seen in the classic media coverage , which reported only destruction. All this let us to discover that Gaza, was a beautiful place to live, and where every effort to stay there was worth it. An the war which is going on is even worse because is erasing every possibility to restore a society of people which were very rooted and attached tho their land. I am very sad to say that the actor who played Odisseus, Abraham Saidan whas shot dead in Khan Younis, where is was searching for a safe place.


What were your requirements for actors to take a part of your film?
I am making documentaries. I do not have actors. My character are common people that I interview in their environment, And I try always not to change anything and be small to let them be as if the camera is not there.

How did you communicate with the cameraman?
I do not have a cameraman. I like to shoot by myself because I think that a film is the story I want to tell, and it must be in my hands. I like to choose the perspectives, the light, the point of view, because those are all narratives items. And when I shoot I am already thinking to the edit and the story I want to tell.

Untitled design 52png

What locations did you choose for your project? And why?
I went to Gaza to help for the theatre project, but since I am a filmaker I decided to make a film. And the connection between the story of Odysseus and the meaning of home in a place like Gaza became evident. It appeared evident also that Gaza is not only destruction but also nice and comfortable places, where the people have an almost normal life. So I decided that the main location was the city and what it happens inside.

Why should distributors buy your film?
I think that in this moment is very important that people can see Gaza as it was before the war. To remember how insane is this attack and recall how beauty could be in peace time.

Untitled design 53png

What expression elements did you use in your project? How would you characterize your work?
I like to take moments in which the people are not aware of a camera. To let them free to behave as in the daily life. A film is not television, you are not presenting something. Is the reality. And the images should present the reality as it is, but from the point of view of the director, which is part of the story. I was actively involved in the theatre project and in the life of Gaza.

At what festivals have you had success? Has the film already premiered? If so, where?
For the moment the film was semifinalist at Vienna Indie Short Film Festival, Milan Filmaker Awards and Rome International Short Film Festival and was selected and screened at the Festival de Video Cine Politico Carlota.

What motivated you to become a filmmaker?
I am a science reporter. And I was a little bit tired to write stories which are very interesting but not emotional. And I graduated also in the most important School of theatre in Milan. So I decided to put the emotions in my story and filming is the best way to do that and I made the School of Cinema. This is why my documentaries are not mere observational but I put myself in the story. I have ever done this. I even became a boxer doing a film about boxing.

Which movies are your favorites? And why?
I like science fiction. The first which made me a love of films was 2001 Space Odissey, and also Star Trek. I like very much also Stalker of Andrey Tarkowsky for the images and the dark scenes more than the story. I can never forget the scenes and the light of Blade runner For the more recent I liked Matrix, Her, and Dune but I love also Hayao Miyazaki, with Spirited Away.

What topics do you like to deal with in your work?
I do not have a preferred topic. I like to make story about what's going near me, something to which I can belong.

What genre do you like to shoot and why?
I am interested in documentaries which tell stories of people and what is going on in society.

What project would you like to shoot one day, what would it be about?
I would very much do a remake of Stalker set in a modern city and telling a present story which can be seen in a different perspective.

What do you do if you're not thinking about a movie? What are your hobbies?
I studied agriculture and I am an expert of gardening. I love plants and nature and to be in a wild environment. I am vegan and I am involved in environmental organizations to fight the climate change.

What projects do you plan to shoot in the future?
The project I am working on is a film about homeless which try to change what people usually think about this people, that is to say they are dirty, unorganized, probably with mental health problems, thieves. Instead working for a group of volunteers which bring to them food and blankets I discovered that they are normal people, very well organized, whit the same needs everyone can have. And the film explores the stark contrast between the glamorous and luxurious Milan, known for its high fashion and design, where the quality and the price of life is high, and the hidden world of poverty and homelessness that exists beneath its surface.

Learn more