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Rossella Schillaci


Rossella Schillaci was born in Turin, where she graduated and where she attended Daniele Segre’s Scuola Video di Documentazione Sociale (“I Cammelli”). She received a Master in Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester in 2001, and after that she started her career in filmmaking using the methods and teachings she learned both during her master’s studies and at Segre’s School. She won a doctoral scholarship from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Portugal to participate at the international program Colab between The University of Texas at Austin (USA) and the University Nova de Lisboa, and teaches visual anthropology in University workshops. She has co-founded the independent production company Azul (, where she works as a filmmaker. Her documentaries deal with the topics of journey, immigration, and prison, and they try to answer personal and anthropological questions about both the daily challenges of men and women, and the process of their transformation and empowerment. Ascuntami, the documentary she made at the end of her master’s studies, was selected and awarded in many Italian Film Festivals (like Torino Film Festival, Biennale Giovani Artisti, Invideo). In 2005 she made Pratica e Maestria, participating in several international festivals and winning the Bartok Prize from the French Society for Ethnomusicology, awarded at the Bilan du Film Ethnographique of Paris. In 2007 she completed Vjesh/Canto, a documentary set in Basilicata that tells the stories of immigrants and women, and was awarded Best Documentary at the Hean Jean Rouch International Film Festival of Paris, at the Rai Festival of Manchester, and at the Festival of Mediterranean Documentary and Reportage. In 2012 she directed Il limite (2012), a documentary about the hard work of Sicilian and Tunisian seamen. Among her other works, Solo questo mare (2009), Shukri, A new life (2011) and Altra Europa (2011) explore the topic of immigration, as does Ghetto PSA (2016), promoted by MIBACT (the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage) and produced by Unafilm production with the collaboration of Azul. In 2016 she also produced Ninna Nanna Prigioniera, an observational documentary film about the mother–child relationship in jail that examines the Italian Law 62/2011 through these protagonists’ eyes. In conclusion, Libere—released in 2017 and produced by the Archivio Nazionale Cinematografico della Resistenza of Turin—describes the women’s role during the Italian Resistance, from their taking up arms to their post-war emancipation and freedom. It has been distributed in more than 70 Italian cinemas.


2001- Ascuntami (Listen to me): UK-Italy - MA final film.

2001- Euro Blows over Stromboli (L’Euro soffia su Stromboli): Italy- The Netherlands Betacam: Production STEFILM, MMFilmprodukties, broadcasted by NCRV

2004- Living beyond borders: Italy-India-Uk: Production “eu-india cross-cultural programme: documentary initiative”, Thomson Foundation, Indian Institute for Mass Communication, broadcast by Indian Television and Community Channel

2005- Practice and Mastery (Pratica e Maestria): Italy: Production Azul. 

2007- Vjesh (Singing): Italy: production Palomar Endemol. 

2008- She-River: Italy: Production AESS, Blue interreg IIIb medoc UE, Azul, Etnolab. 

2009- Solo questo mare (Only the Sea is missing): Italy: Production Azul, Clac, with the support of Piemonte Doc Film Fund. 

2010- Shukri, a new life: Italy: Production Azul for Al Jazeera.

2011- Altra Europa (Other Europe): Italy: Azul and CLAC (Associazione Culturale), Broadcast on BABEL, Al Jazeera and Press TV.     

2012- Il limite (Sea Boundary): Italy: Production Azul

2016- Les enfants en prison : Italy-France: produced and broadcast by ARTE. 

2016- Ghetto PSA: Italy: produced by Unafilm and Azul, funded by Italian Ministry of Culture.

2016- Ninna nanna prigioniera (Imprisoned Lullaby): Italy- France: De Films en Aiguille in collaboration with Azul 

2017- Libere (Free Women): Italy: produced by ANCR Archivio Nazionale Cinematografico della Resistenza and AZUL, edit using archival footage. Theatrical distribution by LAB 80 films

2020– Quello che ci muove - memories on Pina Bausch: in post production: Produced by Azul and Fondazione Piemonte dal vivo in collaboration with Pina Bausch Foundation

Interview with Rossella Schillaci

To cite this biofilmography, please use this reference: Raimondi, Silvia (2021) "Rossella Schillaci's biofilmography" Gynocine Project, Barbara Zecchi, ed. 

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