VideoRitratti (VideoPortraits) is a narrative, research, educational and artistic production project carried on throughout territories, inspired by the many faces of their inhabitants. The project aims at exploring and investigating narrative ways to describe spaces and cities through cinema, analyzing the relationship between bodies and space, starting from a Portrait.

VideoRitratti is a long-term research project by L’Ambulante, carried with the collaboration of local subjects that, though cinematic tools, aims at reflecting upon and investigating the different ways of living in a particular site and at the same time build a film archive of faces and spaces.
Faces and spaces. Acting bodies. Spaces accepting bodies, changing them and sometimes trying to expel them, or ignore them. Spaces becoming theaters for acts of presence and resistance.
A body, a space and a face with its history drawn in the traits of an expression, of a wrinkle, the expression mutating in the space/time of the frame. A moment in life that tells about the everyday place where a face lives and breathes, a face in a space/time, the one of the frame, showing contrasts and contradictions, visions possibly creating new sense, allowing to overcome stale and given ideas about specific places.
VideoRitratti is a project about experimental cinematic language willing to create a sort of shot-circuit within the language of the documentary, playing with reality, staging and soundscaping. VideoRitratti experiments with the narrative built on fragments, where every single fragment is on the edge between the “posing” (of the person or people shown) for the camera and the “real flow” of life in a specific space and time.
Sounds plays a fundamental role in bringing into the frame the voice-over, the non-diegetic connecting, a voice over that connects, at different levels, the portrayed bodies and their micro-stories together with general histories in a specific context or a global phenomenon.

The research experiments with building pictures of different territories or cities through portraits, interlacing local micro-stories with global stories that affect the transformations of the same territories.
The experimentation with language, fragmented and broken down into various tiny movements, the relationship between the glance of the subject through the camera and the movements of the landscape around require, from the viewer, a particular attention, an effort to move their look around the image of a single frame at first, and then, frame by frame, through the cinematic composition.
The research journey is based upon the will of constructing a narrative as multifaceted as possible, collecting multiple aspects and readings around an inhabited environment, and on the intention of igniting a deep interaction with the territory during the investigation itself.
This is the main reason why one of the fundamental pillars of the project are the workshops of Video Ritratto, or Ritratto Filmato (Filmed Portrait). The workshops are intended as an instrument to involve a diverse group of people into a reflection upon territories, through the collection and listening of stories, faces and spaces. The participants of the workshops are then involved in the later steps of cinematic production, in the experimentation with language and the narrative medium used to describe a site via a portrait or a series of portraits.
Experimenting through searching for symbolic places, landscapes or faces which, in turn, are pictures of landscapes or stories, experimenting the facing of each other, prolonging the time of a glance, aims at sparking and developing a reflection on the very act of filming ‘the other’, a reflection on the inherent “violence” of the act of filming, as well as on the relationship between “the one who films” and “the one who is filmed”.

VideoRitratti is a tool, a theory, an open research about cinematic language which, through the Portrait, tries to describe a territory, its inhabitants and its/their stories, intertwined with love, redemption, resistance, violence, poverty or wealth, dreams or memories.
The project started in 2015 in Sicily, traveled across Calabria, Basilicata, Sardinia and finally landed in Colombia with “VideoRitratti da Bogotá”.
Each time the project is modified depending on the context and inputs from a research work that aims at grasping the poetic aspects and the poetry of the involved territory, changing as well the approach to the development of each work.
VideoRitratti is an open project, a long term artistic investigation directed towards the building of an archive of faces and a series of documentaries capable of telling about distant territories and inhabitants, finding common traits, contradictions and utopias. It seeks to form a theoretical apparatus for a new form in between Cinema and Video Art, which is also the pretext to spark narrative, auto-narrative and reflective mechanism upon territories and dwelling.

Evolution of the project
VideoRitratti has always included stimuli and contributions from the same territories where it took place, which pushed the research towards a reflection upon language, experimenting with a narrative form entirely built on the portrait. Not the video installation, not the staging, not the theatre, neither documentary or fiction.
A hybrid linguistic form that takes a single fragment of the cinematic language as reference (indeed the portrait) to experiment a narrative form that can be framed into the classic categories of time duration (short, medium or feature film).
Real settings without intervention, the real places in which people live or move. The only theatrical aspect is the posing of the subjects, standing still, staring at the camera, while the world continues to flow behind, beside or in front of them.
Every portrait has its strength, related to the uniqueness of each person, that becomes explicit in the particular way in which each person interprets its own portrait. The intensity of the glance, shy at times, otherwise strong and direct, sometimes absent-minded. The choice between acting or waiting, between saying something or staying silent.
Sometimes telling a story, others a song, or a poem.
Lining up these unique moments allows every portrait to achieve a new meaning when related to the others, and this particular relationship between different singularities is the constitution of the narrative form.

VideoRitratti project is promoted by L’Ambulante.

L’Ambulante is an artists’ collective.
The artistic practice of L’Ambulante range from video art to documentary films, public art projects and urban research. L’Ambulante experiment different artistic and cultural languages and investigate urban environments, exploring the relationship between those films and those who is filmed.
In 2015 the collective start the project “VideoRitratti”, directed by Margherita Pisano and Gaetano Crivaro, a series of short documentary films that portray territories and cities through portraits.

Margherita Pisano
Margherita Pisano is an independent researcher, documentary and video artist.
Her first documentary is GOOD BUY ROMA, selected in many Cinema festivals (Bellaria FF, Festival de Uruguay, Addis IFF, FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU CINÉMA DES PEUPLES ÂNÛÛ-RÛ ÂBORO) and winner of awards (Mention of the Jury at VFF2011, Audience Award at Docucity 2012, Prize Kino at Mediterraneo FF). She is graduated for a Ph.D. Degree in Urban studies at the University of Rome La Sapienza, researching the planning insurgent and a specific methodology of urban visual research. Good Buy Roma is her first film experience and is closely linked to her research of the districts within Rome.
From 2009 to 2012 she started to collaborate with Stalker/ON a collective and a research network of architects, artists, activists and researchers working experimentally and engaging in actions to create self-organised spaces and situations. In 2014 she co-founded L’Ambulante, a collective that realize art project, cinema and urban research, and in 2015 she start with Gaetano Crivaro the project called “VideoPortraits”.

Gaetano Crivaro
Gaetano Crivaro is an independent filmmaker and video artist.
In 2009, he made a successful documentary titled “I LOVE BENIDORM” receiving several awards (Audience award at DocumentaMadrid10, Best Short at Bilbao Film Sozialak). In April 2011 he directed GOOD BUY ROMA, also selected in many Cinema festivals. In January 2012 he participated in the making of the movie DEMONSTRATION, by Victor Kossakowsky. In 2013, his project for a film (NARROW HORIZON) is selected at Premio Solinas. In 2015 he directed the movie “El Vagon” selected in many festival (Filmaker Festival, Visioni Italiane etc.). In 2014 he co-founded an artists’ collective: L’Ambulante. The artistic practice of L’Ambulante range from video art to documentary films, public art projects and urban research. In 2015 he starts with Margherita Pisano the project called “VideoRitratti”.

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