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Online Premiere: Belva Nera

The legend of a black panther spotted in the Lazio countryside narrated by the stories of a community of hunters between folklore and reality.

2013 | 25 - 30 | Documentary | Hunting | Italy | Observational

UPDATES: Matteo Zoppis and Alessio Rigo De Righi are about to debut with their first feature film il Solengo (2015 / ITALY, ARGENTINA / 70’) at DocLisboa​. Be ready for a deep journey into the Italian rural culture and its legendary figures!

Debut dates are (In Lisboa):

In conjunction with the event, let us re-introduce Belva Nera now available online, only on Good Short Films.

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Ercolino, an old, trigger-happy cowboy, has seen a black panther near his hunting cabin. Some of his friends believe him, others think it’s just a legend. But what will the truth be? This is the incipit to Belva Nera (Black Beast), a documentary presented at CinemaXXI 2013, the experimental section of the Rome Film Festival, unfortunately canceled from the 2014 programme, which immerses us in the remote areas of the Lazio countryside, where characters, folk culture and traditions survive the hectic reality of big cities. The fears of the local community revolv around the legend of the animal and its cycles of sightings, strengthened in its beliefs by the arrival of Tony Scarf, an 80s Italian B-movies character-actor and a feline expert, who says to have captured a true metropolitan panther.

The young authors of this film, Matteo Zoppis and Alessio Rigo de Righicreate an outstanding work between fiction and reality that, under the guise of the investigation, describe the daily life of a community of hunters and its microcosmos dispersed in the hills of Tuscia. This work not only provides a “survey” on the lost habits and the survived manners of a past time, but also attempts to narrate the entire place as a whole. The doc has a fairy tale feel to it, not unlike the one of western, of the promised land, capable to make a particular event an universal story. Shot in 16mm, in 4:3 format, the one that most closely matches human vision, Belva Nera has an irresistible “retro” charm that fits well with the figures of this epic tale in which archaic values ​​and ancestral fears mingle with love and violence, danger and survival, life and death.

All highlighted by the “Morricone-like” music by Vittorio Giampietro and and the intelligent sound design that amplifies ambient noises without distorting them, realised by Sound On Studios. “What is fascinating for us, is the way in which certain stories are passed down by oral tradition and how they are transformed, modified and amplified over time” says the proven italo-american duo of directors, currently working with Ring Film on a new feature-length documentary: Il Solengo.

The film was screened at many film festivals around the world and received a Special Mention as Best Documentary Short Film and the Fresnes Prisoners Award at the prestigiousat “Cinéma Du Réel” in Paris. It’s nice that the international audience can appreciate some of the characters of the Italian rural culture, perhaps less known, with a film that differs in form and content from usual narratives and genres, by describing the rustic candor and heroic life of the Lazio countryside.

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great food. My motto is: your motto.

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