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text Elisabetta Vagaggini

Federico Bondi
mare-nero Dafne Berlinale
December 12, 2019

Straight to the Heart

Florentine film director Federico Bondi, Fipresci Award at the Berlinale WITH ‘Dafne’

Federico Bondi

Mar Nero was about the friendship between an elderly woman and her caretaker. In Dafne the plot centers on a father-daughter relationship. Are feelings at the heart of your films?

I make films about stories I want to tell. I  don’t go looking for them. They somehow find me. And I start from the idea that if you want to strike a cord in others, you yourself must be moved by the story. My films make you cry and laugh. They are dramedies, or comedy-dramas.  

The protagonist, Dafne, is a girl with Down Syndrome. How do you talk about diversity?

When you watch the film, you forget that Dafne has Down Syndrome and you just follow the story of how she works through the loss of her mother and of her relationship with her father, in an authentic way, just like you would if the film were about a non-disabled person. 

Dafne becomes her father’s mainstay. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover I guess. 

Certainly not in Dafne’s case. Her deep inner-strength and solid friendships allow her to be totally self-reliant. Another thing that you don’t expect is her candor. It surprises the spectators, as it did in Berlin. 

In 2009 Mar Nero received an award at Locarno. In 2019 Dafne receives an award at the Berlinale. Taking stock of the past 10 years, I’d say the results are very positive.

Absolutely. During these past ten years I have also made a documentary, Educazione Affettiva – a highly-gratifying experience. I’m not in a rush to make films. I get down to work when I have a story to tell, as was the case with Dafne.

mare-nero Dafne Berlinale

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