Espero (first feature)

see also

official site


click on the images to download them in high res




original title:



Alberto Baraghini, Aferdita Arapi, Mario Tuti, Savino Paparella


Alessandro Quadretti, Federico Bellini



Antonio Gramentieri, Gianluca De Lorenzi






film run:



HD - colour

aspect ratio:


festivals & awards:

  • Lisbon International Film Festival 2015: Narrative Feature Film
  • International Exile Film Festival 2015: Competition
  • Sydney World Film Festival 2015: Narrative Feature Film

A man, Pietro, is shipwrecked in the middle of a nameless sea, in an undetermined time, on a boat that is not his own boat and that he can barely drive; the only company he has is a cat named Achab, he has few things to eat and little water to drink. Time passes slowly, characterised by silences and the absence of any other human being; even the on-board radio only broadcasts scratchy sounds and interference, which, during a night, are interrupted by a distant female voice singing a singsong. Pietro never gets off the boat and doesn’t enter the waters of the sea. When loneliness seems to be ineluctable, one morning he is awakened by the collision with another craft, on which he finds a man, older than him and moribund, who Pietro takes with him. Their relationship is strained and characterised by silences and suspicions, which increase when the old man, Giacomo, picks up from the sea a boy, Enea, who quickly comes into conflict with Pietro. Thus, the moment in which the violence reveals itself comes and it breaks the precarious equilibrium between the three men, until the escape of Pietro, who can’t, on the other hand, avoid coming back and facing with Giacomo, with his conscience.

My first feature film was born from the awareness, but also from the will, of the possibility to make a film only under certain conditions of production, characterised by such a low budget and, as a consequence, by very few locations and a limited number of actors. Hence the idea of opting for the sea, with its infinite spaces but “untouchable”, as it is the mirror that marks the boundary with death, and the claustrophobic space of a boat. Then arose the desire to create a protagonist seeking the truth about his condition, his past, his faults. Once we had chosen Savino Paparella (Pontedera Theatre, Metastasio Theatre) as main actor, Federico Bellini and I thought about a co-protagonist that should have been the conscience and the alter ego of the former. Hence the idea, evocative but fated to cause controversies, to involve a nonprofessional actor who has in his experience any of the main themes of the film, with who the characters will confront: he is the neo-fascist ex-activist Mario Tuti, who was sentenced to two life imprisonments and is now a 68-year-old detainee in semi-freedom. I met Tuti for the first time in 2011 when I interviewed him for my documentary “4 AGOSTO ’74. Italicus, la strage dimenticata” (“4th August 1974. Italicus, the forgotten massacre”) and I was deeply affected by that personality in which were coexisting, or had been coexisting, intelligence, fanaticism, culture and homicidal violence. Thus, my favourite narrative element in the language of cinema took shape (and not only this), that is to say the permeability against reality, the “open” set, the experience that comes along with the performing, or even substitutes it.