UnArchive Found Footage Fest


From 3 to 8 May in Rome the festival dedicated to the creative reuse of images.

UnArchive Found Footage Fest is the international festival dedicated to the creative reuse of images, landing for the first time in Rome from May 3-8. The festival includes feature and short films, but also virtual reality installations, audio-visual loops and live performances. There will also be important international guests, who will accompany their works in a dialogue with the audience though panels, roundtable discussions and masterclasses. Cinema Intrastevere will host film screenings; the Alcazar Live venue will be dedicated to live performances; the Spanish Academy in Rome will host panels and discussions; and, in the adjacent Tempietto del Bramante, art installations.

UnArchive is intended to be a twofold invitation: the one suggested in the very name of the festival – ‘un-archiving’ the images preserved in archives – and an invitation to cinema. The cinema that we propose to the public during the days of the festival is the cinema that most challenges and fascinates us, as spectators, artists, scholars and the curious. It is the cinema that makes continuous aesthetic research its driving force, it is the cinema that never ceases to question the representations of visual language. It is the cinema of found footage that, in its practice of re-reading and re-sematising images, produces new meanings and keys to interpreting the contemporary.

declare the artistic directors.
Bill Morrison by Wolfgang Wesener

International Competition

At the heart of the UnArchive programme is the International Competition, aimed at audiovisual works presenting innovative forms of creative reuse of archive material. 23 films, 9 feature films and 14 short films, will compete for the Festival’s three prizes: UnArchive Award (€ 3000) open to all selected works, Best Feature Film Award (€ 1500) for the best feature film, Best Short Film Award (€ 1500) for the best short film.

The prizes will be awarded by a Jury composed of artist Rä di Martino, Canadian scholar Laurence McFalls and editor Ilaria Fraioli. Further prizes will be awarded by the Student Jury, composed of students from universities and training institutes in Rome, who will judge the works in competition under the guidance of director Daniele Vicari.

The competition ranges from the visionary journey through the simulations of power in Riotsville USA, by American Sierra Pettengill, to the sentimental-cinematic cavalcade of Et j’aime à la fureur by French director André Bonzel; from the superhistorical investigation of archive material in The Natural History of Destruction by Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa to the iconographic patchwork on the different souls of propaganda in Red Africa by Russian director Alexander Markov; from the intimate and universal journey of one of the crucial figures in the construction of the Italian cinematographic imaginary in Enrico Ghezzi and Alessandro Gagliardo’s Gli ultimi giorni dell’umanità to the powerful fresco of an Iranian family and a country mirrored in each other in Firouzeh Khosrovani’s Radiograph of a Family; from the domino-images recomposed in the political-social investigation of the bloody secrets of Splinters by Argentinean Natalia Garayalde to the time machine triggered by a fragment of found film in Three Minutes by Dutch director Bianca Stigter, and the sophisticated staging of the disintegration of politics in Poland in 1970 by Tomasz Wolski.

The short film category features works by Bill Morrison, in an unveiling of uncomfortable truths brought about by surveillance images in an American city in Incident; by South Korean Shon Kim, in the polyphormous divertissement of Booklorbar: Action; by the Colombian Carlos Velandia, in a meta-cinematographic reflection on the representation of women in Woman as Image, Man as Bearer of the Look; by the Englishman Richard Misek, in an analysis of the commercial dynamics of audiovisual archives in History of the World According to Getty image; by the Austrian Peter Tscherkassky, in a fanciful homage to the origins of cinema in Train Again; by the Iranian Mohammadreza Farzad, in the philosophical reflection on human existence in Subtotals; by the Frenchman Alexis Moreano Banda, in the visual decomposition of the filmic idea in BordX2; by the Austrian Michaela Grill, in a compelling journey into matter in Under the microscope; by the Canadian Steven Woloshen, in the wild and iconic dance of Perf dance; by the Italian Federica Foglia, in the visual poetry of Innesti bianchi e neri; by the Brazilian Carlos Adriano, in the activist and ecologist cinema of Tekoha: Images fallen from a state scandal – long live the struggle of the indigenous people; by the Thai Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, in the space-time tunnel of the mise en abyme of Trip After; by the South African Jyoti Mistry, in the denunciation of violence against women in Cause of Death; by the Iranian Maryam Tafakory, in a reflection on the proxemics of film images in Irani bag.

UnArchive Found Footage Fest’s journey into the universe of filmic reuse continues in the Out of Competition.

UnArchive Found Footage Fest

Special screenings

3 screenings dedicated to international masters and works of particular note make up the Special Screenings programme. 

The tutelary gods of this edition are two masters of world cinema, capable of transcending found footage into a mirror of our contemporaneity: Werner Herzog and Alexander Sokurov. The vision of The Fire Within: A Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft by the German author, who has always explored the border between fiction and documentary cinema, and Fairytale, a Dantean journey through the political imagery of the 20th century, seem to compose the perfect manifesto for the first edition of UnArchive FFF.
A due homage that the festival dedicates to the 2022 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Annie Ernaux, with Les Annes Super 8 directed four hands with her son David Ernaux-Briot. The author turns her gaze to her family films and takes us on a journey between literature and cinema that imposes a reinterpretation of the history of women in the second half of the 20th century. The film is shown in combination with another work freely inspired by Ernaux’s literature, the moving short film Gli anni di Sara Fgaier.


Frontiers is the section of five international titles that reflects on the frontiers of found footage, in a geopolitical and aesthetic sense. The exploration enters the meshes of history and contemporaneity, crossing political regimes and geographical borders: from the journey into the personal and collective memory of the Ukrainian Igor Ivanko with Fragile Memory to the hypnotic investigation into the meaning of immigration in the Portuguese Journey to the Sun by Susana de Sousa Dias and Ansgar Schaefer; from the interweaving of cinematic avant-garde and political activism in Before The Dying of the Light by the Moroccan Ali Essafi to the cinephile and desecrating reflection on the links between art, memory and ideology in The Potemkinists by Radu Jude; up to the poetic evocation of the border between life and death through ancient photographic plates in Singing in the oblivion by Eve Heller.

Italian landscapes

With the eight titles in this section, we delve into the high cinephile imagery of Una claustrocinefilia by Alessandro Aniballi, and into the poetic invention of Laura Samani with her L’estate è finita – appunti su Furio. UnArchive Found Footage Fest also hosts two recent works that, by enhancing the audiovisual heritage of the Archivio Luce, explore female experiences. Cipria, by Giovanni Piperno, is a journey through Italy at the dawn of the Second World War, between the magic of the cinematographic imagination, the female question and the disturbing propaganda abstraction of the regime’s films. Svegliami a mezzanotte, by Francesco Patierno, is the intimate and universal diary of the mal de vivre of a young woman in today’s Italy, based on the book of the same name by Fuani Marino, published by Einaudi. The section closes with some highly experimental aesthetic incursions: Statici and Marisa by Jacopo Quadri, respectively an action of cinephile cannibalisation and a poignant recovery of maternal fragments; Panorama and Supermarket by Gianluca Abbate, collagistic re-inventions of the human too human.

Two tributes to international cinema that crosses the space-time boundaries between the arts, travels on the waves of experimentation, and reveals the avant-garde of creative reuse from the origins of cinema.

Live performance

In the first edition of the festival, the Live performance experience could not be missing. Three cineconcerts dedicated to the interaction between live music and images from the past, on the hyper-contemporary stage of the Alcazar: Suono In Un Tempo Trasfigurato by Francesca Bono (Ofeliadorme) and Vittoria Burattini (Massimo Volume), in a live soundtrack of experimental films by Maya Deren and Marinella Pirelli, realised thanks to the collaboration with Archivio Aperto – Associazione Home Movies; Bestiario, by Davide Toffolo, a gallery of drawings, archive images and autographed texts, featuring animals of all species, accompanied by the music and words of the cartoonist and leader of the Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti; Arrivederci Berlinguer! a reinterpretation of L’Addio a Enrico Berlinguer directed by Alessandro Rossi and Michele Mellara, with music composed and performed live by Massimo Zamboni (CCCP, CSI), produced by AAMOD and Cinema Zero in collaboration with Mammut Film.


May 3-8, 2023


Cinema Intrastevere – Vicolo Moroni, 3

Alcazar – Via Cardinale Merry del Val, 14

Accademia di Spagna a Roma – Piazza di S. Pietro in Montorio, 3

Casa Internazionale delle Donne – Via della Lungara, 19


Entry to the International Competition screenings (short + feature-lenght) € 5.
Students entry € 3.
Live Performance pre-sale € 10 + dp. box office € 15 .
Every Out of Competition Sections and Retrospective are free entrance untile all places. Bookable at Cinema Intrastevere box office during the festival’s days.
I Panel, Talk e Masterclass and UnArchive // Expanded’s Installation at the Real Academia de España en Roma are free.


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