El Father Plays Himself

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    El Father Plays Himself

    Directed by

    Venezuela, United Kingdom, Italy, USA

    2020

    105 min

    • Spanish

    Documentary

    While Jorge left Venezuela as a child, his father remained there. In a country that he struggles to recognise, the son is now directing a fictional film (La Fortaleza, Jorge Thielen Armand) about the troubled past of this genitor in the illegal goldmines of the Amazonian jungle. With determination, El Father Plays Himself draws a portrait of a complex filial relationship and shifting power balance.

    Awards

    • Special Mention (International Competition) - Visions du Réel
    • International Competition - Krakow IFF
    • International Competition - DokuFest
    • Directoras en Foco - SANFIC

    Festivals

    Credits

    Cinematography
    Mo Scarpelli
    Editing
    Juan David Soto Taborda
    Production
    RAKE FILMS
    Production
    ARDIMAGES
    Production
    LA FAENA FILMS

    Press

    Riveting intensity... a tantalizing house of mirrors. Scarpelli has an astute instinct for where to look, and she doesn't look away.

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Documentary tracks the Amazon shoot of ‘La Forteleza’, bringing to mind Kinski and Herzog’s adventures of yore

    Screen Daily

    Exquisite... one of the best documentaries about the power of filmmaking ever made.

    Toisto

    A deeply human portrayal.

    Variety

    Sure to fascinate and hypnotize audiences alike

    Film Inquiry

    Mo Scarpelli

    Mo Scarpelli

    Italy

    Filmmaking gives me the means to shut up and listen, to watch, to suspend judgement unlike any other moment in my life.

    Mo Scarpelli is an Italian-American director and cinematographer of non-fiction cinema. After completing a Bachelor's in Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, her debut documentary feature FRAME BY FRAME (2015) screened at SXSW 2015, BFI London FF, Hot Docs (Audience Top Ten), and over 100 other festivals, garnering over a dozen awards as well as a Cinema Eye Honors nomination. Her film ANBESSA (2019) was nominated for both the Crystal Bear and the Glashütte Documentary Prize at the 69th Berlinale. Mo is a Berlinale Talent, a two-time recipient of Catapult Film Fund support, and has received fellowships from the New America Foundation and International Women in Media Foundation. She was awarded Best Director at MountainFilm Telluride, received the Speranza Foundation Female Filmmaker Award along with the Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision. Her latest film EL FATHER PLAYS HIMSELF (2020), shot in Venezuela, premiered and received a Special Mention for Best International Feature Film Competition at the 51st Visions du Réel. She is based in Rome.

    Selected Filmography