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Tiger Boy

From the director of They Call Me Jeeg Robot, the story of Matteo, a nine year old kid whose hero is a wrestler of a Roman suburb called The Tiger.

20 – 25 | 2012 | Childhood | Disease | Dramedy | Italy | 2012

Tiger Boy is the sixth short film directed by Gabriele Mainetti, Italian actor, director, composer and producer born in 1976. Acclaimed as Italian film superhero with his directorial feature They Call Me Jeeg Robot (premiered at 2015 Rome Film Fest, the movie will open in Italian theatres in 2016), he trained with the shorts Itinerario tra suono ed immagine (2003), Il produttore (2004) and Ultima Spiaggia (2005), and created his fragile superheroes populated universe in the suburban crime comedy Basette (2008) and in the funny Love in Central Park (2012).

Tiger Boy tells the story of Matteo (Simone Santini), a nine year old kid who never gets his homemade mask off – the one identical to that of his hero, a wrestler of a Roman suburb called The Tiger. It’s like the story of the young shrimp, who wants to straighten all the wrongs of this world. His mother (Lidia Vitale) thinks it’s just a tantrum, Matteo screams a call for help that nobody seems to hear. In the silence of the adult world, watching a working-class Naoto Date smashing the terrible Big Tornado let him find the strength to defeat the evil ogre (Francesco Foti) and his slimy and horrible harassment.

Suburban wrestling and a distant and dull daily life, reality and fantasy, the energy to live, the loneliness and the lack of communication: Mainetti and screenwriter Nicola Guaglianone mix social critique and dark action in a maternal Rome and its outskirts, capturing the city’s beauty along with its seedier and most threatening aspects. The mature yet childlike and easygoing imaginary, the delicate, gritty and ironic tones along with Stefano Maria Mioni’s fluid and impressive stunts result sharp as the guitar riffs which Gabriele entrusts the closing credits.

Tiger Boy screened at over 30 festivals and won the Grand Prix at the Brest European Short Film Festival 2012, the Renault Award for Best Short Film at the Flickerfest International Film Festival 2013 in Australia and the Silver Ribbon 2013 in Italy. The short, along with nine other competing projects, also landed on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination in the “Live Action Short” category at the 86th Academy Awards.

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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