Umbria in Celluloide
By Eleonora Cecconi
Italia, 2021, 23′
Wednesday 6th october Cinema Zenith – 16.15
Writer and director: Eleonora Cecconi
Lead actors: Maria Annunziata Porcu, Stefano Galiotto
Actors and extras: Alessia Bovari, Sandra Fuccelli, Elisa e Linda Fioriti, Federica Pieravanti
Production: Alessandro Trionfetti
Executive producer: ESP
Cameraman: Roberto Costantini
Script: Eleonora Cecconi
Photography: Sara Belia, Roberto Costantini
Edition: Francesco Mengoni
Sound director: Giulio Catarinelli
Director’s assistant: Giulia Passaretti
The umpteenth Birthday speaks of the inclusiveness or “exclusiveness” – in the sense of feeling excluded – experienced by the elderly in today’s society, a world which, because of its fast and technological pace, does not anymore seem to have either time or space for them. Even if, up until yesterday, they used to be the true protagonists of that society.
The story focuses on Maria, an elderly lady still in full possession of her mental faculties, bursting with energy and desire to look toward the future. It is her birthday, yet, as is often the case, she is going to spend the day by herself. And still, regardless of her age, Maria would like to look toward the future, to make plans, to feel alive. And she wants to feel alive here and now, not in an undefined tomorrow. She wants to feel just like she felt when, as a young lady, she used to ride downhill on her bicycle, hands up, while the wind would poke “into her underwear”.
This is a story about old age as awareness of the self, regrets, weaknesses, fragility. A story about days marked by solitary meals, and filled by the silences of solitude. We will also get to know Stefano, whom Maria will introduce to us as her “friend”: a refreshing and rejuvenating presence who, thanks to his “madness”, proves able to rekindle sensations she feared to have lost forever.
This is going to be a journey between disenchantment and hope, between prose and poetry, between stairways that go up and down. In a word, a journey through life.
The short film was shot entirely in Umbria (Italy) in May 2021
In working on the short film I tried to find a union and a fusion point between what I carry with me and within my theatrical experience and what I love instead of the cinematographic language.
I went on stage at the age of 4 and never got off. I studied theater until it became a profession as a director and as a teacher. I love cinema, music and all artistic languages that have a social function. When I have a project in mind, the first place I go to draw is the street. I stop, look at passers-by and steal from their attitudes. I’m talking about what I know, which may not be true given that I made my directorial debut in both theater and cinema with a text that talks about seniority. But I grew up among the elderly and it is a goal, the old age, that I would like to live with serenity and not with anguish. I believe in art as a cathartic and liberating force.
This short film represents my first work in cinema!