Andrea Segre

Director of film and documentaries for cinema and television, he is also a researcher in Sociology of Communication. For over ten years he has been particularly dedicated to the topic of migration and is the founder of the association ZaLab, which he develops both production projects and participatory-video workshops with.

I love to mix the methods and styles of documentary cinema, by also working with unprofessional actors and always choosing locations in the real world, with the aesthetic tension of the international independent cinema.

The horizon of my artistic action is always connected with an ethic attention against injustice and aimed at promoting knowledge and cultural exchanges.


Based on an idea by Matteo Calore and Andrea Segre
Directed by Andrea Segre
With the images of Ibitocho Sehounbiatou
International Sales: I Wonder Pictures
Produced by Francesco Bonsembiante
A production JOLEFILM with RAI CINEMA
in collaboration with ZaLab
with the support of Open Society Foundations

Ibi took pictures and filmed her life in Italy for over 10 years. This film is born from her images, her creativity and her energy. For the first time in Europe, a film is entirely based on the self-narration, direct and spontaneous made by an immigrant woman telling about herself and about her Europe to her sons in Africa. This is an intense and intimate journey into the difficult, lively and colorful world of a visual artist, who was unknown until now.

Everybody in the valley is waiting for the first snow. It will change all colors, all shapes, all outlines. But Dani has never seen the snow. Dani was born in Togo and arrived in Italy as a refugee from the war in Libya. He was taken in by a refugee home on Pergine, a small village in the mountains of Trentino, at the foot of the Mocheni Valley. He has a one-year-old daughter who he is unable to care for. There is something that blocks him. A deep hurt. Dani is invited to work in the workshop of Pietro, an old carpenter and beekeeper from the Mocheni Valley who lives on a mountain farm with his daughter-in-law Elisa and his grandson Michele, a boy aged ten whose fitfulness strikes Dani. Michele’s father has died a short time ago, leaving a big hole in the young boy’s life. Michele’s relationship with his mother is tense and conflicted. For support and friendship, he turns to his uncle Fabio. Sooner or later the snow will arrive, and there is not much time to repair the beehives and collect firewood. It is a short and necessary time span that allows pain and silences to turn into occasions for understanding and knowing. It is a time to let the leaves, the trees and the forests prepare themselves for change. In this time and in these woods, before the snow, Dani and Michele can learn to listen to each other.

Today there is an identity crisis that prevails over the economic one. It is about separation, disorientation.

European cultures have been sold off to standardized consumption and the race to get rich. They have made us believe that freedom from material poverty should coincide with escaping from ourselves. Reliving poverty today, without us being self-conscious, is an unbearable instability. Our documentary consists of time cut out to listen to our absence. It is the awareness that we live with a debt of air, meaning and perspective. In order to make it, we roamed around like flaneurs, like wanderers in a symbolic place of the crisis - indebted Greece – following the words, thoughts and music of the rebetes, the singers of rebetiko, a kind of Hellenic blues. Rebetiko music originated in the despair of an old crisis (Greeks fleeing Smyrna) and is one of the musical forms that has built Greece’s modern identity, conveying both the pain of exile and the rebellion against the violence of history. It is an unauthorised and unlawful music that opposes power. Rebetes are the bearers of this identity, who today celebrate a funeral full of defeat, desperate rebellion and silent hope. Their concerts and their words fill the taverns in Athens and Salonica at night, they graze the writing on the walls, they listen to the sea in the harbours and cross the path of Vinicio Capossela, a musician and wanderer who weaves his notes with thoughts from his travel diary, the tefteri. So Greece becomes Europe, its crisis becomes ours and rebetiko becomes the living song of an indebted and desperate hope.

Since March 2011, after the outbreak of the Libyan War, many African migrants and refugees escaped from the country. While a part of this flow has found shelter in refugee camps at the border with Tunisia, others managed to reach Italian coasts by boat. Many of them had been previously pushed back by Italy as a result of an agreement signed by Berlusconi and Gaddafi in 2008. Since the signature of this deal, all migrants intercepted at sea by the Italian navy were forcibly returned to Libya, where they were exposed to any kind of abuses by local police. Our documentary aims to tell what actually happened to African refugees on the Italian ships during these “push back operations” and in Libyan prisons after their deportation.

2011 - prod. Jolefilm and AeternamFilms, 68th Venice International Film Festival - Venice Days

Shun Li works in a textile factory in the outskirts of Rome in order to get her papers and enable her eight-year-old son to come to Italy. She is suddenly transferred to Chioggia, a small city-island in the Veneto lagoon, to work as a bartender in a pub.

Bepi, a Slavic fisherman, nicknamed “the Poet” by his friends, has been a regular at that little pub for years.

Their encounter is a poetic escape from solitude, a silent dialogue between cultures that are different, yet not more distant. It is an odyssey into the deep heart of a lagoon, which can be both the mother and cradle of identities, which never keep still.

But the friendship between Shun Li and Bepi upsets both the Chinese and local communities, who interfere with this new voyage, which they are perhaps simply too afraid of.

doc2010 - ZaLab, AeternamFilms, RAI3, Jolefilm - Best Documentary of VeniceDays at 67th Venice International Film Festival

January 2010, Rosarno, Calabria. The immigrants' manifestations of rage reveal, for a short while, the conditions of deterioration and injustice thousands of African labourers live every day.

doc2009 - prod. ZaLab/OFF!CINE - UCCA Prize at 27th TorinoFilmFestival

The life and dignity of 2 women in the "new centralities" in Rome, the modern boundaries of a fragmented and disoriented urban society.
The film is available in dvd with English and French subtitles. In pay-per-view with Italian and English subtitles.

doc2008 - prod Asinitas/ZaLab - final selection at David Donatello. Best Documentary SalinaDocFestival, Gran Prix TeleFrance CMCA

Giving voice to the Ethiopian refugees living in Rome, the film provides us with a direct insight into the brutal ways in which Libya, aided also by the Italian and European funds, was operating to control the immigration movements of people from Africa. The film is available in dvd with English, French, Spanish and German subtitles: linkati a blog eng del film .

doc2007 - prod Jolefilm - official selection at 25th TorinoFilmFestival

A documentary on the tension between industrial development and the quality of life,on the difficulty of dialogue between politics and citizens in North Italy, not always transparent alliances between politics and economic powers.
The film tells the story of a village in North Italy: San Pietro di Rosà, in the province of Vicenza.
The film is available in DVD with English subtitles on Jolefilm website.

doc2007 - prod CeSPI-SID, Prix Accardi

The journeys of African migrants through the Tenerè Desert from Niger to Lybia and their expulsion by the Libyan police.

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